User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 131 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 11 out of 131

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  1. 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 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
  2. 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 great note. I recommend this record. Expand
  3. 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 that time spent on "An Awesome Wave" goes very quickly. Collapse
  4. 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
  5. 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 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
  6. 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.
  7. 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 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
  8. 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.
  9. Jul 17, 2012
    8
    Who would have thought that one of the year
  10. Dec 9, 2012
    8
    Mercury Prize Winner this year. Debut album. They
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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 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
  16. 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
  17. 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!
  18. 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.
  19. 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 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
  20. 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
  21. 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.
  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. 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.
  24. 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
  25. 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!)
  26. 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.
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.