22, A Million Image
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87

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

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8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 365 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: 35 out of 49
  2. Negative: 4 out of 49
  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
    Justin Veron, again, proving himself a genius singer-songwriter, every song, every lyric, nothing in 22, A Million is straight forward, aJustin Veron, again, proving himself a genius singer-songwriter, every song, every lyric, nothing in 22, A Million is straight forward, a whole context is needed for the understanding of this album, it's why that's a not single-listening work, it need to be decomposed, every synth, every instrumental, every vocal and every listening.

    First of all, the concept of the album is full of Veron's experiences, questionings and each track has a number that means something for him in his personal life, creating this mixture of indirect lyrics that once comprehended, enhances the knowledge of Veron's personality and thoughts, making this album sort of undigestable for most.

    The intro here, self-entitled, talks about his favorite number (22) and relates it with his life experience of trying to find himself. "It might be over soon" says he, disappointed that going to the Greek islands didn't helped him at all. This cut is full of a gorgeous performance by Veron, some beautiful instrumentals hanging on the back and those weird voices saying "It might be over soon", a great track that introduces to this album's concept, it gets you ready for how experimental that album will be.

    10 d E A T h b R E a s T ⚄ has one of the best beats on the album, with again those weird voices out of nowhere helping to build the lyrics. "Darling don't make love, fight it" is maybe one of the most beautiful phrases in the album, all those chords building up the instrumentals in this track, just makes you feel in the middle of an orchestra mixed with some synths and vocals, astonishing.

    Then we move to 715 - CRΣΣKS, for me the best track in the whole album, is moves quickly from the previous one, but now in a whole silence, only with Veron's performance and a vocoder, this track starts and finishes feeling glorious and passionate. Now imagine yourself surrounded by all the beauty of the Greek islands, all that colorful landscape, but feeling empty. Veron here is talking about how he felt spiritually abandoned, standing on the beautiful reeds of Greece he's simply trying to leave there because he can't stand the fact that he failed at trying to find himself, saying "Love, a second glance, it is not something that we'll need".

    33 “GOD” caries Veron's vision about love, religion and some thoughts of duality that carries all over the album, mixed with a gorgeous performance and a beautiful piano standing at the back, this cut is one of the most thoughtful ones in the album. 666 ʇ and 21 M♢♢N WATER together represents how far Bon Iver goes with all this concept of experimentation with their own sound, two beautiful songs that may feel weird at the first listens, but fits perfectly on the album.

    Now for 8 (circle), I've never listened Veron performing like that, his vocals are just different, but what shines even more here is the back vocals and the amazing instrumentals, all these trumpets and trombones adds a whole emotional weight for the track, one of the most beautiful cuts.

    00000 Million closes up the concept, a more straight forward track, chilled out piano arrangements, but as it stills, lyrically that cut is a blast, poetic and thoughtful, "Where the days have no numbers, if it's harmed, it's harmed me, it'll harm, I let it in" represents a closure, it goes back to all the numbers in the tracks and it shows that Veron accepted his depression and did let if flows trough him until it finishes.

    22, A Million is for me Bon Iver's best work until now, the most experimental that they've ever gone, the whole concept of the album is duality, while Veron's talking about failing at finding himself, he's as well questioning life, religion and going around his life experiences, making the album feels like Veron's reflecting about his own life. It's a masterpiece, full of moments of absolute beauty and sounds that I've never experienced before, I can easily say that this is one of best records of the year if not the best one, well done Justin, well done Bon Iver.
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  3. Oct 14, 2016
    10
    I love the challenge that this record gives me as a listener. On first listen, I was a bit confused about what I was listening to. ItI love the challenge that this record gives me as a listener. On first listen, I was a bit confused about what I was listening to. It doesn't adhere to any kind of conventional structure or production, which is what I think makes this album interesting to listen to. After a few listens, I began to recognize the intricacies and sub-layers to each song.

    One user stated that this album sounds like something a high schooler would create in his electronic music class. It's clear to me that this person can't recognize the difference between controlled experimentation and noise. This album was meticulously crafted and has tons of hidden layers. I would be extremely impressed if a high schooler could pull off the level of detail crafted into this record.
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  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 5, 2016
    9
    Really good album. I love the sound and textures of it. Even within songs, some new sounds always pop up to keep things interesting. Fell inReally good album. I love the sound and textures of it. Even within songs, some new sounds always pop up to keep things interesting. Fell in love with Bon Iver after his appearances on Kanye's MBDTF, and it doesn't look like I'm falling out of love anytime soon.

    BEST: 22 (Over Soon), 8 (circle)
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  6. Oct 2, 2016
    6
    Overrated garbage. Seriously, how badly do you have to be on Bon Iver's **** to actually say this is genius? It sounds like a high schoolOverrated garbage. Seriously, how badly do you have to be on Bon Iver's **** to actually say this is genius? It sounds like a high school graduate created this in his electronic music class. Songwriting is piss poor and save for a couple beat here and there, I see no reason to listen to this again. This is coming from someone who thought his 2012 album was a 10/10.
    This is a poor man's James Blake. Also, no Kanye??
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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 49 User Reviews