At the center of every album is a musical thesis. Bon Iver’s “22, A Million” is a wildly creative stab at redefining the very essence of popular music. To pull this off, experimental sounds, unusual arrangements, and lyrics that leave you guessing are brought together in an amalgamation giving birth to a full-on sensory experience. Many listeners might not respond positively to this sort of experimentation. I, for one, found it bold, refreshing, and a welcome entry from an artist who consistently gives me something I never expected.
I am not sure Bon Iver set out to change the dynamic of music. I am guessing those who end up being true pioneers never do. My sense is they set out to push internal and external boundaries, to create music they enjoy, and can be enjoyed by a wider audience. At the end of the day, this is still music, notes, rhythm, chord changes, and a beat. Yet, some music is just a replication of the past and some pushes new artistic boundaries. This is one of those rare instances where art is actually created.
For this sense of experimentation, not all artists are rewarded. Without a doubt, this collection of songs is not for everyone. Some won’t understand. Some won’t like it. Some won’t get it. That’s more than okay. For those that do, this is meant for us. We can use it to connect to one other. We can use it as fuel for our creative endeavors. We can appreciate it for its emotional range and depth. We can appreciate it for forcing us to look at the world a little bit differently.
Be good to each other,
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