Alt-J, the English indie rock band by way of Leeds, England, released the follow-up to their well-received debut album An Awesome Wave last week, and after listening to it through a couple of times, I can honestly say that this album (This Is All Yours) is different than anything I’ve listened to in a long time. With the success of their first album with songs like Breezeblocks and Tessellate, I believe that the group felt much more comfortable taking chances to show their originality, quirks, and reveal a much closer version to the kind of music that they would like to be making with this sophomore album.
This Is All Yours is a more laid back album and incorporates all kinds of different sounds, blending genres together in a way that lets the songs groove over the length of each track. They flip-flop from Rock to a much more delicate but not so much folk-y side. Just because it’s acoustic, doesn’t make it folk music. It’s not so much folk as it is a more dialed down and rounded version of their songs that gets you bobbing your head. All of their songs have a relaxed groove (I keep coming back to that word) to them that just makes them so damn easy to listen to.
I agree with reviews I’ve read about the album that it tackles the ‘Internet Age’ of music really well. A lot of synth type of stuff is mixed in on top of some of the songs that you wouldn’t think would work, but it almost always does. It’s very easy to listen to multiple times and is ambitious and innovative with an exploratory approach to it that probably makes it feel more expansive than it actually is.
Check out these two songs from the album. It feels like they would come from not only two different albums but two different groups altogether.
“Left Hand Free”
If you couldn’t tell, the spliced together the leader singer of Alt-J, Joe Newman, with lyrics from Conor Obrest, Lianne La Havas, Sivu, and Marika Hackman. I had no idea there was that many girl voices in the song. I could definitely differentiate the Newman, another guy (which is Obrest), and at least one girl, but I would have never guessed it was three different girls. It’s just a really cool concept for a song.
Most Recommended Listen: Other than the two songs above, “Every Other Freckle”
Album Rating: 8.5/10