Alt-J
An Awesome Wave


4.5
superb

Review

by Pentagon USER (3 Reviews)
July 15th, 2012 | 74 replies | 6,998 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A deeply original, inventive, and catchy debut from a band with a variety of influences.

In an age in which information about a new band is splattered across the internet (ahem social media), Alt-J are still somewhat of a mystery. This is encompassed by how in their early years, they refused to show their faces in photographs, to the tumult over their name (it is the buttons you have to press to form a triangle on a mac), Alt-J are a band who only submit to the rigors of their own game.

Sonically, the album continues in a similar vein, as comparing Alt-J to any other artist would be pointless, as each song blurts and stutters with fresh new ideas and instruments. An example of this would be ‘Breezeblocks’, which starts off with a smooth R&B groove, before transforming into a more standard indie-rock affair. On the other hand, ‘Dissolve Me’ sounds like a mix between the Fleet Foxes and Foals. Despite their musical scatterbrain and experimentation Alt-J’s debut is not disorienting, as the album flows in an entirely comprehendible collection of catchy pop songs. The abundance of interludes help the album flow better as well, operating as go-between’s, of which “Interlude 3” is a perfect example of, as it sits between the strident ‘Fitzpleasure’ and more relaxed ‘Bloodflow’, and without this interlude, the two songs would not fit in together.

The lyrics on this album are as ambitious and unorthodox as well. On Breezeblocks, Joe Newman croaks “She may contain the urge to run away but hold her down with soggy socks and breezeblocks / Germolene, disinfect my scene, my love.” These lyrics are not your usual Valentine’s note yet it really is Alt-J’s own style of taking on the old that marks this an exciting record.


The charm of this album is the fact that Alt-J’s musical scatterbrain works. Before dissipating into the disappointing album closer ‘Taro’ ,Alt-J takes you onto a journey across many different genres and instruments, and akin to the XX, whose debut many considered too rounded for a debut, Alt-J take you on a complete journey which may be young and vibrant enough to be considered a road trip, yet somehow void of naivety. This debut is strong, addictive, and catchy, perfect for any mood, anywhere.


user ratings (537)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Pentagon
July 15th 2012


1998 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Aoty so far for me.
Here's a song to give a feel of the album : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RL37o_nylH8



AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
July 15th 2012


7334 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pretty good review scene as it's only your third. A few tips...

i) You use the word 'as' too much. There are quite a few instances where it's unnecessary, eg 'The lyrics on this album are as ambitious and unorthodox as well.'

ii) There's not really any point in talking about interludes. It's fine to discuss flow, but in my experience it's usually not an area which requires that much detail.

iii) The second sentence in the third paragraph is far too long.

I've only listened to this once but first impressions were really good. I'll need to give it a few more spins.

deepintheorchard
July 15th 2012


644 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Finally a review! Aoty until further notice.

Pentagon
July 15th 2012


1998 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks for the tips Ali, ill implement them in my next review. And do you mean the third sentence of the second paragraph? That would make more sense to me.

@ deep, agreed.

LifeAsAChipmunk
July 15th 2012


4854 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah it's pretty good.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
July 15th 2012


7334 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

No I meant the second sentence of the fourth paragraph. Complete fuck up there haha.

Pentagon
July 15th 2012


1998 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Haha ok, just read over my review again and Ive seen plenty of run-on sentences in here. Guess ill do some editing tommorrow morning heh

chambered49
July 15th 2012


1727 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

def not a 4.5 but a really impressive debut :]

LifeAsAChipmunk
July 15th 2012


4854 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, this and it's hipster shape.

Pentagon
July 16th 2012


1998 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah

jefflebowski
July 20th 2012


8242 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fucking brilliant album

Digging: Brian Eno and Karl Hyde - High Life

Pentagon
July 20th 2012


1998 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

fo sho

SYLover
July 28th 2012


4 Comments


only ever listen to breezeblocks from this

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
July 30th 2012


6448 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just my first listen, and I'm loving it immensely already!

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

chambered49
July 30th 2012


1727 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

haha!

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
August 14th 2012


3767 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is really cool.

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
August 15th 2012


6448 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Gonna see them tomorrow *stoked*

jefflebowski
August 15th 2012


8242 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

damm, i bet they're awesome live

Pentagon
August 15th 2012


1998 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

nice man, I was gonna see them at Pukkelpop this year but wasn't able due cause of a last minute holiday change. Have fun though!

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
August 15th 2012


6448 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You live in Belgium as well Pentagon? Sweet!



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