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An Awesome Wave
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:$7.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on April 19, 2016
This is one of my favorite albums - every song is amazing. I never get tired of listening to it. When this first came out I listened to it on repeat for weeks because there is always something new to hear on every song. Newman's vocals are so unique and haunting in such a way that you can't get enough. Every song kind of has a melancholy feeling that I really enjoy. There's a touch of electronic elements that add intricacy to the tracks but they are still very melodic and accessible. I've loved this album for a while and just decided to purchase it on vinyl because I continue to go back to this when listening digitally even though it's been out for around 2 years now. Please note - this is NOT the solid white vinyl version.
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on January 21, 2014
Today, it's rare to stumble across an album that works on so many levels at Alt-J's An Awesome Wave: musically, lyrically, and overall as an album.

Musically, the album is phenomenal. The group draws from a wide range of influences. Most interestingly, there is a definite electronic influence: the ambient noises and audible textures that are produced electronically for some groups are created acoustically by Alt-J's fantastic percussionist. Balanced with a broad range of acoustic and electronic instruments, the album's music shows a great range by the band's members.

Lyrically, it becomes apparent upon the first listen that the songwriter is well-read. He draws inspiration from anything from Where the Wild Things Are to Leon the Professional, doing so while keeping the lyrics relateable and interesting. Vocally, the lyrics are performed with an often-syncopated rhythm that itself becomes part of the music. On top of that, the lead singer has a vocal quality that is difficult to describe and sings with a huge range.

I find this album particularly interesting, however, because of the arrangement of the tracks. In a world of digital downloads and the option to buy any track separately, I find it encouraging that Alt-J went through the trouble to be sure that the album holds together so well as an album rather than a collection of songs. Overall, the album loosely tells the story of a relationship from the perspective of one person through the themes of it's tracks; it opens with a story about a girl with OCD praying for a good life, the high points of the relationship with Tessellate and Breezeblocks, troubled times with Something Good, Dissolve Me and Matilda, loss with Ms, anger with Fitzpleasure and Bloodflood, death (in this interpretation it would be of the relationship) with Taro, and Handmade, a song about scars and not being to move on.

Five stars. I can't wait for the next album.
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on February 15, 2017
Very interesting arrangements but the high nasally warbly voice gets grating after a while .... its too bad as the vocals are fine in other songs and parts . and more subdued on their 2nd release.. A mix of indie style rock - mostly clean tones on guitar- minimalist vocal breaks and bridges... There are a lot of unique musical paths on this record - I like the odd chanting and harmonies and the start and stop meandering shifts are very cool! For the record I prefer their 2nd album by quite a distance but I still give this a listen every once in a while.
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on June 24, 2016
I must admit, I was skeptical about Alt-J at first. A band that's named after a keyboard shortcut? I mean come on. We all know that !!! was stupid, so why should this be any different? I've been dabbling in the music connoisseur game for quite a while now, so I know not to expect too much from bands that at first glance seem to be jumping onto a weird trend, but I decided to give them a shot. Lo and behold, this band is actually interesting! These songs actually have substance! It was good enough for me to spend money on the album, so that's a good sign. They may actually make it. Nice job Alt-J! *Amazon high-five*
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on August 17, 2017
My favorite alt-j album.
Every song is a masterpiece.
One of my favorite morning records to play.
I highly recommend this album over any other alt-j album.
The sound is fantastic.
Please let me know if you found my review helpful. :)
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on December 15, 2017
One of the greatest albums I've ever heard. Bought it on a whim. Took one or two tries but by the third, I knew it was a masterpiece. Right up there with OK Computer, Sgt. Pepper, and Dark Side of the Moon. No joke.
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on September 3, 2013
I purchased this album on a whim one month when Amazon had it priced at $5 since it got some good reviews. I then let it sit in my collection for a while, not having any idea what was waiting for me when I finally got around to listening to alt-J for the first time. To be honest I didn't immediately love them. It was different, I'll give them that. The second time through I listened more closely and realized that there was some pretty good stuff here. The third and fourth time around, I really started to love what I was hearing. The combination of vocals, instruments, and electronics is not like anything else out there. And the range of different sounds and feelings is incredible. I don't have much more to say that hasn't already been said. New music doesn't get much better than this. I've been listening to Awesome Wave for probably more than six months now and it hasn't come close to wearing off its new smell yet. Can't wait for the encore.
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I've owned this album on digital for a while now, but decided it would greatly benefit the sound if I got it on Vinyl. I wasn't wrong. It's extraordinary. Weird thing is that it came with an extra inner record sleeve with a photo and lyrics. The record itself was in another unmarked sleeve. Who cares, right? The record is AWESOME!
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on September 17, 2015
The album itself is a triumph that has received enough rave reviews that do not bear repeating. So why not five stars? I had enjoyed this album digitally for about three years and decided to further support the band (and get an audiophile experience) by picking up the vinyl pressing. I was a bit let-down with the amount of surface noise and sonic compression on this pressing. Everything sounded a bit closed-off and squared-in sonically, suggesting that a 2LP approach would have helped when mastering (an approach I'm glad they took with their sophomore album).
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on April 3, 2013
A friend of mine who owns a CD store in Italy(rare as hen's teeth these days) turned me on to "Taro" from alt-J's 25 May, 2012 release, An Awesome WaveAn Awesome Wave. I still don't know precisely what it is about the song Taro that affects me so much, but I get very emotional when I hear it, especially when bassist/guitarist Gwil Sainsbury creates that eerie percussive sound on the chorus toward the end, as he taps the fret board of his guitar with what looks like the outer plastic cover of a roll of surgical tape!

The sounds on this whole album can be very subtle and are very creative, which causes me to listen very closely, which is a very rewarding endeavor. The very first time that I heard Joe Newman's voice, my reaction was, "Is he squeezing his voice box to create or affect that sharp sound, or is that really his natural voice?" I'm still not sure about that. But he sings in what would seem to be the very bottom of his falsetto voice range, and it sounds very different than what one is used to hearing from a singer. Yet I think that for just this reason, his voice conveys or expresses so much emotion, and elicits an emotional response from the listener, at least from this listener. As a singer myself, I sometimes cringe as he teeters on the verge of going off-key by using this vocal technique, and indeed he does stray a little off key on the 'hidden track' after Taro, called 'Hand Made', which if I were to be critical comes very close to the sound of baying hound dogs (sorry Joe and Gus!). Because of the soft way that Joe Newman and keyboardist Gus Unger-Hamilton sings, I would suspect that they need very good vocal monitors when they perform live. I have heard some performances online, in Amsterdam for instance, where it was obvious that Joe Newman could not hear himself very well, and I was embarrassed for him.

I also love the unique sounds and beats that percussionist Thom Green creates, without a cymbal in site! All of the sounds and textures that alt-J create together make them one of the most interesting and unique group of musicians that I have ever heard, and their delivery can be an emotional experience, IMHO. This album is well worth stopping whatever you are doing to give it your full attention.
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