Last week, Bon Iver dropped their newest and most experimental album yet, 22, A Million.
Because I'm generally a hip-hop fan, I initially didn't think I'd give two craps about the dropping of Bon Iver’s new album, 22, A Million. Begrudgingly, I gave the collection of oddly-titled ballads a listen and was instantly amazed. There is a strange elegance to the project. In what Complex Magazine called the group's “most Kanye-sounding album yet,” song-writer Justin Vernon tackles a stunningly beautiful fusion of futuristic and folk elements. While still maintaining a cohesive sound in ten concise tracks, Bon Iver is able to tackle a wide range of sound. The combination of natural instruments, beautiful harmonies, and natural vocals contrasting with weird pitches of autotune, heavy vocoder, and glitchy elements creates a trippy, personal, hollow, soul-touching loneliness. Each song has a lot of depth to it while still sounding very minimal. It honestly sounds like the musical equivalent of a lonely log cabin in the woods in the year 3000.
Many of the tracks possess a sound that is void of any coherent structure and time measurement, but yet still feels logical. Standout tracks for me include “22 (OVER S∞∞N),” “715 - CRΣΣKS,” “33 GOD,” “8 (circle)” and “____45_____.” The only track that I would personally tell Vernon to nix is “10 d E A T h b R E a s T ⚄ ⚄,” which I found to be too brash. Despite this, 22, A Million is an incredibly well-executed album and adds to Bon Iver’s already impressive canon.
AUTHOR'S RATING: 9.5/10