An Awesome Wave

alt-J - An Awesome Wave
Critic Score
Based on 19 reviews
2012 Ratings: #80 / 1032
Year End Rank: #19
User Score
Based on 768 ratings
2012 Ratings: #85
Liked by 23 people
May 28, 2012 / Release Date
LP / Format
Infectious / Label
Art Pop / Genres
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Drowned in Sound

Whatever alt-j were aiming for with their debut album, they have managed to prove their value as talented musicians, literary enthusiasts and imagery aficionados.

Under The Radar

It's uncommon for bands to achieve cohesiveness amidst such high levels of quirk; on their debut, Alt-J have done much better than that.


It risks feeling frustrated and frustrating, but Alt-J’s bizarre pop is ultimately rooted solidly in pathos, in a sort of blighted redemption.

A.V. Club

An Awesome Wave washes over its beached listeners, pleasantly cooling them for a second, then making its retreat back into an ocean of sameness.


It's both overstuffed and messy, and so overworked that what life there may once have been now exists as a kind of primordial paste.

Wow the lead singer CHANGED HIS VOICE! How dare he. In fact, actors should not be allowed to get away with this treachery, even if it is enjoyable for us to listen to. I'm looking at you Daniel Day-Lewis. You should only act in British movies. Same with you Alt-J man! You lied to us all with your unique singing style.

Favorite Tracks: the ones with the fake accents
In my opinion, this was the pinnacle of the early 2010's indie/alternative scene. The bizarre and jarring nature of this album, as well as just how beautifully arranged the songs are makes this such a breeze to listen to.

I will say that if the interlude passages were left out of this album, this probably would have been a 10 for me. However they are here, and well... like most interludes on albums nowadays, they serve more as padding rather than actually including anything particularly ... read more
Great alternative look at indie rock. Lovers of the genre who are looking for a new, more experimental sound should definitely be introduced to the album.

Breezeblocks • Fitzpleasure • Matilda
I’ve honestly never really known what to make of Alt-J. Their sound is this weird mix of indie-rock, folk and trip-hop. Their songs are full of weird lyrics with literal references and strange themes. Joe Newman’s vocal style is uniquely weird (insert the “How to write an Alt-J song” video here). Outside of the singles, there wasn’t much on An Awesome Wave that I found too interesting.

Highlights: Tessellate, Breezeblocks, Dissolve Me, Fitzpleasure, Bloodflood, ... read more
A rock band debut doesn't get better than this. From the beautiful melodies in taro to the haunting vocals in Fitzpleasure, this shit is a classic. Sooo many great songs on this.
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Track List

  1. Intro 
  2. (Interlude 1) 
  3. Tessellate 
  4. Breezeblocks 
  5. (Interlude 2) 
  6. Something Good 
  7. Dissolve Me 
  8. Matilda 
  9. Ms 
  10. Fitzpleasure 
  11. (Interlude 3) 
  12. Bloodflood 
  13. Taro 
  14. Hand-Made
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Added on: June 9, 2012