Review: This is All Yours – Alt-J

Aisling Philippa chills out to Alt-J’s newest album.

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Cover artwork for Alt-J album This is All Yours.

The best way to describe Alt-J‘s second offering is that of a hipster backing track for those times you’re the angst-ridden protagonist looking wistfully out a rain-speckled window from this year’s biggest teen movie. But don’t mistake that for being an entirely bad thing.

It’s hard to be drawn to their sound on first listen, which doesn’t offer anything particularly distinguishable to the listener. Ambiguous vocals threaded through indistinctive lyrics make for a confusing experience – that is, until the realisation that there’s no real need to understand what’s precisely happening to truly enjoy the album.

This is All Yours can at times feel like an arduous trek through a collection of slow-paced, and slightly jarring, numbers. Intro doesn’t seek to engage until two minutes into the track, when the distorted chorus begins. Every Other Freckle leaves the audience with the not-so-subtle imagery of a voracious sexual appetite, with 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’, while Hunger of the Pine has the surprising addition of Miley Cyrus sampling to carry the song. Left Hand Free is the definitive standout from the record with its pop-like, catchy riffs – which, strangely enough, doesn’t subscribe to the typical Alt-J sound.

The true victory of This is All Yours is bewitching its audience through its second listen. The minute nuances of gentle guitar plucking accompanied with melancholic violins, the urgency of the grunge-y frantic undertones and the draw of haunting crooning voices enrapture and build a connection with audiences from its technical exploration. It knows its fan base, and doesn’t seek to please anyone but the most steadfast, and on seeking to traverse what This is All Yours has to offer again, suddenly the listener isn’t just on a trek – but on a journey.

WATCH: Alt-J – Left Hand Free

 

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