An Awesome Wave

  • Record Label: Atlantic
  • Release Date: Sep 18, 2012
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 207 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 207

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  1. Jul 15, 2014
    10
    Awesome Wave is literally the best album I have ever heard. I love the diversity of the music & the uniqueness of the vocalists' voices. I cannot get enough of this. I'm impatiently waiting for their next album...
  2. Apr 15, 2014
    10
    From Ars Nova to Dubstep in one album. Alt-J offers a very refreshing approach to music.
    Firmly roted in european musical tradition at the same time exploring brand new territories.
    Yet "An Awesome Wave" doesn't feel weird at all, I simply can't get enough of it.
  3. Sep 11, 2014
    10
    At times disjointed, uniquely alien, yet in retrospect beautifully harmonious, the incredible depth and breadth of An Awesome Wave peel away in layers to reveal its many shades with every listen. Truly an achievement.
  4. Sep 23, 2014
    10
    An Awesome ALBUM, simply stunning.... Incredible and innovative sound, and the choirs are just perfect.
    Easily the best indie album of 2012. A Masterpiece, 10/10
  5. Nov 24, 2012
    8
    Didn't take long for this album to really grow on me. The musicianship feels like they've been a band for years and have recorded several great albums, but this their debut album. That's impressive. The only need for improvement could be the lyrics, but once this album sinks into your head, it's quite easy to overlook that. All In All, An Awesome Wave starts out strong and ends on a greatDidn't take long for this album to really grow on me. The musicianship feels like they've been a band for years and have recorded several great albums, but this their debut album. That's impressive. The only need for improvement could be the lyrics, but once this album sinks into your head, it's quite easy to overlook that. All In All, An Awesome Wave starts out strong and ends on a great note. I recommend this record. Expand
  6. Apr 11, 2013
    10
    in my opinion an awesome wave is one of the best albums of 2012, beautiful vocals, love the folk influences in the albums, absolutely amazing. I seriously can't stop listening to it, 10/10
  7. Apr 6, 2013
    8
    Their sound is intriguing. When I first listening I wasn't sure what to make of it, but I couldn't stop listening. For about a month straight. And the more I listened, the more I appreciated the uniqueness. Fast forward a few months and I'm still as intrigued as ever.
  8. khw
    Sep 20, 2012
    10
    Simply stunning.......at first, I was hooked by only one or two songs (Tessellate & Something Good), but with each listen, I discover more depth and more to like.
  9. Oct 22, 2013
    10
    This experimental mix of the genres form a sound that refuses to be classified for it jumps from one genre to the next as the album progresses.Each track jumps onto you with an entirely different feel and it gives the album some texture and keeps it interesting for the listener, because you don’t know what’s going to happen next. Alt-J is a different band from any other and so is theirThis experimental mix of the genres form a sound that refuses to be classified for it jumps from one genre to the next as the album progresses.Each track jumps onto you with an entirely different feel and it gives the album some texture and keeps it interesting for the listener, because you don’t know what’s going to happen next. Alt-J is a different band from any other and so is their sound. However since they are heavily influenced by many other genres, it will sure enough crack open a special niche in your brain, just for them. The experience after listening really is rewarding and refreshing, like an awesome wave. It's not for everyone, but open up to them and you'll be pretty damn glad you did. Underneath all the convoluted composition, is a vibrant, pure personality begging to be heard. Expand
  10. Nov 17, 2013
    10
    Perfect combination of smart lyrics, great music, and unique sound. It opens up nicely with the Intro and "Ripe & Ruin" before taking me into deep pleasure with "Tesselate" and the quirky "Breezeblocks". The album has been out for a year now and I am nowhere near bored. "Fitzpleasure" and "Matilda" have been my latest obsession, though. This is definitely a tremendous effort for a debutPerfect combination of smart lyrics, great music, and unique sound. It opens up nicely with the Intro and "Ripe & Ruin" before taking me into deep pleasure with "Tesselate" and the quirky "Breezeblocks". The album has been out for a year now and I am nowhere near bored. "Fitzpleasure" and "Matilda" have been my latest obsession, though. This is definitely a tremendous effort for a debut album. "An Awesome Wave" is actually the only album that has been played more than 1,000 times on my media player. It's just way too addictive. Expand
  11. Oct 6, 2014
    10
    The first song i ever heard by Alt-J was Breezeblocks. I was instantly hooked. I started off listening to a few of their songs including Tessellate, Fitzpleasure, Something Good, and Taro. Now i listen to the entire album and enjoy every second of it. From the moment i first heard them, I knew that they would be my favorite band. That will never change.
  12. Jun 20, 2012
    9
    What can I say? One of the best, if not the best albums I've listened to this year. Complex, nerdy and catchy all at once! If Fleet Foxes were into electronic music and enjoyed geometric metaphors this is the album they'd make!
  13. Dec 8, 2012
    9
    With Alt J, I once again appreciated U.K's taste in music. From Tessellate to Taro (Taro might be the best track of 2012) and Bloodflood, An Awesome Wave is easily the best indie album of 2012.
  14. Apr 11, 2013
    0
    Terribly overrated album. No substance whatsoever, they are trying to be weird just for the sake of being weird and by ripping off other bands styles. Meaningless lyrics. It's like they are trying to accomplish something by going through shortcuts to appeal to the mainstream, it is simply sad. People will like this band because it is "so random XD". Overproduced piece of garbage. I reallyTerribly overrated album. No substance whatsoever, they are trying to be weird just for the sake of being weird and by ripping off other bands styles. Meaningless lyrics. It's like they are trying to accomplish something by going through shortcuts to appeal to the mainstream, it is simply sad. People will like this band because it is "so random XD". Overproduced piece of garbage. I really hope this band dies. I hated this album so much that it made me come and put a negative user review as I saw only the people who liked it reviewed it. Expand
  15. Dec 5, 2012
    1
    Absolute drivel,; a mixture of whiney synth pop and mediocre melodia ....transient rock? get a grip do you even know what rock is? This is peurile. People love to give tags to things, "nerdy", "warbly", "insecure". No, this is silly voices, and whining over simple beats and "layering" is not a few chords. Jesus, is this what popular musis is becoming, different just for the sake of it withAbsolute drivel,; a mixture of whiney synth pop and mediocre melodia ....transient rock? get a grip do you even know what rock is? This is peurile. People love to give tags to things, "nerdy", "warbly", "insecure". No, this is silly voices, and whining over simple beats and "layering" is not a few chords. Jesus, is this what popular musis is becoming, different just for the sake of it with not even a nod to talent? X factor may be **** but at least it knows what it is, and winning a music prize does not make a band earth-shatteringly original or flawless. I guess i gave it 3 because a bit like Damien Hirst, they have fooled a lot of people who love to think they are all rather clever. If it were dinner i'd feed it to my dog. Expand
  16. Dec 23, 2012
    0
    So underwhelming as to produce a soporific effect. The latest industry inside joke? ... Yes.

    Laura Snapes of Pitchfork said it all-- 'overstuffed and messy, and so overworked that what life there may once have been now exists as a kind of primordial paste.'
  17. Mar 31, 2013
    1
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A boring, schizophrenic attack on both the ears and the mind. The album is unfocused and contains nonsensical, absurd lyrics (see Tessellate) sung by a whiney, pretentious snob (Breezeblocks and Interlude 1 are the most annoying vocal deliveries I've ever heard). The reason for a 1 instead of 0 is because of the dull, but interesting experimentation involving the instruments. Wild Beasts and The xx do this kind of thing (odd vocals/experimental music) a lot better, Alt-J are just rip-offs. Expand
  18. Oct 12, 2013
    0
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Heard of Wild Beasts? Wu Lyf?

    Well Alt-J's An Awesome Wave is a tame sloth with no lyf.

    I'd go on, but the taking and diluting of someone else's sound means I shouldn't.

    Listen to a better album.

    xoxo
    Expand
  19. Jul 12, 2012
    8
    Although 'An Awesome Wave' not perfect, Alt-J have managed to blend together the abrasive synths, "nerdy" attitude and delicate instrumentation effectively. However, lead singles 'Breezeblocks' and 'Fitzpleasure' dominate the attention paid to this album and feel so much bigger and better than some of the fillers.
  20. Sep 25, 2012
    10
    No other album this year has managed to capture my attention as well as this one. It blends catchy and addictive melodies and a unique voice with a very new sound.
  21. Aug 21, 2012
    10
    A new band from Cambridge is pushing the limits of alternative rock to the edge. With transient beats, folksy guitars, layered vocals, and unpredictable song structures, Alt-J
  22. Jun 18, 2012
    9
    Even the intro on the album reveals the nature of the CD . Alternative rock compositions, mixed with a variety of electronic inserts and vocal filters give the songs a special character, which sometimes takes strange forms - which is evident even after a bit psychedelic a capella song "(Interlude 1)" or "Tessallate". Each composition on the disc has something innovative to offer, so thatEven the intro on the album reveals the nature of the CD . Alternative rock compositions, mixed with a variety of electronic inserts and vocal filters give the songs a special character, which sometimes takes strange forms - which is evident even after a bit psychedelic a capella song "(Interlude 1)" or "Tessallate". Each composition on the disc has something innovative to offer, so that time spent on "An Awesome Wave" goes very quickly. Expand
  23. Jun 6, 2012
    9
    One Of a best album of this year.

    Simplement agréable, on y retrouve diverses influences, la voix rappelle les Fleet Foxes, bref un album entre indie rock, pop, electronic, et hip hop, où l'on retiendra Alt-J.
  24. Jul 17, 2012
    8
    Who would have thought that one of the year
  25. Dec 9, 2012
    8
    Mercury Prize Winner this year. Debut album. They
  26. Dec 16, 2012
    9
    First off, I would like to state that this album is a complete success. The lyrical talent of this band is incredible, and all of the songs have interesting meanings and almost all have "plots" of their own. From references to books, movies and common life events, this album is simply a joy to listen to. It's upbeat and quite entertaining to listen to.
  27. Apr 10, 2013
    5
    It sure is catchy, and fun on first listen, but subsequent listens reveal a lack of depth. The band has a couple of ideas that they spread out through the album. It gets old quickly, and is not something a patrician listener is likely to remember for much longer than a year.
  28. Dec 30, 2013
    0
    An album and a band that have ripped off Leeds' finest, Wild Beasts, to a shameless, crass and pitiful extent. Derived tosh with no heart. They have come and gone now, but I shall not forget the brief time they managed to pull the wool over those less than astute publications' eyes. (looking at you NME!)
  29. Jun 2, 2014
    4
    An Awesome Wave definitely has some great tracks on there, but only some. And my main problems with this album were generally the vocals, which sometimes sounded a little irritating, but not always, and I found the lack of proper heart-warming strength in these tracks also a problem.
  30. Feb 11, 2016
    10
    One of the best, most interesting albums of the decade. It's bursting with ideas, in my opinion. Listen to it while reading the lyrics, to fully appreciate how odd and artistic it is. I don't rate many albums perfect. And I find it hard to understand the critical reaction to this. Pitchfork really blew it on this one.
Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Mar 13, 2013
    67
    Alt-J crafts an ethereal ocean of sound that's remarkably cohesive-at once strange and familiar.
  2. This Leeds-to-Cambridge foursome's unhurried electro-mesh is always more than pleasant and half the time mildly enthralling.
  3. Nov 20, 2012
    50
    An Awesome Wave washes over its beached listeners, pleasantly cooling them for a second, then making its retreat back into an ocean of sameness.