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Relaxer by Alt-J This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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Alt-J, an English band whose genre seeps into almost everything, from electro-pop, to rock, to folk, and everything in between, released their third album, Relaxer, last Friday. The band released almost half the album as singles prior to the release of the actual album. 3WW was released almost a month and a half ahead of the album’s release, and then In Cold Blood and Adeline released about two weeks after, following each other. These were pretty good tracks, and good hype for the following five songs that came out on the release day. However, these were the best three songs on the album, with Deadcrush following soon after.

Sadly, that’s half the album. The other half was an even slower burn than 3WW, which is saying something. Pleader takes half of the allotted time to get to the singing, which I normally wouldn’t mind, if the first half of the song was interesting. This gets boring, and tedious, if I have to sit through 2 and a half minutes of almost nothing to get to the good, I’m not going to listen to it often. It’s hard as a listener. Hit Me Like That Snare is not a slow song, but it’s not a good one. It’s the most different off this album, but that’s not always good. The fact that this “album” is only eight tracks doesn’t lend itself to much thought. There isn’t a real cohesive sound to this collection of tracks. My biggest bone to pick with this is the fact that it’s only eight tracks. I would’ve liked at least 2 more songs, something to tie in some sort of idea.

This album wasn’t more of the same Alt-J that we knew, but it’s not completely new either. In Cold Blood was similar to Left Hand Free in structure and sound, and Adeline was very similar to some of the slower songs off their first album, An Awesome Wave. Overall, the album is a solid 6 out of 10, in my opinion. It’s some good music, but I don’t think it’s a landmark in their career, or anything like that. I can definitely see it as a stepping stone to a new sound for the band, and I’m already anticipating the next album.

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