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New Music: alt-J

By Louie Villanueva, October 9 2014 —

This Is All Yours, alt-J’s follow-up to their platinum-selling and Mercury-Prize-winning debut, An Awesome Wave, continues the band’s inventive style of British indie-rock.

Without bassist Gwil Sainsbury, This Is All Yours feels like a second Awesome Wave in terms of sound and structure. The album starts with “Intro,” a track featuring Radiohead-like murmured lyrics, peaking drums and smooth a capella.

While songs with discernible lyrics such as “Left Hand Free” feel like alt-radio bait, “Hunger of the Pine,” “Arrival in Nara,” and “Bloodflood pt. II” stand out as alt-J staples.

The album’s second single, “Hunger of the Pine,” features a sample of Miley Cyrus’ “4×4” which prevents airtime on local radio, but adds a unique female voice to the track.

The songs “Arrival In Nara,” “Nara” and “Leaving Nara” frame the beginning and end of the album. The lyrics reflect on the Japanese city of Nara and make references to  drowning, hallelujahs and Alabama. While the references to the city are not immediately obvious, the songs are still enjoyable.

The quasi-pastoral, longing and horny lyrics of This Is All Yours lack a clear theme.

However, the album focuses on unique rhythmic patterns more than the most recent Radiohead works, which redeems it. Despite its faults, expect the unique yet listenable This Is All Yours to solidify a spot on your playlists this fall.



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