Calgary Herald

noW HeAr THis

REViEWs OF Cds nOW in sTOREs

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Bon Iver Bon Iver, Bon Iver

★★★ ½ out of five

INDIE POP • The album so nice, they named it twice. Actually, perhaps nice doesn’t really cover it or do it justice. Pretty, maybe. Dreamy, perhaps. Fey, light, lilting, lovely, earnest, and engaging. For his second effort under the Bon Iver umbrella, Justin Vernon hits all of those notes.

It’s another floral and pastoral collection of lysergide folk, with Vernon’s yearning falsetto frolicking through pristine scenery, swimming inside shimmering pools of keyboards and strings, and sunning itself in bright, open sonic spaces.

Consistent­ly. And endlessly. And, oddly, ultimately, to its detriment. The album is like the musical equivalent of killBlacki­e and the

Rodeo Kings Kings and Queens

★★★★

COUNTRY • Tom Wilson, Stephen Fearing and Colin Linden were brought together by a spirit of generosity, paying tribute to highly regarded Canadian songwriter Willie P. Bennett on their 1996 debut, High or Hurtin’. Fifteen years later, that spirit remains. There are 14 tracks on the joyous rootsrock trio’s new album, and as many female guest vocalists. The cameos vary in prominence, if not in quality: The tremolo ballad My Town Has Moved Away is a serene showcase for Pam Tillis’s golden croon, while Lucinda Williams weaves herself into the

 ??  ?? ing with kindness, as all of that preciousne­ss mounts, levels off and becomes one relentless barrage of dismissibl­e pleasantne­ss. Even the beauty of his voice begins to fade after awhile, with his Midsummer Night’s Dream lyricism seeming less mass...
ing with kindness, as all of that preciousne­ss mounts, levels off and becomes one relentless barrage of dismissibl­e pleasantne­ss. Even the beauty of his voice begins to fade after awhile, with his Midsummer Night’s Dream lyricism seeming less mass...
 ??  ?? rough-hewed fabric of If I Can’t Have You.
If there’s a disadvanta­ge to the marquee lineup, it’s that Blackie’s internal chemistry is downplayed — most tracks focus on just one Rodeo King alongside a queen. But with these collaborat­ions being as...
rough-hewed fabric of If I Can’t Have You. If there’s a disadvanta­ge to the marquee lineup, it’s that Blackie’s internal chemistry is downplayed — most tracks focus on just one Rodeo King alongside a queen. But with these collaborat­ions being as...

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