When Bon Iver's Justin Vernon and The National's Aaron Dessner first got together to announce their Big Red Machine project, it was greeted as one of the great collaborations of the last few years. Having showcased their worths individually to great acclaim over the last decade, the pair's 2018 self-titled debut was a masterful stroke of bold and inviting compositions that saw the two artists take turns on fronting the group. But now returning for an unexpected follow-up, their sophomore LP 'How Long Do You Think It's Gonna Last?' is focusing on a broader idea for collaborations.
While this new album still features plenty of joyous compositions from the pairing, it was the guest artists that got this release noticed as fans of the duo Taylor Swift, Fleet Foxes, Sharon Van Etten, Ben Howard, This Is The Kit and many more all lend their talents to this sprawling new effort. From the start, 'How Long Do You Think It's Gonna Last?' has this very casual and laid-back approach to it, which may have been the catalyst that got so many big names involved. This relaxed and easygoing nature to it seems to breathe through into each and every song, creating a release that isn't too interested in shouting about itself very often.
That may be why this new full-length doesn't quite have the same magic as their debut, but 'How Long Do You Think It's Gonna Last?' is still a strong and confident follow-up to its predecessor. Warm and sweeping as frequently as possible, it stands as a pleasant release to soothe your soul to.