Bon Iver - 22, A Million
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After a few years spent working on things other than Bon Iver, time spent sorting out heavy personal issues, and a radical rethink of the style that launched Justin Vernon's project to the upper reaches of indie folk popularity, the always searching musician returned in 2016 with an album that redefined Bon Iver in dramatic fashion.
22, A Million is a complicated and intricate record that features chopped-up lyrics, altered vocals, sped-up samples, alternately shimmering and clipped keyboards, treated saxophones, and the occasional gently strummed guitar. Through most of the challenging album, Vernon and his collaborators create miniature structures of sound and space, letting his vocals drift and cascade through sparse and fractured constructs like a lost soul wandering through empty futuristic streets. It's a long way from intimate folk songs recorded in a remote Wisconsin cabin.