Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

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February 24, 2024

Bon Iver returns with mesmerizing 22, A Million

After keeping fans waiting for five years, singer/songwriter Bon Iver has finally released a new album. The indie vocalist grew wildly popular after his 2007 album, For Emma, Forever Ago, which featured the song “Skinny Love.” People of all ages fell in love with his light, mesmerizing voice and simple guitar parts, but his new album, 22, A Million, takes a different approach.

22, A Million explores what the human voice can really do. The title track “OVER S∞∞N” replaces the raw guitar parts audience members are used to with a small clip of Justin Vernon’s (the man behind Bon Iver) own voice, which he loops under the whole track. The track “GOD” features what seems to be people talking in your ears during the entire song. While I didn’t expect to like this new take, Bon Iver’s one of a kind voice took me through the entire song, and I felt that the voices speaking in the background almost made the listening experience more personal.

Bon Iver takes a completely different approach with “715 Cr∑∑KS,” as he uses a synthesized voice instead of his own the whole time. This is so different from anything he’s done before that if it hadn’t been for the lyrics, I don’t think I would have known it was him. Even through the synthesized voice, you can hear the pain in the words “Love, a second glance it is not something that we’ll need/Honey, understand that I have been left here in the reeds/But all I’m trying to do is get my feet out from the crease.” This song proved to me that no matter how experimental Bon Iver gets, he’ll always have the raw lyrics that attract so many people.

Overall, 22, A Million is an experiment that worked in Bon Iver’s favor. The album mixes elements of dubstep and electronic with raw lyrics and vocals, making it appealing to a very wide group of people. Even though Bon Iver’s original audience was attracted to his acoustic vibe, his audience will think this album comes as a pleasant surprise.

The album is available through Spotify, Apple Music, and in physical copy through different retailers.

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Bon Iver returns with mesmerizing 22, A Million