Posted Jun 7th, 2011 (10:54 pm) by Samantha Nelson
Bon Iver - Calgary

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Bon Iver’s first album was the saddest, most depressing, and (fittingly) most beautiful album I’d heard in a long time.

Even now, several listens later, it resonates in a heart-wrenching and achingly lovely way. Naturally, artists mature and change, as we all do, so it should come as no surprise that the new album, judging from its first single "Calgary", is still slightly haunting but not with the suicidal heartbreak that made the debut the glorious depressant we all hate to love.

"Calgary" has a new sound with all the sounds Bon Iver, and Volcano Choir (another Justin Vernon band worth checking out), have made familiar and pleasant. Automatically, one notices a new peppiness; it feels as if the sounds themselves have become happier, and continue to do so as the song continues. Whereas the first album was mainly guitar and vocals, the synth sound takes control on this track. The percussion also adds another dimension it wasn’t wholly allowed on the last album, which promotes more head-bopping and overall movement. Although Bon Iver is still able to string together provoking words and images, they’re not as poignant or focused as earlier lyrics. To be honest, I’m not sure what this song is about outside of a boy and girl. But that’s charming in its way. Before, one syntactically understood the depth and feeling of the songwriter’s experiences in addition to listening to his soul crying; now we have simply to feel them, and his soul seems in a better mood.

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