Alex G is back with a long-awaited record and a new sound. With the help of producer Jacob Portrait, the album has a clean rhythm. While some fans argue the new tune does more service to the mainstream industry, the artist still maintains his indie charm.
The album opens up with “After All,” a song that finds familiarity with Alex G’s past style. The guitar riffs and vocal auto-tune are instantly reminiscent of his previous work. However, the production is significantly notable. As for lyricism, the artist sets the theme of spirituality. With 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” fits the sound of the LP. The instrumentation on the track is composed beautifully, yet its length does not do itself justice. The song spends nearly half the song building up the track, then ends with lyrical repetition. The build-up leads the listener to disappointment. Its abrupt ending and mediocre lyrics make the track worth a skip.
“Mission” begins with “I’ve run the whole world ‘round.” The lyric’s placement, considering the previous track “Runner,” is a nice touch to the record. In the record, Alex G discusses the feeling of failure from unexpected occurrences of an intended plan.
The next track, “S.D.O.S” is on the experimental side. A deep echoed voice haunts the track. The percussion in this song is creative in its use of the cowbell and other instruments.
Following the experimental “S.D.O.S,” “No Bitterness” is also a surprise as the song reaches its end. The song begins with a sweet guitar riff, which is paired with gentle piano accompaniment. Halfway through, the acoustic guitar is replaced by the electric guitar. The sudden boom of 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 maturity as he suggests a change in one’s life that leads to regret.
The following tune’s songwriting is heavy to digest. The melody follows an addict in recovery. After the first chorus, the percussion disappears, leading the guitar to guide the listener. The riffs are shaky and unsteady. The track is saddening and darker than most.
“Cross the Sea” and “Blessing” were both released as singles as well and are the most noteworthy from the LP. Both are filled with unusual vocals. “Cross the Sea” is heavy in auto-tune, while “Blessing” has a vocal whisper. Toward the end of “Cross the Sea,” electronic keys and synths are introduced, which are the main attraction of “Blessing.” In contrast to its preceding tracks, the writing on these songs is optimistic and idealistic.
Alex G returns to acoustic guitars and simple drum beats, as he sings about the grief of a partner losing interest in him. “Haven’t I given enough? / When will I run out of love?” While he sings, a violin is in response to his singing. The track is fairly plain and lacks 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 their loved ones. The piano on the track accompanies the track in a major key, then switches into a minor key toward the end of the song. This choice left listeners unsettled by the sound of the keys.
The next track, “Headroom Piano” is an instrumental by the artist, but acts as a bridge on the album. From negative and clouded songwriting to a hopeful note in the following song.
Alex G reflects on mistakes and looks into the future on “Miracles” and “Forgive.” The acoustic instrumentation and sorrowful vocals flood the tracks with emotion, ending the album on a sentimental note.
Verdict: This is Alex G’s best-sounding record to date. Regarding songwriting, the artist has a diverse set of lyrics. Some songs become skip-worthy for their dull lyrics, while others are the best of his discography. The artist also plays it safe instrumentally. In comparison to his other records, this is the least experimental to date, with a few creative tracks. “God Save the Animals” is emotionally moving, but lacks an artistic appeal.