- 22, A Million

Bon Iver - 22, A Million
CRITIC SCORE
89
Based on 30 reviews
2016 Rank: #2 / 709
USER SCORE
81
Based on
565 ratings

WHAT DO YOU THINK?
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
Pretty Much Amazing

Not since Kid A has an album so superb pushed away and pulled closer its audience, simultaneously and with such aplomb.

100
Loud and Quiet
The obvious attraction here lies in admiring Vernon’s artistic skill, but the greater pleasure is in the album’s simple honesty: this is unmistakably the music Vernon felt he had to make – not self-pitying or even particularly sad, but still with an abstracted sense of longing that feels as universal as it does personal.
100
The Line of Best Fit
It's a record that feels challenging only on the surface: hidden behind its cryptic exterior is a generous and rewarding collection of songs that represent one of the most cohesive and affecting musical undertakings produced in recent years.
100
Sputnikmusic
One of the most important pieces of music you will hear this year.
100
NOW Magazine
Although the presentation has changed, the raw emotional power at the heart of Bon Iver is intact.
100
The Independent

The new album is a huge departure ... soaked in Vernon’s dalliances with hip-hop and subverting musical traditions at every opportunity. It clunks rather than strums. If Bon Iver’s earlier work evoked log fires, tall brush and the bite of cold air, this new material brings to mind concrete, live current and blinking strip lights.

95
The 405

With 22, A Million ... Justin Vernon shows that his greatest skill as a performer is not simply his ability to craft beautifully original music, but is found in his knack for seamless reinvention.

91
Consequence of Sound
Justin Vernon challenges listeners to accept a new, self-aware perspective, one delivered honestly and beautifully.
90
Clash
Yes, ‘22, A Million’ is painfully, painfully sincere. Yes, it’s also hopelessly oblique, grandiose, and pretentious. Yet it’s also an absolute diamond of a record, at once fragrantly beautifully and also hopelessly complex, easy to disregard and yet thoroughly hypnotic.
90
Exclaim!

22, A Million isn't a game-changer ... Yet in the context of Bon Iver, it's an emphatic step forward, a gorgeous album that, rather than running from it, reflects our fractured world back at us.

90
Pitchfork
Bon Iver’s first album in five years takes an unexpected turn toward the strange and experimental. But behind the arranged glitches and processed voices are deeply felt songs about uncertainty.
90
Drowned in Sound

22, A Million, when you take the time to truly unearth it, may well be the warmest work of his career.

90
musicOMH

After a few plays, 22, A Million begins to make a beautiful kind of sense. It’s the natural evolution of Vernon’s sound, back from when he experimented with a vocoder on the final track on the Blood Bank EP, Woods. And the songs themselves, once they’re stripped of all the vocal trickery, are as heartbreaking as ever.

90
FasterLouder
Nothing seems incidental: every subtle blemish, nuance and microscopic crack is an indispensable part of a meticulously crafted chaos.
90
No Ripcord

These songs are chaotic, unexpected and jarring. Samples, vocoders, and shambling synths crash together in an unstructured soundscape. But if you listen through the anarchy, you will find a stirring, masterful odyssey.

90
God Is in the TV

It’s an otherwordly record made up of textures of distorted samples, soaked in vocoder, each track a dense fog.

88
Paste

If it seemed incongruous that Justin Vernon was rolling with Kanye West on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy in 2010 and Yeezus in 2013, Vernon’s new LP as Bon Iver shows that the indie-folk singer and megastar rapper are, in many ways, kindred spirits.

83
A.V. Club
This is a wildly informed album, and that also works to its advantage.
81
GIGsoup

’22, A Million’ sees Bon Iver exploring and collating new sounds so beautifully while also remaining true to Vernon’s core as an artist and individual.

80
Slant Magazine

22, A Million synthesizes archaic and future styles—or, rather, organic and synthetic sounds—to address and remedy the ailments of the present.

80
NME
This is a febrile folktronica album which confounds and astounds in equal measure, melting your heart one minute and agitating your eardrums the next, but always baffling and beautiful.
80
DIY
‘22, A Million’ stands out as Bon Iver’s finest moment yet, a cross between invention and beauty that’s delivered without compromise.
80
Rolling Stone

With his long-awaited third album, Vernon completely breaks from his guitar-hugging persona, leaving it in the woods like a Coen brothers corpse as he flexes a mastery of processed vocals, samples, loops, beats, synths and noise, along with more familiar trappings.

80
The Guardian

His music has always had what you might call its Kid A side. His third album represents the point where the thinking behind something like 2009’s Babys, an abstract assemblage of keening harmonies, icy electronics and crashing cymbals, takes over his music completely.

80
AllMusic

It's an impressive feat of reinvention that manages to keep Vernon's emotional core fully intact no matter how far the music strays from established Bon Iver territory.

80
Under The Radar

As with his work that precedes it, the impact of Vernon's 22, A Million far outlasts that moment when the record stops playing. What Bon Iver manages to do in barely 34-minutes, other artists often cannot do in a career.

80
American Songwriter
Though the methods might be unconventional, the emotions expressed are still riveting.
80
Tiny Mix Tapes

22, A Million is the band’s most impressive record to date, surging forward with oddities that, while certainly nothing new to adventurous listeners, bridge the gap with satisfaction.

80
PopMatters
With this album, Justin Vernon and Bon Iver have made an attempt at rebuilding their little boat into a massive, complicated, and intensely modern ship.
75
Entertainment Weekly

Banjos and atmospheric drums collide with heaving synths and discordant saxes throughout, sometimes yielding cuts more notable for their experimentation than their pop pleasures.

6
The best thing Bon Iver has ever done. 6/100.
MarkCooper
87
This album had a profound effect on me, which I didn't expect at all. There are just so many things about this album that that are so unique, you can't even pick on it. So I'll just name some main points.
1. I'm fairly confident that this album will be one of the main pieces of music that influences a whole new generation. One of those albums that isn't one EVERYONE knows from an older time, but after some research you find out every really good artist listened to it a lot in their younger ... read more
boniverski
87
When I saw this witch house wannabe track list, I expected some pretensions crap, but we got heavenly beautiful, game changing album, totally out of the world. Like "Bon Iver, Bon Iver" part 2. Like it's 2011 again. Nostalgia bites hard.
lemuriams
94
A real breath of fresh air - unique style of Bon Iver.

There is no scale to rate the songs as 666, 8 (circle), God

10 d e a t h e b r a s t - Joni Mitchell - The Jungle Line?

At this point, the most ambitious musician I know.
sonicyouth
45
Painful to get through. This album would be dismissed without Bon Iver's name on it.
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Track List
  1. 22 (OVER S∞∞N)
  2. 10 d E A T h b R E a s T ⚄ ⚄
  3. 715 - CR∑∑KS
  4. 33 “GOD”
  5. 29 #Strafford APTS
  6. 666 ʇ
  7. 21 M◊◊N WATER
  8. 8 (circle)
  9. ____45_____
  10. 00000 Million


Added on: August 12, 2016