Bon Iver combines an atypical mix of instruments and styles on their self-titled second album to create an intensely unique style of indie folk-rock. I would normally scoff at the thought of combining double-kick drums, distorted bass, and a pedal steel guitar in a folk-rock song, but somehow Bon Iver makes it work alongside spacey vocals on songs like “Perth” and “Minnesota, WI”. There are some nice harmonies and a wide range of melodies on the album that go all the way down to a bone-rattling baritone.
Bon Iver starts out really strong, but sort of fades off as the album progresses. The low-point of the album is definitely the last track, “Beth/Rest”. There’s some really gorgeous piano and pedal-steel guitar playing, but then there’s this horrendous electric guitar lead with delay that harmonizes itself and sounds unbelievably cheesy. But apart from this one song that’s particularly inadequate, Bon Iver is an enjoyable album from start until just before finish.