Every once in a great while an album is released that seemingly transcends anything that had been released before it. It takes what made past works so brilliant and improves upon them by having crafted a better understanding of its subject matter and how it works in influencing the day of the life of the everyday John or Jane. It is far beyond being just a record that is beautifully crafted, or even a record that delivers a deep message with great and ever-potent meaning. It is all that and more, and in some cases, such a work could even be created as the result of something that had initially occurred entirely by accident. This describes Justin Vernon of Bon Iver fame’s latest jump into the wonderful world of music and the story of his continuing growth through musical experimentation.
The story goes that Volcano Choir didn’t even intend to become an actual band. During the days of their debut release “Unmap” in 2009, that was a fact set well in stone as it was established that the delightfully minimalist work was created out of notes and letters sent between Vernon and other Wisconsin musicians from one side of the state to the other. By comparison, whether it was crafted due to the grand reception, which “Unmap” had received or a mere whim, “Repave” is the result of what a whole collaboration between Vernon and those aforementioned musicians — Jon Mueller, Chris Rosenau, Matthew Skemp, Daniel Spack, and Thomas Wincek, respectively — sounds like. The end result is beyond savory.
From start to finish, “Repave” is an impeccable piece of art work that only the highest masters of the musical craft could ever hope to create. It’s everything that an amazing album needs to be and more, providing a pleasing aural experience that is as immense as it is understated, as loud as it is relaxing, as experimental as it is soothingly familiar, and as unique as it is a pure masterpiece. Throughout his career, Justin Vernon has proven himself to be a man full of surprises, never shy of proving one astounding musical feat after another with seemingly relative ease, whether that was his intention or not, and his first “real” collaboration with the men of Volcano Choir really proves to be no different in that sense. Vernon’s art form is as varied as it is legendary, and from “Skinny Love” to “Lost in the World,” he had already reinforcement that again and again, yet “Repave” plays much like the greatest masterpiece of them all — so far. As his career expands, so does the man’s musical prowess.
In short, Vernon and all of the fantastically talented men of Volcano Choir are sure to impress. Listening to the album for some listeners is bound to be much more than just a musical experience. It can, in all honesty, very easily be one of those life-changing records that one holds close to their heart for the rest of their lives for all of those who are smart enough to give this one a spin. “Repave” is yet another fruit of Vernon’s laborious and much-appreciated work in the music industry with the astoundingly talented musicians he so chooses to collaborate alongside. It is a real work of ever-unique, ever-genuine, ever-honest, and ever-impeccable art and that’s all there is to it.
If you fancy yourself a true music enthusiast, you need to check this album out as it signifies what fine art is all about. It won’t necessarily be for everyone, but there is no denying the effort that went into this work’s production. From beginning to end, “Repave” proves itself to be an experience that needs to be had at least once in a person’s life. Putting it purely and simply, “Repave” is an utterly compelling piece of art that most certainly is worthy of being called one of the top albums of the year. If 6/5 were a proper review score, that’s what it’d be getting.
If you would like to purchase “Repave”, then you can do so on iTunes right here and right now. You can also listen to the album on Spotify for free if you wish, and you’d still be benefiting the artist. Just do yourself a favor and get to listening already!