By: Jeremiah Wilhelm -
alt-J returns with a new album that is anything but sophomoric. The savvy second addition, This Is All Yours, totes a quiver of swooning choruses and a vibrant lyrical vision. Each song transports the listener into a textured dreamscape far beyond boundaries of the typical and dares to deny convention while still growing the melodic anatomy established by their first album.
… our musical sojourn begins with the “Intro”, an auditory aperitif that sets the tone with spoken-word rhythms. But just as you feel yourself taking off, you’ve arrived. “Arrival in Nara” is almost penitent.
Similar to An Awesome Wave, our musical sojourn begins with the “Intro”, an auditory aperitif that sets the tone with spoken-word rhythms. But just as you feel yourself taking off, you’ve arrived. “Arrival in Nara” is almost penitent. Joe Newman howls over minimalist riffs until the song strides exuberantly forward into “Nara.” This sounds like the old alt-J, which is a compliment to the 2012 Mercury Prize winners. The band continues to blend intricately curated musical layers with groomed lyricism. This fact is demonstrated best in the song, “Left Hand Free.”
Topping the Billboard Alternative charts, “Left Hand Free” offers a fresh taste of alt-J’s eclectic musical repertoire. With a bluesy backbone and devil-may-care attitude, the song simply rocks harder than any other song the band has released. And fans are all about it! The song has received some significant action on Triple-A radio.
The lion’s share of the album is whimsical and unconventional while remaining deft.
But that’s only the beginning. The lion’s share of the album is whimsical and unconventional while remaining deft. This outstanding paradox can be seen in “Choice Kingdom”, a beautiful, if not sarcastic ode to Crown and Country which is sharply contrasted by “Hunger of the Pine”, seamlessly blending a synthesized heartbeat and what sounds like a full pit orchestra against Miley Cyrus chanting, “I’m the female rebel.” The song ends with a quote from French poet, Alfred de Musset, “A great hope has crossed the earth/ A great hope has crossed my fear.” It is this type of lyrical flourish that is rare in modern music, but that I have come to expect from alt-J.
This Is All Yours offers the alt-J faithful a well-dressed host of familiar vibrations, but also opens up its heady atmospheres to a broader audience. And with Top 5 success “Left Hand Free” and the recent debut of “Every Other Freckle” there is no slowing this Folktronica dynamo down.