- Audio CD (28 May 2012)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: CD
- Label: Infectious/PIAS
- ASIN: B007RX32XK
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (308 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,496 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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An Awesome Wave CD
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Debut studio album by the self-proclaimed 'folk-step' band. It debuted in the top 20 of the UK Albums Chart and features the songs 'Matilda' and 'Breezeblocks'.
It’s hard to place Alt-J. Originally from Leeds, they spend their time in a Cambridgeshire basement making their own brand of uniquely dubbed "folk-step". However, the noises that An Awesome Wave emits far escape the dull, dark depths such a creative location suggests. Instead, it’s a stunning and encompassing affair of both innovative and electrifying musicianship and exemplary song writing.
Comparing Alt-J to contemporary artists or listing their influences is almost pointless. Each song blurs, stutters, and explodes across a tide of instruments and ideas, fresh and addictive. Breezeblocks is early Mystery Jets with Orange Juice choruses while Dissolve Me is post-Skins generation Foals cuddling up to Fleet Foxes by the campfire. It has moments of slick RnB, gorgeous folk harmonies, and even a choir of children glossing nostalgic school memories.
This album spans every workable idea, genre, and influence that can be crammed under the guitar music umbrella, yet it never feels disorientating. Instead, what swoons gracefully through speakers is an entirely comprehendible and accessible collection of beautiful pop songs.
Movement is key on this album. Samples and sounds cascade and cross with elegance, but it’s Joe Newman’s lead vocal that acts as the cement, pulling everything together and guiding it seamlessly into making sense.
Even the lyrics are creatively ambitious. On Breezeblocks he cracks, "She may contain the urge to run away but hold her down with soggy clothes and breezeblocks / Germolene, disinfect the scene, my love." It’s not your usual Valentine’s note but it’s their way of taking on the old in a new way that really marks An Awesome Wave as a deeply exciting record.
Okay, it’s not that Alt-J can’t be pigeon-holed or placed beside peers; it’s more that they deserve more. This debut offering is strong, addictive and enthralling, the perfect accompaniment to any mood, any moment, anywhere.
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Top Customer Reviews
Alt-J's recent success is by no means overrated. Their songs are great from first listen.
Like many people, my only experience of Alt-J's music prior to buying the album was their single 'Breezeblocks' and 'Fitzpleasure'. I bought the album on my opinion of these two songs and although the songs are not all in the same style as them, I still thoroughly enjoy most of the album. The fact it includes and intro and 'interludes' makes you feel like you are listening to them live. The songs flow fluidly together and this seamless aspect makes it hard not to listen to the whole album all the way through every time you play it.
The songs are as follows:
1. Intro....Starts with a piano and slowly builds up into a whole song which makes you want to close your eyes and feel like you are floating on a cloud
2. Interlude I.....not labelled as a track on the CD but it is on there. It is acapella and the harmonies give you chills
3. Tessellate.....This song is slowpaced and one of my favorites. The moment when he sings 'lets tesssellate' and the music goes silent is another moment which gives me chills
4. Breezeblocks.....This is one of the singles for a reason. It is catchy and odd with the lyrics. The 'lalala' adds another texture to the music. Breezeblocks is a song that unexpectedly makes you want to dance.
5. Interlude II.....Nice bit of acoustic guitar with calming background sounds of vehicles and talking
6. Something Good.....Has a different feel in all the parts of the song. Each section is completely different yet they blend together sublimely and without you getting jolted by the sudden change.
7. Dissolve Me.....Bass coming in at certain points makes this song a real pleasure to listen to.
8.Read more ›
it has elements of folk, indie, slight dub-step beats and beautiful harmonies. The band came up with a new genre to describe their music its called 'folk-step'
this album is a deserved nominee of the mercury music prize, i would put it in the top 3 out of that list.
On just a few listens of Alt-J's first album there are enough signs of potential greatness here; some quirkiness (admittedly nothing remotely with the impact of Talking Heads' "Psycho Killer"), a way with tunes, an interesting voice (Stipe, Byrne and Yorke all have excellent, but unusual voices) and lots of diversity. Such diversity means that not all the songs might be to your taste, but its is at least a strong indication that this is not a one trick pony.
Who knows how far Alt-J may go, but I for one have found this one of the most interesting releases in recent years.
Buy this if you are open to something new (I'm not aware of anything else like this - although there are clearly many influences).
It'll be interesting to see what happens next.
Took a gamble on this having never heard any Alt-J before, read the reviews and listened to the audio samples and that was enough already to convince me it was worth a purchase.
Wow, what an album! definately the best new music album I've purchased in some years, absolutely wonderful from start to finish and a breath of fresh air amoung the sea of drivel that floods the market these days.
The vinyl release is a nice heavy white vinyl and as with many recent vinyl releases comes with a dowload code for an MP3 of the album, went straight on my phone for when I'm out and about :-)
Highly recommended, thanks to Alt-J my faith in great new music has been restored.
Regarding this album, upon the first listen, I must admit that I wasn't sure about this CD. It certainly was different but I wasn't at all sure about the vocal style, but a few days on, and a few more listens - and I have a different view.
They are not Radiohead. But then again they are even less like anyone else either.
If you like clever, intriguing music, that ranges from the melodic acoustic interludes, to taught sharp clever and well constructed songs, then give this a go.
This is not your average garage band. Sure, maybe they've been locked in a basement for too long, but this band aspire to be technically better than most, and to be more fun - and in my opinion they are.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you haven't heard this yet, buy it now. Phenomenal album. Great, quirky lyrics, a sideways view of the world and epic musicality. Essential for any music collection.Published 26 days ago by Mike
Fantastic album. Thought they were singing in a foreign language at first!!Published 1 month ago by Mr T.
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