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Album Review
This Is All Yours

This Is All Yours
by Alt-J


Review Date
19th September 2014
Reviewed by
Paul Larsen

Although it’s been a couple of years, the ripples that emanated from Alt-J’s first record have only now begun to abate. While it wasn’t universally loved by critics, the Mercury Prize winning An Awesome Wave stood out as something new and unique that oft-maligned art rock and indie fans could flock to. Two years on, the English trio (albeit with a new bassist) are back with the much anticipated follow up, This Is All Yours.

As inclusive as that title is, it’s becoming clear that Alt-J’s music is not going to be everyone’s cup of Earl Grey. The masterful melodies that the band is renowned for are still here and they’re even more intoxicating than ever, but the simple, clean guitar and vocals that form the base of the record’s best moments are sometimes lost in excessive layering of periphery elements. Like a cake that’s been slightly over decorated, the superfluous xylophones, flutes and chimes sprinkled throughout run the risk of detracting from the songs impact.

Having said that, when This Is All Yours hits its mark, it hits it with absolute gusto. Singles, ‘Left Hand Free’, ‘Hunger of the Pine’ and ‘Every Other Freckle’ are all extraordinary tracks that warrant numerous (and often involuntary) taps of the repeat button. When they fall in line and sing as one, the cymbal-less drums, harmonic vocals and spiralling melodies of This Is All Yours are as exciting and engaging as music can get.


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