alt-J
This Is All Yours


3.0
good

Review

by humblerodent USER (29 Reviews)
October 22nd, 2014 | 13 replies


Release Date: 2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Alt-J(ust ok)

The term “sophomore slump” is one dreaded by many. It’s a condition that many great artists -- Counting Crows, Nas, MGMT, Snoop Dog -- suffered from. These talented musicians stormed onto the musical scene with debut albums that blew people away but were unable to keep up the pace, following up their earth-shattering first records with tepid second offerings.

Well, I have bad news for fans of Alt-J. It appears the English band that sky-rocketed to the top of the indie rock game with 2012’s “An Awesome Wave” has fallen prey to the sophomore slump syndrome and put out a sub-par subsequent album.

That’s not to say it’s all bad. Certain tracks like “Every Other Freckle” and lead single “Hunger of the Pine” are deep and dynamic, deftly layering drums, distorted guitars, and vocal effects to produce something special. Down-tempo “Warm Foothills” uses whistling and female vocals to grasp the listener. But surpassing all of those is album standout “Left Hand Free,” which will inspire infectious head bobbing and multiple listens with a groovy bassline, catchy chorus, and phenomenal vocal performance from lead singer Joe Newman.

Unfortunately, quality tracks like those are few and far between on “This Is All Yours.” More common are snail-paced, gloomy songs like “Arrival in Nara,” “Choice Kingdom,” and “Pusher,” that start slow and either go nowhere or take so long to develop that listeners will get bored. And that’s the primary problem with Alt-J’s new album: It’s boring.

The album only runs 51 minutes, but it feels like it takes much longer than that to get through the whole thing because of poor pacing. The album’s one interlude, “Garden of England,” is a dull flute exhibition and kills any momentum that “Left Hand Free” might have brought, while the initially intriguing “The Gospel of John Hurt” is brought down by a suffocating repetitiveness that stymies the good vibes coming from the tracks before.

“An Awesome Wave” was a catchy, upbeat album with brooding undertones. “This Is All Yours” plays like a brooding album with catchy, upbeat tracks occasionally peppered throughout. This shift is an unwelcome one, especially because we know what Alt-J is capable of when firing on all cylinders. Hopefully they’ll give us a product that all of it is worth keeping next time.

The verdict: It may be all ours, but too much insipid filler will make listeners leave much of “This Is All Yours” by the wayside.



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user ratings (512)
3.3
great
other reviews of this album
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Alt-J return with a modest album that demonstrates finesse, attention to detail, and the refusal to ...



Comments:Add a Comment 
humblerodent
October 22nd 2014


252 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Originally published by The Daily of the University of Washington: http://bit.ly/1rhGKZQ



Really disappointed with this album. Their first one was so good and this one was so... meh.

Vader
October 22nd 2014


81 Comments


Not a very good review, and that summary is so lame

humblerodent
October 22nd 2014


252 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Sorry you feel that way Vader, any constructive criticism for me?

AngryJohnny
October 22nd 2014


1028 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Warm Foothills is gorgeous no doubt, and also with you on the tracks you call boring. But disagree hard on Left Hand Free, that's perhaps the worst song here, seems like a blatant attempt to gain as much airplay as possible on American radio stations and very out of place in the context of the album. I'm still gonna give you a pos though

humblerodent
October 22nd 2014


252 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks angryjohnny, I agree it was out of place and the most radio friendly, but it still struck me as the best on a mostly lackluster effort.

Yuli
Emeritus
October 22nd 2014


10767 Comments


this review feels very surface-level- i get that you think it's boring, but why? what about the sound doesn't work, and why do you think the group took this route?

Vader
October 22nd 2014


81 Comments


Omaha covered one of my criticisms. It feels like your points never really get going because just as you start getting into it, the paragraph ends. I think you should flesh out your ideas with a little more clarity. It's not a bad review per se, but I read your last ones which were much better. Hope that helped a little.

humblerodent
October 22nd 2014


252 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks people, appreciate the feedback! This quarter has been crazy busy, so I probably didn't spend as much time on this as I could have.

AngryJohnny
October 22nd 2014


1028 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

First time I listened to this I liked Left Hand Free the best, now I like it the least, but there you go.

wayfaringstranger
October 23rd 2014


274 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

disagree hard with the rating but the review isn't bad



it's really a grower, honestly.

brandontaylor
October 23rd 2014


1228 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

completely agree with this review, I found the album to be pretty disappointing as well

ZackSh33
October 23rd 2014


732 Comments


I don't know what you're talking about with Oasis - Morning Glory rules.

humblerodent
October 23rd 2014


252 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good catch ghost friend! And about Oasis... yeah I thought Morning Glory was their debut. That was lazy on my part. Changed it now.



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