Best Albums of 2011: #19

Bon Iver - Bon Iver, Bon Iver
You'll see this one at the top of #1 lists across a lot of publications (perhaps even the Grammys) and I can totally get that. Bon Iver's self-titled sophomore album is an ambitious album that in my mind sometimes bites off more than it can chew, but nevertheless delivers a lush, somber musical experience that's hard to deny. Parts of the album hit me originally as being overwrought and self-aware, but following an emotionally rich album like For Emma, Years Ago, that's to be expected to some degree.

The best tracks on the album like "Perth", "Minnesota, WI", and "Holocene" find a balance between letting Justin Vernon explore some more experimental arrangements and sound-producers without loosing focus in the mix and not sounding like a kid in a candy shop. Amidst the ADD instrumentation exists Bon Iver's strongest claim to fame: Justin Vernon's impeccable ability to write catchy melodies that this album is rife full with. For that alone, this album deserves every bit of acclaim its received.

Best tracks: "Perth", "Holocene"

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