Album Review: Alt-J’s ‘This Is All Yours’

Annie Zaleski

Three stars

Alt-J This Is All Yours

British band Alt-J’s stark, Bon Iver-inspired acoustic folk is frequently dissected by waves of electronic abstraction and pastoral psychedelia. The group’s second effort, This Is All Yours, is what Kid A might’ve sounded like had it been created by Sigur Rós. There are 11 flutes and chirping bird noises (the enchanted forest-like “Garden of England”), wailing vocal harmonies and whispery acoustic guitars (“Pusher”), and blissed-out keyboard droning augmented by pickled guitars (the dour Pink Floyd homage “Nara”).

But while pleasant enough, This Is All Yours could use more distinctive arrangements and memorable songs; highlights include the ominous, synth-heavy “Hunger of the Pine” (which features a molasses sample of Miley Cyrus’ “4x4”) or the swampy blues trudge “Every Other Freckle,” on which vocalist Joe Newman bizarrely recalls Adam Sandler’s baby-talk singing style. This Is All Yours is a soothing listen in the moment—but doesn’t linger.

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  • It has become more political, with songs about the #MeToo movement and bias in the news. And its sound is noticeably more aggressive.

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