‘The Dream’ Alt-J Album Review
Mercury Prizes winners, Grammys-nominated British rock band Alt-J are back, five years since the release of their last full studio album the critically-acclaimed “Relaxer” album. Since then, the band have undertaken an enormous world tour and shown us their experimental side on 2018s “Reduxer” remix album. Described as an album of hope, loss, murder and love “The Dream”, an album recorded during the pandemic, the band are ready to start a new chapter in their career.
“The Dream” starts off with “Bane”, an ode to Coca-Cola, and fired-up to push the boundaries of their sound, it’s the start of a journey into experimentation which, ultimately, will keep listeners engrossed until the very end. A hazy, dreamy affair, it seems almost bizarre to find that the inspiration behind tracks like “Happier When You’re Gone” and “The Actor” are inspired by tales of true crime, murder and serial killers. Bizarre because, should you listen to the hazy, blissful sounds of “Hard Drive Gold”, those wouldn’t be subjects that would immediately spring to mind.
An album that is an example of experimental music at its finest, “The Dream” is the kind of album which shows its creators aren’t afraid to stretch the boundaries of their music. Featuring everything from samples of Gus Unger-Hamilton’s mum on “Hard Drive Gold” to the aforementioned ode to a certain fizzy drink, it’s fair to say that, to fully appreciate this peice of work, you need to devote your full attention to it.
Having said that, vocalist Joe Newman describes “The Dream” as “Alt-J light” and he’s not wrong. An easy-listening, meandering album, “The Dream” is a musical journey that offers many twists and turns but barely feels like it wants to get out of second gear. Whether it is the tragic “Get Better” or the wonderfully hazy “U&ME”, a track born out of soundcheck jams, “The Dream” seems Alt-J taking a magical journey on their fourth album. Should you choose to join them on this dreamy trip, expect to find yourselves taken on an exploration of musical soundscapes which will offer you something wonderful around every corner.
Following a US tour kicking off later this month, Alt-J return to the UK to take “The Dream” out on the road for a full UK tour. Dates are already starting to sell out so get all the details here.