This Is All Yours Album Review

Words: WBRU 
August 24, 2014

English indie rock band alt-J released their second album, This Is All Yours, to the US this Tuesday, September 23nd.

The interesting thing is that, a few days before their official album release, the band had the whole album streaming on Spotify. Along with the recent talk about the U2 album being released for free on iTunes, this may continue the discussion of music accessibility online. I think it’s awesome that artists stream their music for free because it gives the listeners an opportunity to listen to and share their music before deciding whether to buy if or not. This way the artists get more exposure because of the sharing network, which would be to their advantage.

After the incredible success of alt-J’s debut album, An Awesome Wave, the expectations were very high for the new album. With this incredible compilation of 14 songs, it seems like they managed to meet all of these expectations.

The songs are seemingly a part of a story from “Arrival In Nara” (track 2) to “Leaving Nara” (track 13). One might even say that the album has a Pink Floyd-esque feel to it in the effortless transitions between songs, as if the whole album was one long song.

Starting with “Intro,” we are exposed to a mix of sounds from different cultures that persists throughout the album. Towards the end of “Intro” we notice the entrance of oriental tunes that later on give way to classical guitar riffs. After this cultural mix, the peaceful “Arrival in Nara” comes in introducing the theme. Then the album goes on to“Nara” where the beats come in, and reunites us with the alt-J sound we all know and love. The surrounding feel of the song forces you to close your eyes and let yourself go. Unlike the three in the first album, the new album only has one interlude, called “Garden Of England.” The one-minute track of bird chirps and peaceful melodies serves as a break from the upbeat tempo of the fifth song “Left Hand Free,” which was the second single of the album.

The albums 8th track, “Hunger of the Pine” – the third and last single off the album – has a recurring chorus “I’m a female rebel” which was actually taken from Miley Cyrus’ song “4×4.” When alt-J’s drummer, Thom Green, was remixing her song, he was playing around with the verse and, along with Joe Newman, came up with the idea for “Hunger of the Pine.” At the end of the song we also hear some lyrics in French that would translate into “A great hope has crossed the earth./A great hope has gone through my fear.” Definitely worth translating — a powerful end to a powerful single.

The 11th song on the new album, “Pusher,” is basically acoustic guitar and vocals, which is not typical of alt-J. However, this choice gives us a chance to really hear Joe Newman’s distinctive voice and we love what we’re hearing. One of my favorites, “Bloodflood pt.II”seems to continue the theme in “Pusher” by adding a beat. With “Leaving Nara,” we come to the end of the theme. As if trying to separate the bonus track, “Lovely Day,” from the rest of the album, “Leaving Nara” has a one-minute-long silent part at the end. After the intense story that the album tells us, “Lovely Day” gives us a kind of closure by introducing a fresh and distinctive beat.

In the end, I can say that the album that’s a result of two years of work definitely deserves a lot of respect. One can tell that a lot of sweat and tears went into it and it is a great pleasure listening to the result. So, excuse me while I listen to the whole thing on repeat for the next few months… Until next time!

Check out This Is All Yours here︎︎︎ 






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