‘This is All Yours’ could be all yours

Mikayla Whittemore, Entertainment Writer

Lounging in the back seat of a friend’s mini van, I hadn’t been paying much attention to what music her preoccupied step-dad had been shuffling. He skipped over a tune because of some obscene profanity that blared, swearing to us (mostly his wife) that it was a good song despite the explicit content, only to land on a gem that plagued my thoughts for the next couple of hours. That song was called “Breezeblocks,” created by the English band, Alt-J with eerie lyrics that incorporated lines from the children’s book “Where the Wild Things Go.” The opening lyrics of,  “She may contain the urge to run away, But hold her down with soggy clothes and breezeblocks,” were intriguing, yet seemingly unveiled a noxious relationship. After going about my business for some time, I had to seek out the answer to whether Alt-J had any more music with catchy sounds with dark lyrics, or if it was just a one-hit wonder.

Finding that “Breezeblocks” was written for their first album,  I was definitely late in the game considering they have a new album out in late September. Consisting of thirteen songs, the new album has a completely different sound from the single song that had struck me so profoundly the first time around.

The entire album bounced between around roughly three sounds, which, admittedly became monotonous. That, however, did not sway my opinion on the entire album as a whole, given the band did not fail to deliver a breathtaking quality of lyrics and an impactful choice of background noises (for example, church bells, wispy voices and the buzzing of flies).

“Intro,” “Arrival in Nara,” “Nara” and “Leaving Nara” are all rather mellow tracks, weighted heavily with piano and sleepy vibes. Despite their names, the songs don’t have much correlation besides the place Nara, which was the city in Japan that Alt-J wrote most of this album in. “Arrival in Nara,” perhaps the most interesting from the four,  was soothing in sound, yet uncanny in lyric that concludes with flies buzzing. Other similar tunes included “Choice Kingdom,” “Warm Foothills,” “Pusher” and “Bloodflood Part II.”

As for something less rainy day-ish, “Every other Freckle” and “Left Hand Free” offer a more buoyant and easygoing energy. The former melody hid obsessive lines of infatuation (“Let me be the wallpaper that papers up your room”)  behind driving drums that undoubtedly characterized the piece. The ladder has a lot of guitar with combinations of power chords and single notes with added staccato and bounce.

“Garden of England” is the instrumental interlude of the album, and sounds like a pleasant, classy version of the type of songs ice cream trucks ring. Neither “Hunger of the Pine” or “The Gospel of John Hurt” exactly fit the other categories of sleepy and upbeat, but somewhat fall in the middle of the two spectrums. “Hunger of The Pine,” however, included a line from Miley Cyrus throughout the entire song, saying, “I’m a female rebel,” which gave the tune something that the other ones lacked. This track was arguably one of the bests from the album.

Overall, “This is all Yours” was an interesting listen. The official release on iTunes was Sept. 22, but avid Alt-J fans have had sneak peeks with songs being released in advance. Although, at times the songs became blended and ran lengthy for me, I’d definitely recommend it to any friend of mine.