I am going to feature three songs from Bon Iver’s most recent album, 22, A Million. These three songs are my current favorites on the album, but I enjoy each song on the album and the album as a whole immensely.

This song is the third track on the album, entitled 715-CRΣΣKS. This is the way the lyrics were printed in Bon Iver’s booklet for the album:


This is how Genius represents the lyrics:

Down along the creek

I remember something
Her, the heron hurried away
When first I breeched that last Sunday

Low moon don the yellow road
I remember something
That leaving wasn’t easing
All that heaving in my vines

And as certain it is evening ‘at is NOW is not the Time’


Toiling with your blood
I remember something
In B, un—rationed kissing on a night second to last
Finding both your hands
As second sun came past the glass

And oh, I know it felt right
And I had you in my grasp

Oh, then how we gonna cry?
Cause it once might not mean something?
, a second glance

It is not something that we’ll need
Honey, understand that I have been left here in the reeds
But all I’m trying to do is get my feet out from the crease

And I’ll see you
Turn around, you’re my A-Team
Turn around, now, you’re my A-Team
God damn, turn around now
You’re my A-Team

I heard a complaint/argument concerning this whole album. The music critic felt unenthused about how none of the songs feel whole, how they don’t have a beginning, a middle, and an end. I love songs that have “a beginning, a middle, and an end.” However, a song doesn’t have to have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Bon Iver might actually be getting at truth when he makes songs that don’t feel complete. Humans don’t feel complete. We do not feel whole. I think that an album like Bon Iver’s 22, A Million might be picturing reality when he makes a fragmentary-feeling album – an album that in its fragmentation still remains one of the most beautiful albums I have heard.

I do understand that someone could dislike the album for many reasons. However, those reasons might actually be an intention act on the side of the artist, Bon Iver/Justin Vernon et. al. On example would be the fragmentary feel of this album (which, I might add, exists in the lyric writing Bon Iver and For Emma, For Ever Ago). 


4 thoughts on “715- CRΣΣKS

  1. This music critic articulates my problem with Bon Iver’s new album, which is similar to the problem that arose with the electropop experiment of Sufjan Stevens’ album “The Age of Adz.” There are moments that work and work really well, but overall it is not a sound or style that earns repeated listening after the novelty wears off:

    Bon Iver’s new album, 22, A Million, buzzes with strange vocals. Sped-up and syrupy samples dart around as Vernon’s voice gets pitch-shifted, multi-tracked, or distorted as if beamed from a malfunctioning satellite. The underlying music strains for surprise at every turn, using incongruous rhythms, fleets of wheezing saxophone, and song structures as nonlinear as a stream of water making its way across rough pavement. Many tracks feature the Messina, an instrument that Vernon and a studio engineer invented, and one song was recorded onto a crumpled-up cassette tape so as to cause imperfections. All of this is an attempt to make it new; all of this creates intrigue but also distance between the singer and the listener that sometimes is too great to be overcome.

    Source: https://www.google.com/amp/www.theatlantic.com/amp/article/502259/?client=safari


    • I think that all these problems that people have with the album are justified.

      Yet, in what you quoted there seems to be an assumption that I wouldn’t agree with. “All of this is an attempt to make it new.” I would disagree and day that all the experimental and electronic ventures done on the album are done for more than just novelty.


      • I do not have a hard-and-fast rule about a musician upholding an exclusive sound and style, but my introduction to a musician will develop affection and create expectation. For me, Bon Iver is captured by what Rolling Stones music critic Will Hermes calls the “forlorn indie folk” of 2007’s “For Emma, Forever Ago.” The band’s second album, “Bon Iver, Bon Iver” (2011), was familiar enough with some modest variations but it now seems transitional with this latest album. Hermes puts it well: “Vernon completely breaks from his guitar-hugging persona, leaving it in the woods like a Coen brothers corpse as he flexes a mastery of processed vocals, samples, loops, beats, synths and noise, along with more familiar trappings.” I, for one, miss the “guitar-hugging persona.” Analogies are helpful. The bold experimentation with Bon Iver’s “22, A Million” reminds me of U2’s “Zooropa,” Sufjan Stevens’ “The Age of Adz,” and Arcade Fire’s “Reflektor,” which are all decent albums with moments of brilliance, but pale in comparison to the prevailing sound and style that characterizes those musicians.


  2. Yes, I understand the great change Bon Iver has made. It is way different. But it is important to note that there is even a decent shift between his first and second albums. Also, it’s not as if his first two albums lack any electrical flares. Ever since the first time I listened to Bon Iver, I have always thought it sounded (in a pleasing and good way) synthesized.

    Our different reactions could be attributed to many different factors: our different personalities/temperaments, our different expectations for the album, our slightly differing music tastes, etc… I would just have to say that if Bon Iver had made an album that still sounded like For Emma, Forever Ago and Bon Iver, I would have begun to feel as if he had 30 of the same (sort of) song. This third album, at least for me, makes sense of his past two albums and the change he made between those two – even if this change is way more drastic.


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