Albums to watch

Relaxer

Alt-J

Relaxer

Third album from the Leeds art rock trio produced by Charlie Andrew (Darwin Deez, Nick Mulvey, Rae Morris, Benjamin Francis Leftwich)

ADM rating[?]

6.7

Label
Infectious / Canvasback / ATL
UK Release date
02/06/2017
US Release date
02/06/2017
  1. 9.0 |   Sputnik Music (staff)

    One thing that is self-evident from this record’s experimentation is that they are capable of executing just about any style they want to
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  2. 9.0 |   AU Review

    A lush record that is undoubtedly at the forefront of progressive genre fusion
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  3. 8.0 |   DIY

    On ‘Relaxer’, alt-J sound utterly, wonderfully like no one but themselves
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  4. 8.0 |   Q

    Relaxer is a special album. Print edition only

  5. 8.0 |   NME

    A weird pop juggernaut with a sinister side
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  6. 8.0 |   The Skinny

    For a record so brief, its ability to evoke scale – while still carrying the distinctive sound of the band that surprised us all with An Awesome Wave back in 2012 – is testament to Alt-J’s demonstrable talents as artists
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  7. 8.0 |   Loud And Quiet

    The mission on ‘Relaxer’ seems to be to trim away any excess fabric. There’s no ‘Intro’, fewer interludes. It’s just eight songs, almost half the length of its predecessor
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  8. 8.0 |   Under The Radar

    At a refreshingly restrained eight tracks, this compact and filler free release still explores a vast array of genres and styles in its forty minute running time
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  9. 8.0 |   Clash

    They’ve created something quite distinct from their former work. In this regard, ‘Relaxer’ places them firmly back on track
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  10. 8.0 |   State

    With Relaxer, alt-J have managed to break out of a niche they created for themselves, and in doing so have constructed a menagerie of tracks that are truly unique and timeless
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  11. 8.0 |   Evening Standard

    A bizarre journey worth taking
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  12. 7.7 |   Paste Magazine

    Just as strong as their previous two albums, Relaxer sees alt-J continuing to explore new sonic territory, mixing powerful beats with dangerous, heart-wrenching tales
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  13. 7.3 |   Gig Soup

    Very enjoyable and quite impressive
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  14. 7.0 |   Exclaim

    Provides a necessary change-up that keeps the band's iconic sound from becoming a caricature of itself
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  15. 7.0 |   The Music

    There lies some interesting use of instruments and sounds in Alt-J's follow-up
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  16. 6.6 |   Earbuddy

    Alt-J don't relax creatively on their third album.
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  17. 6.5 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    The hodgepodge feel is a shame, because at its best RELAXER is euphoric and poignant, at its worst it is frustrating and lumpy
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  18. 6.0 |   Rolling Stone

    At times their idea-heavy songs can feel weighed down by cleverness (the Primus-y "Deadcrush"). But Alt-J can create a dark beauty that's like moonlight on an English moor
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  19. 6.0 |   The Arts Desk

    Relaxer's offbeat mix of styles and dogged self-belief manages, again, to speak fulfillingly to both heart and mind
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  20. 6.0 |   PopMatters

    It is proudly, defiantly, alt-J, with barely a wink to a potential mainstream audience. It is hit and miss in both the best and worst senses of that phrase
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  21. 6.0 |   The Independent

    Relaxer is effectively Alt-J’s folk album: still studious and tending towards complexity, but here tempered by a rootedness that snags emotions more directly
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  22. 6.0 |   The Guardian

    Short, belligerent and odd
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  23. 6.0 |   The Irish Times

    A strangely absorbing eight tracks. Relaxer is incohesive and unsettling for sure and a crossroads on the path to greater success
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  24. 6.0 |   The Observer

    A change of pace gives space to breathe
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  25. 5.8 |   A.V. Club

    Next time, Alt-J might do well to pick just two or three directions and stick to them
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  26. 5.0 |   music OMH

    Alt-J continue to defy critics and expectations, but in doing so appear to be depriving listeners of reasons to continue listening
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  27. 5.0 |   Pretty Much Amazing

    As their original creative well starts to run dry, Relaxer’s experimentalism suggests that Alt-J will continue to struggle with other styles
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  28. 5.0 |   The 405

    When they aim for subtlety, they end up being Mumford-levels of boring, and when they attempt to push the bracket and heighten the drama, well, more often than not, they just sound a bit silly
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  29. 5.0 |   Consequence Of Sound

    A scattershot album from a band still trying to form their own identity
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  30. 5.0 |   Drowned In Sound

    As on An Awesome Wave, alt-J present two faces to us: the somber, Nick Drake-leaning acoustic balladeer, versus velvet-crushed crowd-pleasers with the wild-eyed soul of Cold War Kids and the thumping heart of the Black Keys
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  31. 4.5 |   Pitchfork

    Features tastefully trimmed string arrangements, chamber woodwinds, and terminal boredom
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  32. 4.0 |   God Is In The TV

    At least it’s short
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Alt-J: Relaxer

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  • 1. 3WW £0.99
  • 2. In Cold Blood £0.99
  • 3. House of the Rising Sun £0.99
  • 4. Hit Me Like That Snare £0.99
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