22, A Million Image
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87

Universal acclaim - based on 41 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 382 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
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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: 38 out of 52
  2. Negative: 4 out of 52
  1. Oct 5, 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. Collapse Expand
  2. Sep 30, 2016
    10
    Truly an achievement. Could not bring myself to give this anything lower than a 10.
    There's such a demanding beauty shooting through this
    Truly an achievement. Could not bring myself to give this anything lower than a 10.
    There's such a demanding beauty shooting through this entire record, whether it's the lo-fi/overproduced ambience or the stacked harmonies found in each track. Justin emotions are as up front as ever; sharp, and painfully honest. His struggles with spiritual beliefs, the direction of the band and efforts of soul searching all somehow come across through the ambiguous lyricism we've come to know, more so than any of his previous work. For Emma puritans will probably be up in arms, which is a real shame, because they're missing the most sonically intriguing record of the decade. I've never enjoyed listening to music as much as I did listening to this.

    I was hesitant to compare this to Kid A, and as much as I now agree, at the same time, this release as a whole is just it's own entire entity. I don't think anything else is going to sound like this.
    Hope this helps!
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  3. Oct 1, 2016
    10
    This album is a masterpiece. It is the year's best album and Bon Iver's best album. The tracklist for the album is very strange andThis album is a masterpiece. It is the year's best album and Bon Iver's best album. The tracklist for the album is very strange and interesting. This album has overall, great song lyrics, vocals, and instrumentals. The way the album is produced is outstanding. This album does sound different from the previous album. It's a better and more beautiful album than the groups' previous. Expand
  4. Nov 27, 2016
    9
    If you want something more listenable, check out Volcano Choir, another group Justin is a part of.
    I was disappointed at first -- the
    If you want something more listenable, check out Volcano Choir, another group Justin is a part of.
    I was disappointed at first -- the sensitive accessibility of For Emma and Bon Iver is gone in this album, replaced with more bizarre choices that at first appear to be nothing more than shocking and provocative. However, I found myself drawn back to it repeatedly, eventually craving the dissonant, winding tunes, distortions, samples and drawls. Justin proves to be an absolute master of his craft here, infusing every moment with complex emotional landscapes, connotations and associations, creating a sense of nostalgia, wonder and wistfulness through semi-abstract sound. His control and bold direction are both laudable, and though this release doesn't have the radio appeal of Skinny Love or Holocene, it was the only way up for him. As admirable as it is, it reads more as a frenetic mental essay than "music", sacrificing easy listening for emotional punches and wallowing melodrama. While I think this was the right choice to continue the growth of the Bon Iver project, it does leave me wishing for a standout statement piece that could champion the album, much like Skinny Love or Holocene. Unfortunately, each track almost washes together into a long, winding journey, and no track stands out powerfully as an instant favourite.
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  5. Oct 13, 2016
    9
    Truly an excellent album. It won't be for everyone because it isn't traditional like a lot of listeners are really looking for, but othersTruly an excellent album. It won't be for everyone because it isn't traditional like a lot of listeners are really looking for, but others will really enjoy the cutting edge sound. Expand
  6. Sep 30, 2016
    6
    Mostly disappointing. First off, let me say I'm a big fan of Justin's and Bon Iver. I loved 'For Emma' and 'Bon Iver,' and I thought theMostly disappointing. First off, let me say I'm a big fan of Justin's and Bon Iver. I loved 'For Emma' and 'Bon Iver,' and I thought the latest Volcano Choir album was brilliant. Cannot play them all enough. But this record underwhelms. First, there's not enough of it. The CD goes by in a heartbeat. But the real problem here was production. The record sounds like someone broke into the studio, deleted most guitar and piano tracks, clipped random verses and the last 30 seconds of most of the songs. And then he or she submerged the remaining master tape in a bucket of water. Instead of fixing, Justin said, "screw it," and released it as is.
    The record should have sounded like the live recording of "666" from Eaux Claires 2015 festival. Sadly that big, bold and crisp sound is gone. We're left with a sparse, autotune-gone-wild mix that's mostly an assault on the senses, and not in a good way.
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  7. Dec 21, 2016
    0
    To me it is incomprehensible how a musical act can go from Masterpiece to Mutilated garbage in 4 short years, there is nothing even remotelyTo me it is incomprehensible how a musical act can go from Masterpiece to Mutilated garbage in 4 short years, there is nothing even remotely similar to Bon Ivers previous music on this album. This is truly bad, I struggle to believe that anybody truly liked this, despite positive reviews.

    Im utterly shocked how Bon Iver could blurt out something like this after creating 1 utterly beautiful album and followed that up with another great album, only to completely shatter the perfect illusion like this. One of the biggest dissapointments in music I have ever experienced. I made an account here just to write this.
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See all 52 User Reviews