Album Review: Bon Iver delivers unique and unexpected sound


Mario Saldana, Reporter

It’s been about five years since Bon Iver released their recent critically acclaimed self-titled album “Bon Iver.” That became a modern classic, but after that it has been a while since we’ve heard anything from them. With break-up rumors and being on hiatus for a while, Bon Iver is back and delivers a whole new different experience with their new album “22, A Million.”

“22, A Million” delivers a whole new sound that’s far from their folk sound that put them on the map that people were really fond of, which can be looked at as a negative or a positive depending on the listener.

Though the album changes the sound Bon Iver fans are used to, don’t let the electronic/synth sound and the track names scare you.

I love the new sound this album brings. I’m a supporter of artists who are willing to try new things and experiment with their sounds touching other genres.

The type of genre and sound they portray in this album is an electronic synth-folk, which is different and sounds completely new and refreshing, picking up some influences from Kanye West’s album “Yeezus.” The roots of their recent music are still found on these tracks, just in a whole new different sound, leaving a forest or woods scene down to more of a neon-lit city night scene.

The tracks vary from many different tones, textures, styles and emotions that give the album a variety of sound, with industrial drum tracks and synth harmonies, distorted moments where you think your music player is messing up and to top it all off, chipmunk voices that make it all complete and give it a sound that does not feel like it’s being over-used.

Justin Vernon’s voice is also what makes this album so great with the signature sound he has and his lyrics. For example, “715-CREEKS” is a song that’s an auto-tuned a capella. Vernon’s voice just flows so well and has a great tone, making it seem like he’s singing over music.

His voice makes every song so unique with his haunting and soothing sound when it comes to tracks like “8 (Circle)” or that folk sounding voice that fans love in “29 #Strafford APTS.”

This album brings a lot of new things to the table, that can be taken as a positive or negative depending on the listener, but to be honest I think Bon Iver fans will be happy hearing something refreshing and new. I am sold by the electronic/synth folk sound it portrays. Even though the album is only 10 tracks long and roughly 34 minutes, it seems like this album has so much to dissect from and can take so much from it.

You never know how it’s going to go for an artist that takes another direction with music, but for Bon Iver it seems to have paid off, with a great listening experience that I hope is talked about and listened to for a long time.

(Four Stars)