"This Is All Yours" Alt-J

Alt J

This Is All Yours Album Review

Infectious Records

Released September 22, 2014

Genre: Indie Pop, Experimental Rock, Folktronica, Indie Folk, Art Pop

English trio Alt-J are one of the most prominent up-and-coming bands to come out of the underground music scene in the last few years. Their debut album, 2012’s spectacular An Awesome Wave, introduced the world to a band that fused together folk instrumentation and harmonies and obtuse compositions, all with a pop sensibility to create an almost unprecedented sound. Illustrious guitar leads, rich harmonies, and trip hop influenced drum beats, all with a restrained yet compelling sound, Alt-J, to this day, have been, for me, an artist to keep an eye on.

However, This Is All Yours features some of the most boring tracks the band has ever made. Rather than excite, or take their songs down surprising and visceral turns, they keep the melodies stagnant and safe, never taking a big risk to excite or intrigue. There are quite a few great songs, for example “Nara”,  a beautiful track that adds instrumentation and melodies as it progresses, till its breathtaking climax. The “western-trucker-tongue-in-cheek” joke “Left Hand Free”, despite its absurdity remains as one of Alt-J’s strongest efforts. Or even the outstanding “Every Other Freckle”, which finds Alt-J at the apex of their skills on this album, taking the weird, obtuse, and strange to new heights.

While these tracks, and some more, are all great by their own right, there are still some tracks that dissapoint. Such as the flaccid, folk tune “Choice Kingdom”, a track that sets up a good premise but doesn’t necessarily go anywhere: no surprises, no twists, and no experimenting. Additionally, the disappointing “Bloodflood Pt. II” made me excited at the chance of an alternative, hopefully even better take on their stellar An Awesome Wave cut “Bloodflood”. Yet, the track left me wanting more, as it merely bisected the song, bringing in most of the same lyrics and adding some digital instrumentation. It was not an improvement, nor was it a captivating song. It merely was just, “meh”.

THE VERDICT

While Alt-J are one of the most captivating pop bands out there, this new album of theirs doesn’t do so much. There a few tracks on here that show a very good improvement on their already recognizable sound. But for a majority of the album, the band sounds as if they don’t know which direction to go in. As if they had no guts to move forward, or in their usual fashion, towards a path we never saw coming.

FAV TRACKS: Arrival In Nara, Nara, Every Other Freckle, Left Hand Free, Hunger Of The Pine, Warm Foothills, The Gospel of John Hurt, Leaving Nara

LEAST FAV TRACKS: Choice Kingdom, Bloodflood Pt. II

Score: (6.7/10)

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