Listen to For Emma, Forever Ago, Justin Vernon’s breakthrough début as Bon Iver, before you listen to this, his self-titled second album. Those already familiar with For Emma and Vernon’s wounded falsetto, sung over sparse acoustic guitar, might be perplexed to learn Bon Iver takes a different approach. And yet, the two albums are not as drastically different as they seem. For Emma is so successful because of how it totally envelops its listener in Vernon’s sense of loneliness, experienced (as the legend goes) recording his songs in a secluded cabin, during the winter, while sick and getting over a breakup. Bon Iver communicates its feelings just as well, but things are more hopeful, here, like the thaw spring brings after winter. A rising drum-roll boldly proclaims itself on the Bon Iver’s opening track, “Perth”, making it immediately clear Vernon is venturing into new musical territory. The drums are soon fleshed out by horns and electric guitar, and create a rousing climax.