Alt J – This Is All Yours

Review of the latest album from Alt J: This Is All Yours.

 

When Alt-J released Breezeblocks in 2012, thousands of skinny jeans wearing indie followers let out delirious squeals of joy, whipping off their vintage denim jackets and whirling them around in the air. You couldn’t blame them. All they had to dine on was mere scraps since Bombay Bicycle Club and The Maccabees decided to turn a bit naff. Things were starting to look good; Alt-J followed up the hype with critically acclaimed first album An Awesome Wave. The charm of the band’s experimental indie-pop sound, combined with the nasally vocals of Joe Newman, found its way into the hearts of thousands – and a contemporary music audience eagerly awaited the release of their second album. Well, it’s here. And it’s eclectic, to say the least.

 

It’s a rather eerie introduction – in which a rising cacophony of harmonies lead the listener to feel as though they’re being inducted in to a cult as opposed to an album. This all leads into second track Arrival in Nara. It’s all very clever. Nara’s not a bad place – it’s a bit dreamy and full of plucking guitars and soft piano keys… a bit like a John Lewis Christmas advert.

 

Don’t worry! Once the listener is settled in Nara, things begin to pick up a bit. A heavy electronic vibe runs through Every Other Freckle (imagine Breezeblocks, but its mardy older brother.) Left Hand Free completely shifts to the other side of the spectrum, as the Leeds born band momentarily morph into a southern blues-rock outfit. Eh? What happened there? Actually, it’s a great song. Some more of that please, lads. Flicking through the tracks, one is just getting used to the downright oddness of Garden of England (must be pretentious irony, right?) when Hunger of The Pine grips you firmly by the nads – cleverly sampling an echoed Miley Cyrus repeating “I’m a female rebel” (Miley, tha’s not; tha’s a tw*t.) As you can imagine, large chunks of the album have a very conceptual feel about them. I wish I was cool enough to say that I loved the instrumental tracks, or the complex vocal harmonies, but I’m not… and I didn’t. That said, this album is a grower – and boasts plenty of enjoyable music for those of us who don’t own Macs or thick rimmed glasses.

 

6/10 JF




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