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Before we go on, we must say we have been waiting on this one… 
 
Alt-J’s reputation has been growing in shimmering beauty ever since their debut album sent shockwaves through the galaxy of alt-indie music. ‘An Awesome Wave’ was exactly that; it was a debut of such startling quality that it left most thinking ‘do these guys even have it in them to better that?’ Well, we have been listening to the follow-up for the past couple of days and it is safe to say that they have done a pretty decent job of fortifying their legacy as the go-to easy listeners in the current indie crop. 
 
Album Review - Alt-J ‘This Is All Yours’
Alt-J have stuck to what they know throughout ‘This Is All Yours’. The time old ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ could not be more true in this instance. Customary and clean (and reliable) instrumental melodies coupled with charming vocal harmonies dominate the release. Each of the fourteen tracks twinkle and tantalise throughout (‘Choice Kingdom’ is a stand-out); progressive keys, heightened ‘oohs and aahs’ culminate in expertly crafted drops and (for want of a better term) anti-drops. As mentioned previously, it is customary Alt-J and we love it. We have next to no clue what they are singing about at the best of times, but the sonic prowess on display makes up for that.
 
The key, overriding theme that runs through the entire album is one of refinement. With most bands who hit the big time with album number one, album number two is never about ‘remodelling’ or ‘reinventing’ but more about ‘fortifying’ and ‘refining’. We hear progression at pretty much every turn as we complete listen number four of the full album, but we do not hear anything revelatory.
 
Album Review - Alt-J ‘This Is All Yours’
Lead singles ‘Hunger Of The Pine’ and ‘Left Hand Free’ are the premium examples of both ends of this spectrum; they are both prize pop cuts of the highest order, the tracks that showcase the subtle, yet extremely powerful advancements in Alt-J’s sound from album number one to today, from instantly catchy (Left Hand Free) to rich with texture (Hunger Of The Pine). Again, subtlety is key - layers of extremely accomplished production and a token Miley Cyrus sample or two makes for something quite unlike anything else currently on the market.
 
‘This Is All Yours’ is an accomplished and extremely well executed follow-up to 2012’s ‘An Awesome Wave’. Sure, it was never going to strike as much of a potent cord as album number one, but then again, unless the Alt-J boys had gone down a path of ‘total reinvention’ this was always going to be the case.
Posted 16th September by Thom
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