Alt-J burst onto our radar with their song Breezeblocks back in 2012, and ever since then they have released hit after hit, each as intriguing and well put together as the next.
Their new album RELAXER is another amazing record, however, there’s one downside. Their previous two album’s, ‘An Awesome Wave’, and ‘This Is All Yours’, had 14 songs each, whereas this new album has a measly 8. While the songs are strong, and each one deserves its place on this album, you can’t help but be left wanting more. It feels unfinished.
Apart from the length of the album, everything else about this is positive. They have kept to their usual style with their intriguing lyrics, while still changing things up a bit. You can tell an Alt-J song, be it from the beat, to the distinct vocals of lead singer Joe Newman.
The stand out tracks on this are ‘In Cold Blood’, ‘3WW’, and ‘Hit Me Like That Snare’.
‘3WW’ opens the album, and is your typical Alt-J song, it’s a song with deep meaning, lyrically strong, and has a catchy rhythm that will have you listening to it on repeat despite its gloomy subject matter. The video for the song is also beautifully put together, another thing this band excels at. You don’t just get an amazing new album, you’re also guaranteed some well thought out music videos to go along with it.
‘In Cold Blood’, again like ‘3WW’, is a catchy well put together song. However, ‘Hit Me Like That Snare’ is a lot heavier in terms of beats and sounds than Alt-J are usually known for. It stands out as it’s different from most other songs on the album, but it still works.
The best way to listen to listen to this album is from start to finish, it starts of with their usual style of songs, before getting a bit more upbeat and heavy in the middle with songs such as ‘Deadcrush’ and ‘Hit Me Like That Snare’, before fading out nicely with trance like songs such as ‘Last Year’ and ‘Pleader’. The album fits together nicely. It flows well, and each song fits right where it is on the album. While I mentioned the length of the album as a negative it can also be seen as a positive. Listening to the album from start to finish is the best way to do so, and the length means that each song is there for a reason, there are no fillers disrupting the flow of the album.
You can listen to RELAXER here.