Bon Iver / 22, A Million

22, A Million

Bon Iver (/bn ˈvɛər/ bohn-ee-vair[1]) is an American indie folk band founded in 2007 by singer-songwriter Justin Vernon. Vernon released Bon Iver’s debut album, For Emma, Forever Ago independently in July 2007. The majority of that album was recorded while Vernon spent three months in a cabin in northwestern Wisconsin. Bon Iver won the 2012 Grammy Awards for Best New Artist and Best Alternative Music Album for their album Bon Iver, Bon Iver.

22, A Million is the third studio album by American indie folk band Bon Iver, released on September 30, 2016.[2] The album was premiered at Justin Vernon’s Eaux Claires Music Festival.

The Analysis—-

“22 [Over Soon]—-I will say, right out of the gate, this was not the album I expected from Justin and Co. This is much more bombastic and manipulated….taking away so much of the beauty that I found intrinsically wonderful about this band. I was not expecting the vocoders and the stark electronic music. But every band has a journey…..this is interesting…after a few plays it does grow on you. It is nice to see one step out of their selves.

“715 [Creeks—-This has a more familiar sound for me…stark and beautiful. This song has a remarkable sadness…despite the manipulation and the vocoder voice..the reality of loneliness and sadness permeates through the song. The higher tones are breathtakingly beautiful….a true standout.

“33 [God]—-With sorrowful piano in sharp contrast with the vocal manipulations, this is a beautiful landscape of fall and sadness. The higher vocal delivery takes me places that I have not been to in quite sometime. This is remarkably beautiful as well as quite listenable. There are sounds everywhere….just a huge incredible journey in one song.I LOVE this song!!!

#29 Stratford Apts”—-The beautiful and stark intro of the guitar ushers in the Bon Iver that I fell in love with. The folksy delivery is just magnificent. The music swell around the voice and the result is one of the most beautiful and poignant songs I have heard in a very long time. This is a masterpiece.My God…sometimes this man just reaches right out and manages to grab my very soul.

“666 [upsidedowncross]—-A singular keyboard tone allows the song to slowly develop around it. The slight tick- tock of the song has it’s own significance I would assume. The voice is again more straight forward and un-manipulated…the one I truly prefer. The deep sadness that pervade the track are a beautiful stark landscape to the more manipulated and experimental music. This makes me think of Laurie Anderson!

“21 [Moon Water]—-A bit odd from the onset, I would expect nothing less. This has such air and ambiance. The swirling music creates a landscape all of its own. The beginning snippets of vocals blossom into a return to the vocoder style of earlier songs…but the purity of the voice manages to stay intact. This is stripped bare…but yet…has so much going on at the same time…..just incredible.

“8 [Circle]—-Magically melding and morphing from the previous track, this has a slow and airy beat that sucks you into the middle of the song. When Vernon decides to display his vocal…it is with purity, clarity and a seemingly sense of purpose. This is heartfelt…intense and delivered with such sincerity it makes tears at the back of my head. Magical moments on this release if you give it a chance.

“_45_”—-I believe this track gives me a taste of vocoded harmonica…..interesting. The vocal has a slight blues tinge to it that brings to mind the South and the style that made Orleans famous. This is nice…not a favorite…but full of many sounds that are surprising and all work together in a way only this man can do. The more the song evolves, the better it gets.

“1000000 [Million]—-For me, the best track on this release. This is a return to the sounds that got me so hooked on this band to begin with. I listen to this and then I marvel that this is the end of the release…where is the rest? Can this truly be all there is? When the improper chorus plays…the sad melancholy strain will land right in the center of your brain and bang until you play it again. The best taste in your mouth is the taste of wanting more…..this is a masterpiece of a release.

***** out of 5

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