The Dream

alt-J - The Dream
Critic Score
Based on 26 reviews
2022 Ratings: #289 / 748
User Score
Based on 670 ratings
2022 Ratings: #788
Liked by 31 people
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
The Arts Desk

Still unclassifiable, the arch experimenters excel themselves once more.

100
Dork
In what is already an exciting time for fans of music that is can’t be easily defined genre-wise, alt-J have pushed themselves back to the front here.
90
Loud and Quiet

An album so full of ideas and left-turns that it should bury the “Coldplay sort of thing” once and for all.

85
Spectrum Culture

The Dream is a remarkable comeback for Alt-J, one that finds catharsis in both the turmoil of life and in the quiet moments.

80
Louder Than War

It’s the sound of a band who are refreshed and revitalised. Happily, it retains what made alt-J so interesting, whilst bringing a new dimension to bear.

80
The Observer

The ambitious British indie crooners embrace an American sound while confronting crypto and Covid on their enjoyable fourth album.

80
musicOMH

With The Dream, we see a maturing band dip deep into their emotions, immersing us not only in art and culture but in their dreams, and it is utterly brilliant.

80
AllMusic

Despite being so lyrically death-obsessed, the beauty and warmth coursing through the album make it full of life and absolutely human.

80
The Telegraph

The fourth album from the scruffy indie band is typically mesmerising and dark, its lyrics often smart to the point of impenetrability.

80
Record Collector
While the
fourth album
by Alt-J is, in
parts, more
gentle and rural
than the Leeds-formed trio’s
others, it’s still a showcase for
an array of hyperactive ideas,
abstruse lyrics and dizzying
juxtapositions of sounds and
genres.
80
The Independent

The Dream sees the band moving briskly through sensations, their heads stuck out the window of a speeding car, tongues wagging, sticking to whatever comes their way.

80
NME

For album four, the London-based trio break out of their comfort zone with a rich collection of lush and uncharacteristically reflective songs.

80
DIY
Its strength is in packing not just alt-J’s usual futuristic twist, but a heavy side serving of nostalgia too.
80
The Line of Best Fit

The album is - as expected - a well-crafted, sonically flawless work. What it lacks in heart it more than makes up for in style and finesse, and it continues the band's run of producing quality records.

80
PopMatters

Alt-J may have tempered their eccentricities on The Dream but there’s still plenty of death and genre-bending to satisfy veteran votaries.

80
Gigwise

The Dream feels like an outpouring of instinctual, had-to-happen musical moments; it brims with pure enthusiasm and undimmable joy at being able to create such distinctive, magical tracks.

70
Under The Radar

Like its predecessors, The Dream is much less about the songs (with their nonsensical lyrics), but about the mesmeric experience you feel when you listen to them.

70
God Is in the TV

Leeds trio alt-J explore wishful thinking in their intriguing fourth record The Dream.

70
Classic Rock

It needs time to be savoured and reveal its full flavours, a satisfying move in a world of glib instant gratification.

70
Clash
A work of assured yet subtle transition, it re-engages with some of alt-J’s core tenets, while not being afraid to engage emotionally.
70
Northern Transmissions
‘The Dream’ isn’t always an easy listen and it’s largely bereft of the catchiness from their previous records. However, it’s an album that’s rich in narrative, emotion and a body of work not afraid to tackle some uncomfortable themes.
64
Beats Per Minute

alt-J’s intentions seem to lie in continuing to experiment, which is why The Dream doesn’t feel like a failed attempt at reaching new heights of popularity.

60
Evening Standard

The Mercury winners remain easy to admire but harder to fall in love with.

60
The Irish Times

Sometimes The Dream plods rather than provokes admiration, such as on the testing 6½ minutes of Walk a Mile. However, Alt-J continue to assert their slightly batty sonic vision in the mainstream.

60
The Needle Drop

It's nice that alt-J continues to keep us guessing, but The Dream is about as hit-and-miss as Relaxer.

60
Uncut
If few concessions are made to mainstream mores here, it still works on its own idiosyncratic terms.
BaddieBaphomet
50

What happened to these guys?

If you would have asked me back in 2012 who I would bet money on as being the leaders of the next indie pop/rock movement, I would have said alt-J. Even now looking back on their debut a whole ten years later, you can still hear a unique yet fully realized sound, combining indietronica, art pop, some progressive elements, even folk music. And yet, even with this forward thinking and unique sound, alt-J was able to make solid, catchy, and accessible tunes, perfectly ... read more

SnowyFighter
57

This ain’t the dream I’m sorry…

Alt J is pretty cool. I’ve heard some songs throughout my life but I was never an album listener. A little while ago I heard U&ME on the radio and thought it was okay, but I saw they were coming out with the whole album so I figured id just give it a listen. I heard the opening track Bane and I thought “Oooh wow okay this is pretty and kind of unique I wonder if this is gonna turn out to be good.” And then… ... read more

daltdisney
40

Painstakingly boring. I never wanna sit through this again.

78

1. Bane (7)
2. U&Me (8)
3. Hard Drive Gold (7)
4. Happier When You're Gone (7)
5. The Actor (7)
6. Get Better (8)
7. Chicago (8)
8. Philadelphia (7)
9. Walk a Mile (8)
10. Delta (8)
11. Losing My Mind (10)
12. Powders (8)

Album Final Score: 78/100

JEXMlX
65

pretty good

ArchS
40

4/10

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Track List

1Bane
5:10
70
2U&ME
3:18
68
3Hard Drive Gold
2:38
64
4Happier When You’re Gone
4:00
65
5The Actor
4:00
71
6Get Better
5:51
63
7Chicago
3:55
68
8Philadelphia
3:38
75
9Walk a Mile
6:29
65
10Delta
1:00
58
11Losing My Mind
4:42
65
12Powders
4:41
63
Total Length: 49 minutes
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Added on: September 22, 2021