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Album Review: Alt-J

 By Brooke Karanovich

 

Alt-J is a British, alternative rock band based out of Leeds, England. On September 22, the band released their new album, “This Is All Yours,” a fourteen-track gift to the indie music community.
“This Is All Yours” is the first album the band has released since their debut album, “An Awesome Wave,” in 2012. “An Awesome Wave” was widely well received, making their next album highly anticipated. And Alt-J did not disappoint fans.
Alt-J is a band with a very distinctive sound. Their music could be classified as nothing but alternative, with a very eccentric sound to it. The lead vocalist’s voice has a great sound to it, but at the same time it’s haunting in combination with the mystical sounding, bass heavy alternative sound the bad produces. “An Awesome Wave” was an introduction to Alt-J’s sound for fans, while “This is All Yours” continues the uniqueness.
“This is All Yours” opens with a lengthy intro track filled with their traditional Alt-J vocals and a funky beat. While most album intros are made to be a quick lead in to the second track, “Intro” is a track all its own. Though it does indeed provide a nice lead in to track two: “Arrival in Nara.” Interestingly enough, track two plays as more of an intro track than “Intro,” setting up track three “Nara.”
Alt-J has an indisputable, strange sound. Once a listener decides that they like the sound though, it’s all smooth sailing. They stick to it and do it well. For fans of “An Awesome Wave”’s “Tessellate” and “Dissolve Me,” “Every Other Freckle” is a track to pay attention to. Alt-j has mastered the art of an alternative love song — making feelings come through on a seemingly innocuous track: “Every Other Freckle”
And for classic Alt-J fans, “Left Hand Free” is their single to pay attention to. The track is a great example of their signature heavy bass bad-ass vibe song. The song is about the fight for a woman that turns heated; the singer being one of the contestants. The veiled lead voice comes across, selling himself and declaring at the woman with the lyrics, “Hey shady baby I’m hot/ like the prodigal son/ pick a battle eenie meenie miney moe/ hey flower you’re the chosen one.”
“This Is All Yours” is a great album for the band. They were able to continue to appeal to their alternative fan-base without producing a completely identical album to their first hit. Alt-J avoided their sophomore slump album and produced a great continuation of their sound instead.