alt-J - 'Relaxer'

7/10

So far in their career, we have heard two very different intentions from the band's first two studio albums. Their debut 'An Awesome Wave' showed us a group that liked to mix contemporary electronics and winding sound capes to create a transcendent and unique sound, while their follow-up 'This Is All Yours' saw a more subdued alt-J that preferred to work in a more minimal landscape. Now returning with their third full-length, it seems that the band have now given us a hybrid style of their sounds to date.

Opening up with the poetically beautiful '3WW', rather than set the tone for the record it simply looks to ease you in as it continues to play into a diverse and eclectic mix of bold and subtle tracks in almost equal measure. The release likes to flip back and forth between the louder and quieter cuts, making for an interesting pace that keeps you on your toes, but at times becomes almost too predictable in places.

No doubt this is an impressive return for the Mercury Prize winners, but it does feel like it lacks an identity. While each song is well written and engaging, they don't quite gel together as well, making it an album you will either love or love less.

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