22, A Million
Bon Iver - 22, A Million
Critic Score
Based on 37 reviews
2016 Ratings: #5 / 754
Year End Rank: #12
User Score
Based on 811 ratings
2016 Ratings: #19
September 30, 2016 / Release Date
LP / Format
Jagjaguwar / Label
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boniver.org / Website
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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.

90
Northern Transmissions

22, A Million is a progressive and standalone album full of deep emotions and clever ingenuity.

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.
80
The Telegraph

He sings with the sad weight of a man who has survived a dark night of the soul, filling his opaque songs with transcendent emotion and other-worldly beauty that can make you feel foolish for even questioning what it could possibly all mean.

80
Dork

A succinct record of compressed and distorted ventures into folk, atmospheric electronica and blues.

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.

75
Spectrum Culture

The album dares you to come closer, to peer into its depths and figure it out. But in the end, there may not be anything to figure out.

70
FLOOD Magazine

22, A Million is a gorgeous victory and a righteous revival of a talent that for a moment was only best displayed on records by Kanye West.

60
The Observer

The flashes of brilliance in Justin Vernon’s dark night of the soul are frustratingly few on his cryptic, effects-laden third album.

50
The Needle Drop
Bon Iver returns with an attempt at fusing glitchy electronics and indie folk balladry.
Sep 30, 2016
6
The best thing Bon Iver has ever done. 6/100.
Sep 3, 2016*
MarkCooper
91
Original Score: 87

1. I'm thinking this album will be one of the main pieces of music that influences a whole new group of musicians to come. One of those albums that, after some research of your favorite artists' influences, you find out a hell of a lot of them listened to this, and were struck by it, serving as a major landmark in their relationship with music.
2. Even if the production style isn't your thing, it's completely new, obtuse, and brave as hell for an artist in his pocket and ... read more
Aug 31, 2016
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.
Oct 16, 2016
sonicyouth
45
Painful to get through. This album would be dismissed without Bon Iver's name on it.
Oct 1, 2016*
BuffaloStaple
40
So i've listened to this like 8/9 times now, and I seriously don't see what the deal is. I thought the first two albums were pretty damn impressive, so to see them come through with a series of tracks that to me sound like they were made in about 30 minutes is very surprising. I know a bunch of bon iver fans will claim that I don't get it and stuff, but I feel essentially nothing when I hear this, I mean can you honestly defend tracks like 21 moon water & 10 d e a t h b r e a s t? look me ... read more
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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