By: Inaara Sumar
alt-J has outdone themselves yet again with this beautifully innovative new record. This is All Yours will take you on an anything but ordinary experience of indie rock vibes followed by hints of soft alternative that only alt- J could’ve created. Somehow the UK-based band has managed to keep their intricate sound that their fans know and love, while still creating something completely different that pushes the indie world to a more radical place.
alt-J’s freshman effort, An Awesome Wave, surprised listeners with its unconventional sound that had them pegged as Radiohead’s torchbearers, and the band has since aimed to continue down that experimental vein. Having not heard new material from the band since 2012, listeners will be pleased to hear a sense of maturity. Starting with Joe Newman’s vocal range beautifully spotlighted throughout the album, the band seems to be getting more extensive with each release. Newman’s unorthodox sound tapers perfectly to the band’s eccentric style, tying the whole operation together while not acting too dissonantly.
The album picks up with the aptly titled “Intro,” showcasing some of their featured a capella dancing into electronic, vibes and rumbling drums. This is All Yours then moves on to tracks based around the band’s experience in a small town in Japan, Nara, which is where the influences of the track names “Arrival in Nara,” “Nara,” and “Leaving Nara” originated from. The fourth track, “Every other Freckle,” highlights the band’s flair for heavy, dramatic beats that will leave any listener in a trance. The album picks back up with “Left Hand Free,” exhibiting some of the band’s grittiness with newly adopted classic guitar riffs.
“Hunger of the Pine,” a track that features a sample of Miley Cyrus’ “4×4” contributes a deep cohesive melody that really tops off the album’s creative standards. The final track, “Leaving Nara,” sums up every aspect of the multiple dimensions of alt-J, hitting everywhere from soft notes on a piano to the heavy electronic bass featured multiple times throughout the album.
This is All Yours is as progressive as it gets when it comes to modern day alternative. This album was a risk taken with no fear of the mainstream, and I don’t think it could’ve been executed any better. If you’re looking for something beautifully abnormal then it’s definitely worth a listen.