Initially, I checked this album because Justin Vernon of Bon Iver produced it. Fortunately, I was immediately impressed by Edwards’ voice and songwriting, which is why I it is one of my favorite albums of the year.
The Bon Iver angle is one of the last things I think of when I listen to this. Sure, there are some definite Bon Iver aspects–the drum builds in “A Soft Place To Land,” unique touches of slide guitars or harmony, the overall gorgeousness. But Voyageur though is Edwards’ command, and her clever, emotional songs make for a stand-out record.
I guess her fame/rep is as a country singer, but I don’t hear much of that on Voyageur. Instead of telling stories like country music, she tells emotions and impressions. Because of that it feels much more modern, but also much more personal. No two songs sound alike here. From soft stuff like “House Full Of Empty Rooms,” to rockers like “Sidecars,” to haunting melodies like “For The Record,” Voyageur impresses.