alt-J - This Is All Yours

by Brian Lange. Rating:4 Release Date:2014-09-22

alt-J are here with their second album in as many years. Their already unique sound becomes immediately evident on 2014’s This is All Yours, which starts out in an almost exclusively a cappella track, fittingly titled 'Intro'. 

The members of alt-J formed while going to university in Leeds. They likely bonded over female troubles, drugs, and music. Because of restrictions on sound in their dormitory, they were forced to keep volume low and this in turn shaped their unique style and sound for their first record, An Awesome Wave. 

One of the issues for this record is the overwhelming similarity between all the tracks. It will sound as if you’re listening to the same song some 14 times. There is little variance between the tracks, which suggests a huge creative slump or mental block, likely chalked up to too many drugs. Having said that, there is definitely going to be that specific group of people that say it's great music for “making love” and “getting high”. 

Another point would be the absolute mess of what should be a solid and well-conceived unit of work. The writing, instrumentation, and execution is disjointed and lazy. Though alt-J have achieved a significant amount of notoriety for their first record, there are many bands that are making 'this kind' of music that are more talented and have conceptualized their work into something meaningful.

There is quite the cult following for alt-J; God forbid any naysayers speak negatively about the work. The music seems to lack substance, depth, and the harmony necessary for a genre that desperately wants to be indie enough to be the next Radiohead. Sometimes artists simply ride the wave of luck they’ve been handed and keep on it until the wave dies. That time is approaching rapidly. 

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