When Bon Iver dropped their new album 22, a million, no one was expecting to be listening to the things they were. Even after being told it was experimental, I had to double check to make sure the blips and glitches I heard in the first song weren’t attributed to the quality of my headphones. This album shocked both me and their fan-base, who were used to the classic Bon Iver songs: soothing, continuous, and folk. Instead, this album was full of songs that were flighty, disconnected and thus, in a way, anxious sounding. Bon Iver left behind acoustic instruments for synthetic ones, mirroring the loftier, intangible, and existential theme this album. explores The whole album is written in fragility, a state of incompleteness that breaks the current trend of over-polished and over-edited (autocorrected to perfection) music. It is fractured and faulty, and as a result, the listener is invited to join Bon Iver in their vulnerability of making. 22, a million breaks a new barrier between artist and audience, and I believe that it is this created intimacy that has driven the success of the album. It should also be noted that by naming each song with a number, and titling the album 22, a million, Bon Iver abstracts the finite, not only of musical possibilities, but of experience. The nomenclature suggests that even those things we so clearly have definitions for, such as numbers, or music genres, can be broken into a million more possibilities. This album has given me faith in the new and blooming opportunities for future music production and experience.
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