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alt-J – This Is All Yours // Community Review

alt-j

alt-jThis Is All Yours //

Breakout English indie rockers alt-J’s heavily anticipated sophomore release is now out, and you can listen to it below. This Is All Yours is as divisive with the BAM Team as it is across the board.

What are your thoughts on alt-J’s second album? Leave your own quick review in the comments below for a chance to win two tickets to one of the following shows in SF this weekend:

The author of our favorite quick review will win a pair of tickets to their choice of show, and will be notified on Thursday, September 25th. Read the BAM Team’s reviews of Aphex Twin’s latest below, and contact us if you’re interested in writing for Showbams.


BAM TEAM META-RANKING:
3-5-bams_fix2

With their second album, alt-J continue to explore familiar, lush and ambient textures. Less poppy and overstuffed with ballads, the album feels less powerful than An Awesome Wave and drags during some stretches. While the soundscapes are beautiful and the arrangements still interesting, the album leaves you a little unsatisfied. It’s worth a listen, but not many. -Steven Wandrey
2.5 BAMS // Top Song: Left Hand Free

This Is All Yours burns slow in the first 15 minutes or so before breaking down the door with “Every Other Freckle” – a song that beckons to the brilliance of An Awesome Wave. The genre-bending trio slowed things down a bit, going a bit more inward, crafting something more haunting than we’ve heard from them prior. The pace and overt studio trickery (see: “Hunger of the Pines”) tends to distract, even detract, from this becoming the critical success that their debut was, but fans of the freaky Englishmen are sure to revel in this fresh batch of tunes. -Kevin Quandt
3 BAMS // Top Song: Every Other Freckle

alt-J certainly bring it on This Is All Yours – it being a swirling mix of electro dub pop, folk and alt-rock — creating an album that serves as a worthy sophomore effort to the out-of-left-field-breakthrough An Awesome Wave. The newest effort is at its best when the British indie rockers lead with their guitars and deftly layer the electronic elements on top (“Left Hand Free”), but they aren’t afraid to flip the script leading to some skippable tracks (“Arrival in Nara”) but also the truly epic, Miley Cyrus sampling dub-groove standout that is “Hunger of the Pine.” alt-J still need to figure out exactly who they are, but it’s a pretty entertaining ride listening to them try. -Dale Johnson
3.5 BAMS // Top Song: Left Hand Free

This Is All Yours is a tough nut to crack. The sophomore release from alt-J is a smooth and casual jaunt through a complicated soundscape, inducing images of a jungle adventure to a downed alien spacecraft. Shifting tempos and scattered instrumentation prove to be a difficult distraction. It listens like a cryptic riddle that entangles your brain in auditory confusion and denies you access to the answer. -Scotland Miller
3.5 BAMS // Top Song: Hunger of the Pine

Given that alt-J are a band that is hard to pin down stylistically, on their sophomore release This Is All Yours, they opted to go with consistency rather than pivoting.  Much like their debut album, each song has unique qualities that force the listener to engage with each track individually.  I like a good challenge. -Andrew Pohl
3.5 BAMS // Top Song: Left Hand Free

It was only a little more than two years ago when alt-J first opened our ears to the folktronica grooves that surfaced on their debut full-length record An Awesome Wave. Yet, even with a prestigious Mercury Prize firmly stamped on its résumé, the Leeds-based band doesn’t let itself get too comfortable on This Is All Yours. While alt-J has quickly gone from quartet to trio after the departure of founding member Gwil Sainsbury earlier this year, they haven’t toned down their experimental tendencies all that much. “Left Hand Free” could pass as their most pop-centric hit to date — unless you count the homage they pay to Miley Cyrus a few songs later on “Hunger of the Pine” — but the 13-track album offers plenty of uniquely eccentric moments that we’ve grown accustomed to from alt-J. Whether it’s lead vocalist Joe Newman pronouncing that “Love is a pharaoh and he’s boning me” on the hypnotically beautiful “Nara” or reciting more sexually-charged lines like “I’m gonna bed into you like a cat beds into a beanbag / Turn you inside out and lick you like a crisp packet” on the ensuing cut “Every Other Freckle,” This Is All Yours continues where An Awesome Wave left off, further cementing alt-J’s place among the other great indie contemporaries across the pond. -Josh Herwitt
4 BAMS // Top Song: Nara

alt-J looks to lead the pack of brilliant music coming from the UK, separating themselves from their peers with this unique and thoughtful concept album. This Is All Yours is ambitious and arousing, a carousel of instrumentation that sends the listener into whatever utopia their mind lusts after. alt-J doesn’t abandon their typical platform of worldly and primitive sounds featuring tribal rhythms and chants juxtaposed with obscure guitar riffs, medieval woodwinds and balanced electronic accompaniments. It’s pretty safe to say there is no other current band that sounds like alt-J. -Anthony Presti
4 BAMS // Top Song: Every Other Freckle


WIN 2 FREE SHOW TICKETS BY SHARING YOUR OWN QUICK REVIEW:
Leave your own quick review below as a comment. Write no more than five sentences, give your own BAM Ranking and pick your top song. If you’d like to win two tickets to one of these shows, simply write the name of the show you’d like to win under your review.

Hercules and Love Affair (Live) + Tensnake this Friday 9/26 at Mezzanine
The Orwells this Saturday 9/27 at Slim’s
Simian Mobile Disco this Saturday 9/27 at Mezzanine

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Comments

  1. John Thickle says:

    The sequencing with the new album is troublesome and often breaks up the momentum, a problem that doesn’t exist with An Awesome Wave. “Arrival in Nara” is cinematic but a huge waste in the two-hole — The fly at the end of the song is the most eventful part. “Choice Kingdom” and “Warm Foothills” almost neuter “Hunger of the Pine” by proxy. And it says something when one of the best songs, “Bloodflood pt.II”, finds alt-J remixing themselves.
    3.0: Top Song: The Gospel of John Hurt

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