Bon Iver - 'i,i'

8/10

When Bon Iver released their first studio album 'For Emma, Forever Ago' back in 2007, many were under the impression that the material was the sole product of singer and songwriter Justin Vernon. But as time has gone on, Vernon has spent much of his time convincing us that this is far from being a solo venture and has spent many interviews paying credit to those that have helped create his unique and darkened sound. This pursuit of making Bon Iver appear more than just a single man's work was first explored on their third studio album '22, A Million' and now looks to be pushed even further as 'i,i' sees the group as a bold and multifaceted entity, filled with experimental electronics and left-of-centre production.

While many saw their previous full-length a huge step away from their familiar content, looking to pursue a more irreverent approach to his normally folk-inspired intentions, 'i,i' sees the group continue where that release left off and continue down a path of self-exploration that still manages to create a bold and fascinating atmosphere for those listening. Rather than produce a collection of singles however, each with their own fully formed direction, this new collection sees the outfit deliver a series of ethereal and diverse compositions that act more as a bridge between those more well-rounded moments, making this album less tied down and feeling more like a band in search of raw and impassioned emotion instead.

It will certainly be their hardest record to appreciate from the first listen, but once you understand and get a feel for its ebbs and flows, you'll realise that this is so much more than just another Bon Iver album, but a step towards their next evolutionary phase. Each track has been specially selected to keep the music ever moving forward, creating an exciting and enticing release that will be hard to forget.

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