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Alt-J’s second studio album, This Is All Yours, was released September 22nd, 2014. This is a follow up album to their debut album An Awesome Wave, which was released in May of 2012.
I’ve been a fan of the band, who has been referred to as “the new Radiohead”, since their first album. While that nickname is a bit of a stretch, since Radiohead has eight albums and alt-J just released their second, the bands do have a few things in common: computers, guitars, and being from England.
This Is All Yours opens with a track appropriately titled Intro. Their first album An Awesome Wave also starts with a track called Intro, so obviously we’re seeing a trend here. Alt-J’s albums tend to tell a story through their music, and it’s easy to tell that they are making a story through their song titles. The second track is titled Arrival In Nara, and the third is titled Nara, so whatever or wherever Nara is, it’s a key part of the album. Arrival In Nara is full on mellow, quiet piano and then lead singer Joe Newman’s quiet and soothing voice comes in about two minutes in the song. The next song, Nara, starts to build things up a bit. The momentum of the album increases with each song, which adds to the feeling of it telling a story.
The fifth track, Left Hand Free, is definitely one of my favorites off the whole album. It speeds things up with bluesy guitar chords and vocals, which isn’t usually alt-J’s style. People tend to be scared when an artist moves away from their usual sound, but Left Hand Free incorporates Newman's distinct vocals and some signature alt-J electronic influences to make the song a recognizable alt-J song.
The most interesting track on the album is without a doubt Bloodflood Pt. II. An Awesome Wave has the song titled Bloodflood. Bloodflood Pt. II is essentially the same song, yet it’s a totally different song at the same time, with just different music in the background and a few lyric changes. It’s incredible how they were able use the same lyrics to make two completely different sounding songs, on different albums. Bloodflood Pt. II starts out with a quiet piano intro, like most alt-J songs, then erupts into a beautiful, chilling, powerful masterpiece of a song.
This Is All Yours is overall an incredible album. If you liked An Awesome Wave, you’ll love this one. If you love any music, you’ll probably love this album because it’s just that great. Comment with any suggestions for a review you may have!