I loved, unreservedly, Alt-J’s debut album called “An Awesome Wave“. I’m sure you remember that the radio played “Breezeblocks” non-stop for a couple of months there. This sort of thing normally drives me nuts but Breezeblocks contains what is probably the most perfect lyric *EVER*.
“She’s morphine. Queen of my vaccine.”
Oh. My. Gosh. That line gives me chills even now. It’s crazy, it’s nonsense, it doesn’t make sense… but it’s perfect.
Breezeblocks wasn’t even close to being the best song on the album, though. If I had to guess, I’d say that the best song was probably Blood Flood…
But the album itself is *GOOD*. Like, start to finish. It doesn’t have any weak songs on it. I put it into the car’s player and listened to it for months. Now? I’d say that it holds up as an album that would be suitable to put on the stereo when guests are over and be played at a ‘3’ while everyone enjoys dinner and conversation.
Then, a couple of years later, “This Is All Yours” came out and it was an even better album.
Absolutely amazing and, this time, they gave radio airplay to one of the stronger songs on the album rather than one from the middle of the pack: “Hunger of the Pine”.
To this day, it holds up. And, yes, would make a great album to put on the stereo at a “3” when you have guests over.
So when I heard that Alt-J came out with another album (“Relaxer“), I leapt to the local record store and picked it up and listened to it on the way home.
And then, I changed it out. It’s got some good stuff on there… Like, you seriously should listen to their version of “House of the Rising Sun” (it will haunt you):
But, other than that… well, I was disappointed by the album. It struck me as mostly *DULL*. But the worst part of being dull was that it has a song on the album that devolves into a Rage-Against-The-Machine-esque diatribe at the end that makes the album less than appropriate to listen to when you’ve got friends over. Even if you are listening to it at a “3”.
So my recommendation is for you to pick up those first two albums. Holy cow, are they awesome albums? Yes, they are.
Still good enough for me to run off to the record shop when I hear that the next one is coming out.
So… what are you listening to?