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God Save The Animals Expands Alex G’s Theoretical Oeuvre

The Pennsylvania songwriter’s latest collection of eclectic pop is a bit of a mess — and better for it.

by Thomas Johnson

Since 2017’s Rocket, Alex Giannascoli’s grip on an increasingly eclectic brand of pop music has only tightened. That doesn’t necessarily mean he has figured out how to completely homogenize the disparate elements and themes he is so clearly enamored with. Rather, God Save The Animals is in fact a bit of a mess — but a mess that manages to be beautiful far more than cluttered. And certainly one that invites repeat listens to organize your thoughts. 

At a moment’s notice it will leap between acoustic folk and power pop. The industrial drone that marks the transition from “Cross The Sea” to “Blessing” sounds like an early 00’s El-P intro, and on the latter track it repeats itself between verses reminiscent of the “Can U Keep A Secret” skit from De La Soul’s 3 Feet High And Rising. The next song, “Early Morning Waiting,” is yacht rock 2.0. It’s uncommon for Giannascoli’s vocals to stick to a single pitch throughout the entirety of a song — if it’s even his voice at all. And yet, all these components flying around give the album an endearing, exciting quality. 

Not 10 years ago, bedroom pop was significantly easier to box into a preconceived classification. Whether that was out of necessity, or creative vision is no longer relevant. Alex G has played a vital role in expanding those limits, and God Save The Animals is another kaleidoscopic treasure of auteur pop to add to his resume.