After five years of waiting, Bon Iver has finally dropped an album. It is entitled 22, A million.
So far, after at least a week of listening, I have to say, it has been worth the wait. And I have no doubt, it will be on repeat for the next five years – in my house at least.
The album, is a slight deviation from their older stuff.
They still use a variation of sounds, carefully and incredibly manipulated, to make for beautiful listening.
But this time it seems, they have taken it a step further. Some of the sounds on it are much harsher, and almost uncomfortable, to the unprepared ear.
Their older stuff was also a little bit sadder, I think.
This time, it feels like a mixture of emotion. Ups and downs, but it is a lot more beautiful in its diversity.
While I also enjoy the fact that they have continued with the almost 100% falsetto vocals, there are tracks – such as 8 (circle) and __45__ – where you can clearly hear Justin’s raw voice. Once in a while it is quite pleasant to hear them do this.
In the lead up to the album’s release, Justin Vernon sat down with a group of journalists and explained the process behind this project. Explaining how he felt during the making of the album, he told reporters:
“I think it’s that thing of wanting to bash things apart a little bit and break through some stuff. And I needed it to sound a little radical to feel good about putting something out in the world. For me, it’s not embarrassing, but the old records are of this kind of sad nature—I was healing myself through that stuff. Being sad about something is okay. And then wallowing in it, circling though the same cycles emotionally just feels boring. For this one, there’s still some dark stuff and whatever, but I think cracking things, making things that are bombastic and exciting and also new, and mashing things together, and explosiveness and shouting more, I think that was the zone. I think shouting. Whispering was maybe the thing before. But this time—(hits his keyboard and makes a loud robot sound)”.
It is definitely not one of those albums you just listen to really quickly and pick a favourite song. You can’t do that.
It must be listened to, over and over again.
If asked to describe the album in a single sentence, I would simply say: “It’s journey music”.
A variation of incredible sounds, broken down for our pleasure.
Find the album on iTunes. You won’t regret it.