After 12 years of producing his own music, Alex G had high expectations to meet for his first album made in the studio. Alex Giannascoli, who records music under the stage name Alex G, started his music career in his bedroom, uploading songs on Bandcamp. Today, he's amassed a sizable following among the indie community and has enjoyed his 15 (or so) minutes of fame on TikTok for his 2011 single “Treehouse.”
God Save The Animals is Alex G’s most polished album yet. On this record, he plays with religious allusions, moral maxims, and imagery that has listeners wondering if the subject of his hit song “Runner” is a man or a dog. Alex gives most songs minimal lyrics, allowing one core thought to come through and his unrivaled instrumentation to become the focus.
The first track on the album, “After All,” gently eases the listener in with the strum of chords on acoustic guitar, then thwarts expectations with Giannascoli's distorted vocals. The high–pitched vocals border on being grating, but come together to create a cohesive and alluring sound. Here, Alex G introduces the theme of religion with the refrain, “After all / People come and people go away / Yeah, but God, with me, he stayed,” and as such, God stays with us throughout the album.
On “No Bitterness,” Alex G finds his stride with straightforward lyrics. The song gets its title from the repetition of three lines: “My teacher is a child / With a big smile / No bitterness.” Alex endears us with his earnestness in this ode to innocence.
The star of God Save The Animals is the mid–album single “Blessing.” Here, Alex G shows off his musical prowess with a song that continues to shift and keeps the listener guessing. With “Blessing,” he forsakes the jovial melodies that made him TikTok famous for an edgier, more experimental sound. This track hammers home a wholesome message, “Every day is a blessing,” in an unnerving tone.
“Headroom Piano” delivers a moody interlude before the album's last two tracks. The distorted, indecipherable vocals create a mysterious ambiance that slowly fades into “Miracles.” On this penultimate song, Alex G takes inspiration from the country genre to create a warm, reflective track in which he ponders starting a family. At this moment, Alex G is at his most sentimental, as he praises “Beautiful sunsets on lost and lonely days.” This track also houses the lyrics which give us the album title, with Alex singing, “Baby, I pray for the children and the sinners and the animals too.”
On God Save The Animals, Alex G is at his most refined, but not at the expense of creativity. The album hosts a diversity of sound across songs which are equally wide–ranging in tone. While there’s a strong religious and moral theme on the album, Giannascoli makes no conclusive statements on any one idea. God Save The Animals delivers a hopeful soundtrack for a young adulthood that hasn’t quite eluded its angst.