Album Reviews - Reviews

Alt-J – This Is All Yours


Alt-J rose to success in 2012 having already been together for five years. All this time meant that their first album was the result of five years of hard work; the best tracks to come out of long hours spent in the studio. Arriving just two years later, people might not have thought that This Is All Yours would be able to satisfy the fans. The good news is that it does not disappoint.

Despite the departure of Gwil Sainsbury (bassist and vocalist), the band’s new album equals the sound of artistic harmony and chemistry that fans fell in love with on An Awesome Wave. Joe Newman’s vocals continue to be as captivating and as hypnotising as always. Lyrically Alt-J are and always have been deceptive, intricate and incredibly intelligent, with songs having hidden messages and back stories, which leads to the album beings somewhat of a discovery. You could study this album for weeks and would still find so many different layers. ‘Every Other Freckle’ seems to be at first endearing and innocent, before revealing an abundance of innuendo (and sometimes some pretty direct sexual references). That being said, this is also a stand out song as it has the typical Alt-J sound whilst still giving the fans something new. ‘Pusher’ is a beautiful, more slow-paced acoustic song that gives the album less of a one-dimensional feel. It shows a different side to the band and it stands at the same standard as the rest of their material.

Amidst all the impressive sides of the album, there are a few faults. The album is not as impressive as its predecessor, but then asking it to be so might be a little bit too demanding. It does lack, however, a certain bit of the original charm and distinguished sound that Alt-J once had. There is undeniably a slightly poppier sound to the album. That being said, one of the many things to love about Alt-J is their unpredictability and risk-taking attitude, and with this approach comes an almost inevitable chance of missing the mark slightly or going a little bit too far. Honestly, the best word to describe ‘This Is All Yours’ is mesmerising. Orla Conway

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