Alex G
God Save The Animals


4.0
excellent

Review

by Slex USER (5 Reviews)
September 23rd, 2022 | 132 replies


Release Date: 09/23/2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: No stories, no mirrors

On God Save The Animals, Alex G once again revels in multitudes, wielding his considerable songwriting powers to conjure warped and kaleidoscopic pop songs that operate like a funhouse mirror: by accumulating so many auditory, thematic and lyrical sensations, it can be disorienting and exhilarating and challenging to know what exactly it is you caught a glimpse of. This modus operandi is not radically different than previous effort House of Sugar, but that album cloaked itself in an at-times impenetrable atmosphere of unease and kept listeners slightly at a remove through lyrics tied to an enigmatic concept. Keeping this in mind, God Save The Animals sounds like a slippery and self-conscious side-step to that more song-based and storybook frame of mind, harkening back to the kind of fractured and impressionistic indietronica the artist made a name on, but now bearing a newfound emotional directness and mastery over sequencing and flow.

The biggest upgrade that can be found this time is consistency and flow. There is a rich and bright burst of melodicism that binds these songs together as a warm and connective organism. Whether it's the pounding choral interludes placed in opener 'After All' or the cavalcade of drizzling keys and Strokesian guitar stabs in early jolt of energy 'Runner', Alex G repeatedly finds engaging ways of putting big melodic flourishes in these songs without feeling overly kitschy, usually by marrying these attention grabbing tactics with emotional resonance. The somnambulent pinging guitar of 'Ain't It Easy' sounds like an abandoned satellite orbiting a lonely moon, effectively conveying the muted sense of desperation for connection and protection. 'Mission' puts enough sustain in the vocals and the big smacks of keys to leave space for a Bowie-esque celestial longing.

Unfortunately, not everything works. The droning and hermetic 'Blessing' comes off as a concentrated retreating from the open vulnerability of the revelatory glitch folk balladry of 'Cross The Sea', which itself ends in a clutter of dramatic sci-fi synths, threatening to derail the quietly devotional torch song. 'S.D.O.S.' also squanders its own momentum with a spit take second verse that cheapens the whole thing. In moments like these, or the perfectly fine but utterly inconsequential 3 minute vibe 'Headroom Piano', it seems like Alex G can't help himself, reverting back to intellectual stimulation over emotional engagement.

The best moments here prove that there doesn't need to be such a sharp divide. 'Miracles' is intricately pieced together and retains the loping hangdog spirit of G's best near-ballads, but the soaring and touching openness of the lyrics make it the genuine article, resulting in a career best track. The aforementioned 'Ain't It Easy' and 'Cross The Sea' might be the best twofer of the year, giving the whole experience a reflective and pensive middle section of deep beauty carried along by waves of gorgeously layered vocals and forlorn yet ever diligent instrumentation. Closer 'Forgive' can be seen as a rocking analogue to Miracles; it has that creeping insistent energy of the artist's biggest songs but marries it to gritty vocals practically wailing, "No stories, no mirrors, I choose." It's a bracing statement that hopefully signals a future even more bold and confident than what we've seen thus far. The full-bodied successes of God Save The Animals sometimes give way to moments of gun-shy reticence; while an artist as inquisitive and meticulous as Alex G doesn't need to go for the jugular, he could also learn when not to pull his punches. This one isn't quite the knockout, but it still more than goes the distance.


user ratings (105)
3.8
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Slex
September 23rd 2022


15245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good album

Squiggly
September 23rd 2022


560 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album is wow 🤩

Gyromania
September 23rd 2022


35671 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

well done! sent you a few edits on fb but solid writing.



it's good to see people getting excited over this album, it's a special one!

BMDrummer
September 24th 2022


14929 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

serving up the goods as always



still has the ability to make me tear up :,)

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
September 24th 2022


17886 Comments


Woah! Welcome back son.

YoYoMancuso
Contributing Reviewer
September 24th 2022


17493 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Slex review yeehaw! Hard pos

Squiggly
September 24th 2022


560 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This review is wow too





Atari
Staff Reviewer
September 24th 2022


27562 Comments


Great review bud! I’ve never actually heard Alex G but consider me intrigued

Slex
September 24th 2022


15245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thx homies

rabidfish
September 24th 2022


7995 Comments


Lovely album. Great and consistent production quality, nice flow... Hope Alex can continue putting out stuff like this. I really like his stuff but the dude has always struggled (imo) with consistency until this.

Slex
September 24th 2022


15245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nah yr right this is easily his most consistent album

Cormano
September 24th 2022


3758 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

beach music pt 2 and im all for it



not a single dull moment here, (sandy) alex gbros we just keep winning

Squiggly
September 24th 2022


560 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Still have to check Beach Music



Have I been missing out?

anat
Contributing Reviewer
September 24th 2022


5015 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

there are a couple of missteps on this but blessing ain’t one of them

Gyromania
September 24th 2022


35671 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Blessing is great but it really doesn't fit the vibe of the album tbh

Slex
September 24th 2022


15245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Blessing is a great song but I think it's placed very poorly and undermines Cross The Sea

JesperL
Staff Reviewer
September 24th 2022


4864 Comments


hell yeah slex, great rev & even greater to see you writing again!! never loved any alex g i've heard but will give this boi a shot

Gyromania
September 24th 2022


35671 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

someone gave this a 1.5. wuuuuut

Sowing
Moderator
September 24th 2022


42643 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review. I saw a lot of people alluding to this needing time to grow but it seems very immediate, catchy, and lush to me. If anything I hope it has enough grit/substance to latch onto long term; it sounds so sleek and gorgeous though -- first impression is very, very good.

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
September 24th 2022


52269 Comments


Uh yes awesome review!!! Something q specific but unpinpointable about House of Sugar's flavour of acclaim + fanbase put me off checking, but maybe now is the time for Senor GEE



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