Monday, 19 December 2016

22, A Million - Bon Iver

Skinny Love made Bon Iver famous, Bon Iver, Bon Iver confirmed their critical acclaim and 22, A Million has ripped apart the reputation Bon Iver built as a indie folk icon.

22, A Million isn’t a huge departure from Bon Iver’s routes however despite what critics tell you, in fact it was predictable that Bon Iver would take a experimental path though production, after all he made headlines for hanging out with Kanye, who is one of the best working producers.

At the same time however 22, A Million is a vivid breakaway from the stereotypical Bon Iver sound. In this album we hear him playing with Art Pop, experimenting with electronics and really fighting to rid himself of the folk label.

He succeeds.

The album artwork of Bon Iver's third album.

This album is one of the only albums I heard all year where there wasn’t a single song that I didn’t like. Each song is good, some are even great, but not one is bad, or even boring.

33 God and 29 #strafford APTS are the highlights of the album which has, arguably pretentiously, all of it’s songs named peculiarly.

The atmosphere of the album is exquisite, introspective and awe inspiring, there is no moment in the album where you feel lost or sad, instead it’s short 33 minute runtime passes by in a blur, by the end of which you find yourself shocked to hear something both experimental and great.

Bon Iver is the project of 35 year old Justin Vernon.

Of course the album isn’t without it’s critics, many people have argued the album is too random or that it has too few hooks, and those are accurate statements, but to me they help push the albums to news levels of critical appraisal, he manages to create an album which is great despite its flaws, not because it has none.

22, A Million is a surreal experience with the escapism of music, and by the time the album clicks to a close, you feel much like Dorothy returning to Kansas, enriched by the experience.