Bon Iver: 22, A Million (Jagjaguwar) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Bon Iver

22, A Million


Sep 30, 2016 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Bon Iver‘s (aka Justin Vernon) debut album, For Emma, Forever Ago, was unarguably one of the best records of 2007. It’s somewhat surprising to think, then, that in the nine years since, Bon Iver has only released one other studio album (2011’s Bon Iver, Bon Iver)until now. 22, A Million proves that, while he might not be one of the most prolific musicians of his generation, Vernon remains among the deepest and most inspired. From the opening chords of the very first track, “22 (OVER S∞∞N),” it’s obvious that Vernon’s exploration of music has continued to grow and evolve since For Emma broke down doors, and also proof of what a visionary talent can do with the medium. And with tracks titles such as “33 GOD,” “29 #Strafford APTS,” “666 ʇ,” and “21 M♢♢N WATER,” it’s readily apparent that exploration was an absolute goal of this album. The third Bon Iver album is a complex, multi-layered, beautifully oxymoronic experience that gets better with each subsequent listen. It is a hybrid digital and acoustic, distant and immediate, wholly unique yet undeniably relatable piece of art. It is a cycle-top to bottom, Heaven to Hell, birth to death. The every day and the everything. Vernon’s lyrics are often cryptic, but it’s his delivery and the tools he uses in realizing them that have earned him a place on the pedestal of musical greatness. 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. (

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10


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