Alex G is back with a long-awaited record and a new sound. With the help of producer Jacob Portrait, the album has a rhythm of its own. While some fans claim the new song does more of a service to the mainstream industry, the artist still retains his indie charm.
The album opens with “After All,” a song that hones in on Alex G’s past style. Guitar riffs and vocal auto-tune are instantly reminiscent of his previous work. However, the production is significantly remarkable. As for lyricism, the artist poses the theme of spirituality. In direct reference to a god, Alex G finds comfort in the feeling of a spiritual presence on the track.
While previously released as a single, “Runner” matches the sound of the LP. The instrumentation on the track is beautifully composed, but its length doesn’t do it justice. The song spends nearly half of the song building up the track, then ends with a lyrical repeat. Accumulation leads the listener to disappointment. Its abrupt ending and mediocre lyrics make the track worth watching.
“Mission” begins with “I have traveled the whole world”. The placement of the lyrics, given the previous track “Runner”, is a nice touch to the record. In the file, Alex G discusses the feeling of failure due to the unexpected events of a planned plan.
The next track, “SDOS” is on the experimental side. A deep echoing voice haunts the piece. The percussion in this song is creative in its use of the cowbell and other instruments.
After the experimental “SDOS”, “No Bitterness” is also a surprise as the song draws to a close. The song begins with a soft guitar riff, which is paired with soft piano accompaniment. Halfway through, the acoustic guitar is replaced by the electric guitar. The sudden boom in bass and glitchy vocals fits into the musical trend of hyperpop. The sudden change in the song’s instrumentation could be interpreted through the lyrics. Alex G writes about mistakes and coming of age suggesting a change in his life that leads to regret.
The writing of the following song is heavy to digest. The tune follows a recovering drug addict. After the first chorus, the percussion disappears, leaving the guitar to guide the listener. The riffs are shaky and unstable. The trail is sad and darker than most.
“Cross the Sea” and “Blessing” were also released as singles and stand out on the LP. Both are filled with unusual vocals. “Cross the Sea” is heavy on auto tuning, while “Blessing” has a vocal whisper. Towards the end of “Cross the Sea”, electronic keyboards and synths are introduced, which are the main attraction of “Blessing”. Unlike his previous tracks, the writing of these songs is upbeat and idealistic.
Alex G returns to acoustic guitars and simple drum beats, as he sings of the heartbreak of a partner who loses interest in him. “Haven’t I given enough? / When will I run out of love? As he sings, a violin responds to his song. The track is quite simple and lacking in originality, with nothing new to add to the LP.
“Immunity” is a standout on the album. The ballad is a commentary on hiding a drug addiction from loved ones. The piano on the track accompanies the track in a major key, then switches to a minor key near the end of the song. This choice left listeners unsettled by the sound of the keys.
The following track, “Headroom Piano” is an instrumental by the artist, but acts as a bridge on the album. From negative and troubled writing to a note of hope in the next song.
Alex G reflects on mistakes and looks to the future on “Miracles” and “Forgive.” Acoustic instrumentation and aching vocals flood the tracks with emotion, ending the album on a sentimental note.
Verdict: This is Alex G’s best record to date. When it comes to songwriting, the artist has a diverse set of lyrics. Some songs become skip-worthy for their boring lyrics, while others are the best in his discography. The artist also plays it safely instrumentally. Compared to his other records, this is the least experimental to date, with some creative tracks. “God Save the Animals” is emotionally moving, but lacks artistic appeal.