Album Review: alt J – REDUXER


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REDUXER is a complete genre diversion from anything you have heard by alt J before. They have challenged themselves in reshaping previous songs and combining it with a strong hip hop influence, also playing with elements of electronic sound. Throughout the album, alt J’s original lyrics resonate in a haunting melodic tone contrasting to the fresh and cutting new lyrics of the collaborating artists. These new lyrics present themselves often through the medium of rap, which completely changes the feeling of the song and adds a sense of modernity. Songs such as ‘3WW’ x Little Simz are an example of this and has quite a haunting melody against the backdrop of the rap.

We have seen over the year’s other bands who have chosen to remaster their original songs, maybe because they think they require improvement or they know they can be even better. But in the case of alt J, I get the sense it’s because they believe their songs have the potential to be transformed and moulded to a different style. Through collaborating with a number of rap and hip hop artists such as Paigey Cakey, Goldlink and Rejji Snow, alt J allow themselves to learn through other artist’s styles, thus leading them venturing into once uncharted territory. For example, in the song ‘Pleader’, PJ Sin Suela is featured, a rap/hip hop artist from Puerto Rico, who brings into the song his own Spanish hip hop influence.

This album is easy to listen to with each song being incredibly unique so there is no danger of this album merging into one large harmonious song. But it is also not necessarily a laid back listen, whilst it is entirely worth the listen it is demanding, it consists of such a culmination of sounds which thus require and snatch your attention. Whilst being dynamic and highly worth your focus there is not a particular mood which best represents and fits the album because of the individuality of each song. With such a multitude of featured styles the best way to possibly classify it is under a broad hip hop/ rap bracket. Therefore, the album doesn’t evoke one particular sentiment, or sense of feeling.

The jumping of complete genres can perhaps be seen as overly ambitious and is perhaps a shock for fans but musicians must challenge themselves in order to grow as artists. Whether or not alt J have tried too hard to create a new mould for themselves remains up to personal view. Nevertheless, the transition is eased by remastering pre-existing and familiar songs which is an easier way to expand into the hip hop genre in comparison to starting from scratch.   

 

[Corah Gritton]

[Image credit: Mads Perch]

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