22, A Million

22, A Million Image
Metascore
87

Universal acclaim - based on 41 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 269 Ratings

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  • Summary: The third full-length release for Justin Vernon was produced by Chris Messina.
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  • Record Label: Jagjaguwar
  • Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Indie Electronic, Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Indie Folk
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 41
  2. Negative: 0 out of 41
  1. Nov 3, 2016
    100
    While some may sneer at the glitches and production tricks that pepper the record, thinking them mere gimmicks, those who stick around long enough will be rewarded by a string of mature, thoughtful songs emerging from their concealment, gradually revealing a little more of themselves with each play.
  2. 100
    Not since Kid A has an album so superb pushed away and pulled closer its audience, simultaneously and with such aplomb.
  3. Sep 30, 2016
    90
    When it hits, as on the wistful Fionn Regan sample on the closing 00000 Million or the breathtaking piano introduction to 33 “GOD” you know that this strange, beautiful, willfully obtuse album is one that you’ll want to live with for a very long time.
  4. Sep 28, 2016
    80
    Vernon remains an oblique lyricist, but the knottiness can be compelling.
  5. Oct 7, 2016
    80
    Where “Skinny Love” was instantly hummable, “____45_____” refuses to settle into any kind of pattern, jumping between tuneless woodwinds and haphazard vocals. It’s a jarring and unexpected move, but all of it’s layered complexity at least turns heads and demands further attention.
  6. 80
    22, A Million occasionally confronts and challenges with its willful weirdness, but Bon Iver can still locate that lonely cabin, if only in spirit, when Vernon really wants to dig deep.
  7. Oct 3, 2016
    50
    Bon Iver is moving on, but to where exactly? Even Justin Vernon doesn't appear to know, which may be why this transitional album sounds so muddled and the songs so elusive.

See all 41 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 36
  2. Negative: 3 out of 36
  1. Oct 3, 2016
    10
    This album can be abrasive and confusing at times, and that abrasiveness will be off putting to a lot of people, but if you stick with it andThis album can be abrasive and confusing at times, and that abrasiveness will be off putting to a lot of people, but if you stick with it and really listen I think you will find immense beauty. Underneath all of the distortion there are beautiful melodies and meaningful lyrics. Give it a chance. Expand
  2. Oct 11, 2016
    10
    Justin Vernon's latest effort is as much a stunning piece of contemporary art as it is a masterpiece in music production, that gets betterJustin Vernon's latest effort is as much a stunning piece of contemporary art as it is a masterpiece in music production, that gets better with each listen. Expand
  3. Sep 30, 2016
    10
    A true Bon Iver album. Lives up to the expectation. Justin Vernon proves again that he is a brilliant artist. Great variety and originalA true Bon Iver album. Lives up to the expectation. Justin Vernon proves again that he is a brilliant artist. Great variety and original sounds throughout the album. Expand
  4. Oct 5, 2016
    9
    22, A Million is definitely not a typical Bon Iver album, but at the same time it immediately feels and sounds like one. Taking a step in a22, A Million is definitely not a typical Bon Iver album, but at the same time it immediately feels and sounds like one. Taking a step in a new direction the broken and jerky album is interesting and sometimes abrupt when compared to Vernon's previous releases. Lots of fans were turned off by this change in aesthetic, but why compare two completely different works? Bands and artists evolve and channel new techniques and Bon Iver does this beautifully on their new album. Truly an album to listen to critically a few times, it creates immediately satisfaction every time after; the tracks might be strange but they're undeniably catchy and beautifully written. (8.9 / 10) Expand
  5. Nov 5, 2016
    8
    Having never listened to Bon Iver's previous material, I thought I would pick this up when I heard they were going for an experimental, glitzyHaving never listened to Bon Iver's previous material, I thought I would pick this up when I heard they were going for an experimental, glitzy electronic direction. The songs released prior to the full album release piqued my interest so I thought why not.

    The album is quite conceptual, perhaps too conceptual since the obnoxious track titles only make it more difficult for me to remember specific songs - the lack of sharp hooks also adds to this. But that also makes the album even more appealing, the spontaneity of the very well-crafted production helps maintain its organic output when it is combining with the synthetic. The wailing vocals of Vernon fuse with the carefully chosen chord progressions to create this sad, yet fulfilling emotional aesthetic my ears craved for.

    Anyone who says that the production sounds like a kid made it clearly have an awful understanding of electronic music and clearly don't understand the fantastic perspectives it brings to their sound.

    The only reasons I think that this album isn't quite amazing is because sometimes the syncopated production has points where it sounds convoluted, certain points where the amount of elements are too overly intricate for my ears to properly digest. The lyrics also didn't strike me at times as well. Lastly, as I said before, it very much sounds like a concept album so picking out particular songs I like isn't very easy.

    Overall, it's certainly a fantastic album and I'm glad I gave it a shot. The record is just overproduced at times.
    Expand
  6. Dec 29, 2016
    6
    New ideas here which are worth a listen. But it does not work some of the time for me, like the worst track here 10. Some distortions inNew ideas here which are worth a listen. But it does not work some of the time for me, like the worst track here 10. Some distortions in compositions and vocals are not necessary. Decent 6. Expand
  7. Nov 2, 2016
    0
    Sad, just sad.

    Another seemingly bright musical talent seduced by the dark side of self-indulgent idiots thinking we'll buy unfinished
    Sad, just sad.

    Another seemingly bright musical talent seduced by the dark side of self-indulgent idiots thinking we'll buy unfinished junk.

    This record is the musical equivalent of Warhol's soup cans with the exception that at least Warhol was unique. This sonic junk gimmickry has all been done before.

    Maybe I can come redecorate Justin's house with junkyard finds and rotting fruit and sell it as art?
    Expand

See all 36 User Reviews