Album Review: 22, A Million by Bon Iver

Bon Iver never fails to tug at the heartstrings of any listener, becoming your favorite artist to cry to or throw on late at night or during a rainy day.

PC: NME
PC: NME

With an artist and album that need no further introduction, here are my thoughts track by track:


“22 (OVER S∞∞N)” : Beginning with a beautiful blend of a single note combined with beautiful
vocal samples and harmonies from frontman Justin Vernon, this song pairs an awesome
saxophone feature with beautiful vocal and guitar harmonies and makes me feel care-free and
relaxed, almost as though I am swimming through the ocean.

“10 d E A T h b R E a s T ⚄ ⚄” : With an opening that sounds like the opening of Kanye West’s
“Black Skinhead,” “10 d E A T h b R E a s T ⚄ ⚄ ” is rather aggressive-sounding.
However, Justin Vernon’s lyrics bring out an oddly calming side of the song that only Vernon can bring.

“715 – CRΣΣKS” : Right off the bat in “ 715 – CRΣΣKS,” we get the classic a cappella synthesized
vocal harmonies of Bon Iver that I fell in love with after hearing the song “Woods” off the Blood
Bank EP.

“33 ‘GOD'” : A very spacey piano riff paired with various samples begins this interesting track,
this song seems to have everything from banjo to drum machines to the classic Justin Vernon
synthesized vocals. The end of this song especially definitely reminds me of some sort of divine
ascension, as the name may imply.

“29 #Strafford APTS” : With a raw-sounding vocal track from Vernon paired with an acoustic
guitar, as well as hints of an orchestra and light drums this is the Bon Iver that I, as well as many
other fans, can’t get enough of. Any fan of classic Bon Iver hits like “Holocene” or “Skinny
Love” will definitely love this track.

“666 ʇ” : “ 666 ʇ ” is a beautiful piece of art, and one of my favorites on the album. Justin Vernon’s
signature vocal sound carries the listener on a journey through a beautiful sonic landscape
featuring incredible pounding drums, electronic samples, and a spacey beat that all combine to
give the listener a warm feeling of peace and make me feel like I am floating in space. For any
fans of the song “Perth”, this song is definitely for you.

“21 M ♢♢ N WATER” : One word to describe this song: spacey. Any feelings of floating in space
produced from “ 666 ʇ ” have now been thrown out the window. The droning synth notes and
various electronic samples literally sound like a spaceship, or at least something that should be
on the sou ndtrack for the movie Interstellar.

“8 (circle)” : This is a simply beautiful song, and my other favorite on the album. Arguably one of
the most stand out performances on the album from Justin Vernon vocally, I can especially hear
the power and emotion in his voice on this track (maybe it’s the lack of vocal effects). On the
instrumental side we have what sounds like a synth orchestra giving this song a very heavy
feeling of happiness, beauty, and inspiration.

“____45_____” : An interesting song, here we are presented with a simple saxophone melody that
is remixed to become quite complex paired with the classic Bon Iver-sounding lyrics and
melodies we all know and love.

“00000 Million” : The final song on the album is a very sentimental one. Mesmerizing vocal
harmonies and piano drive the bittersweet feeling right on through to the end of the song. This
serves to conclude the album with such a sad and beautiful sound that only Bon Iver never fails
to deliver.

Overall, 22, A Million is an incredible album that was definitely worth the wait. While Bon Iver
definitely used the opportunity to go in a new direction with their music, I cannot stress enough
that it worked marvelously.

With a new tour currently being released a few shows at a time and the release of this incredible album, I cannot wait to see what the future holds for the group.

9/10.

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