Alt-J: This is All Yours (Infectious)

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Alt-J: Warm Foothills
Alt-J: This is All Yours (Infectious)

Much as I liked the debut album by this British outfit An Awesome Wave and said they seemed likely to be the Next Indie.Cult Thing to go bigger, I certainly had reservations about seeing them live.

Their music was so studio-crafted and often inward looking that I couldn't see how it would translate live. Well, I saw them and although I concede others liked them much better than I did , but I felt my reservations were right.

They are clever, and this album is more such refined cleverness . . . but it rarely has any traction or adhesiveness. It is one of those "Hmm that's nice" (the delicate Arrival in Nara/Nara) but "That's annoyingly oddball" (the silly aren't-we-quirky punkabilly stomp of Left hand Free) albums of separate parts.

Let's not go there on the lyrics either: "I'm gonna bed into you like a cat beds into a beanbag, turn you inside out and lick you like a crisp packet". That's from Every Other Freckle which borrows it's "Hey!" punctuations from the Lumineers.

The Gospel of John Hurt ("chest bursts like John Hurt") is a strange but beguiling piece. 

There's a flute interpolation apropos of not much at all, Warm Foothills has a choral opening and a nicely weaving vocal line (and whistling) and the final 16 minute piece Leaving Nara makes me think this Mercury Prize-winning outfit is now The Band Most LIkely to Go Prog-folk.

Very patchy indeed. 

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