User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 166 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 166

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  1. Dec 14, 2014
    8
    'Please don't go, please don't go...'
    Brillant debut album. Whether its the melodic chords and computers in 'Tesselate', the fantastic lead guitar in 'Breezeblocks' or the vocal range in 'Matilda', Alt J have ticked many boxes in this alternative album. While the post alum hype comparing them to rock legends Radiohead are premature, they certainly look to have all the makings of a great
    'Please don't go, please don't go...'
    Brillant debut album. Whether its the melodic chords and computers in 'Tesselate', the fantastic lead guitar in 'Breezeblocks' or the vocal range in 'Matilda', Alt J have ticked many boxes in this alternative album. While the post alum hype comparing them to rock legends Radiohead are premature, they certainly look to have all the makings of a great band.
    The band is young, yet their songs have meaning. Its only their first album, yet it contains a variety of both upbeat and downbeat songs- fitting for either a movie soundtrack or a chilled sunday afternoon in front of the telly.
    Here is my token nitpicking:
    -Some of the songs are a little repetitive in structure,
    -Some of the songs are fillers and border dangerously on pop or hippie music,
    -While the songs are dynamic, there is no real 'hit' or a major 'house blown down riff slightly concerning for a young and eager group of talented musicians; they're almost too mellow and subtle.

    Overall, an fine effort. Plenty to write home about for British alt rock fans.
    Expand
  2. 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.
  3. Sep 23, 2014
    10
    An Awesome Wave is an awesome album. This is because it both has songs, like Breezeblocks and Fitzpleasure, that can stand alone and sound great and at the same time it is able to create a nice atmospheric blend throughout the entire album
  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. 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.
  6. Sep 7, 2014
    9
    Though it may lack power, the precision, emotion and cohesion this album expresses from start to end, leaves oneself satisfied and astonished. And though it may not be a master piece, this work opens the path to what certainly is a band to keep an eye on. Original and exquisitely aesthetic.
  7. Jul 30, 2014
    10
    Perfect mixture of sounds! The more I listened to this album the more I love it. This album is so amazing! If you are one of those people who just don't care, if you listen to anything different, unique, spontaneous, then Alt-J is the band for you, that´s why I LOVE IT!!!
  8. 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...
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Jan 3, 2014
    7
    An Awesome Wave has a lot going on under the one roof and tries to be experimental at every turn. For the most part the record holds together well considering the ambition behind it, however there are times when it feels like there is too much going on. The record is at its strongest at its centre when it is at its most focused. For a debut record, it is very impressive in its complexityAn Awesome Wave has a lot going on under the one roof and tries to be experimental at every turn. For the most part the record holds together well considering the ambition behind it, however there are times when it feels like there is too much going on. The record is at its strongest at its centre when it is at its most focused. For a debut record, it is very impressive in its complexity and how well this is carried off. I will be very interested to hear how they follow this up or whether they have put all their cards on the table first time round. In general it's a nicely textured record, excellently produced but at times at little unfocused in terms of direction. Expand
  12. 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!)
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. Jul 11, 2013
    9
    Alt-J's An Awesome Wave captures the essence of indie music by producing a unique, universally appealing sound. The music is smart and engaging, enough so that any fan of music should give An Awesome Wave a listen.
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Mar 31, 2013
    1
    This review contains spoilers. 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. Collapse
  22. 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.'
  23. 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.
  24. Dec 9, 2012
    8
    Mercury Prize Winner this year. Debut album. They
  25. 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.
  26. 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
  27. 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
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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
  31. Jul 17, 2012
    8
    Who would have thought that one of the year
  32. 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.
  33. 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!
  34. 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
  35. 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.
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.