An Awesome Wave found alt-J lying on a triangle shaped beach on the realm of mainstream success as despite having an ‘indie’ demographic their debut managed to ride its way onto being one of the top albums of the decade (so far) as well as gaining a Mercury Prize and acquiring the title of album of the year at Ivor Novello Awards leaving the expectations for This Is All Yours at a high tide.
‘Intro’ is filled to the brim with recurring harmonious vocal samples and beguiling guitar riffs before lead-man Joe Newman sings lines centred around those in ‘Protect Ya Neck (The Jump Off)’ by Wu-Tang Clan. “Escher wanna draw shit / I pop clips / Bitch I draw my piece to my hip”
‘Hunger of the Pine’, ‘Left Hand Free’ and ‘Every Other Freckle’ are poignant portrayals of affection and the singles released from This Is All Yours. ‘Every Other Freckle’ entails unsettlingly lustful and slightly perplexing lyricism such as “I’m gonna bed into you like a cat beds into a bean bag / turn you inside out to lick you like a crisp packet / I want to be every lever you pull, and all the showers that shower you”, it’s lyrically reminiscent of Arctic Monkeys’ ‘I Wanna Be Yours’ although with an exceptionally shrewd addition of sexual innuendo.
Featuring a repetitive vocal sample of Miley Cyrus singing “I’m a female rebel” as a form of defiance against the protagonist’s adoration, ‘Hunger of the Pine’ plays on the idea of pining after someone so much you can feel it. ‘Left Hand Free’ takes less of an troubling tone as it is almost like flirting or trying to win someone over rather than pining over somebody.
Other highlights of This Is All Yours include ‘Choice Kingdom’ which is an ode to England following after ‘Garden of England’ an instrumental interlude which sounds quintessentially English. ‘Warm Foothills’ is sang by Newman and is also spliced with words by Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes), Lianne La Havas, Sivu and Marika Hackman which adds more variety and density over a mystical rhythm.
‘Pusher’ involves Newman singing of the idea of true love over a simple guitar rhythm which appears dissimilar of alt-J without their Nintendo-like beats and 70s synthesisers in the background. ‘Nara’ interestingly explores the idea of gay marriage as ‘Leaving Nara’ continues this theme.
This Is All Yours is excellently written both lyrically and musically, you can feel every word sang with every musical facet as it all travels from your ears, through your bloodstream as it sways your body and captures your brain throughout.