by Nathan Yoon
‘God Save The Animals’ is the newest release from Philadelphia-based artist, Alex G. It’s his eighth studio album, and his fourth to be released through label Domino Records. Giannascoli recorded the entirety of the album in multiple different professional studios, as opposed to his traditional method of recording in his own home with GarageBand. He worked with Jacob Portrait, who has mixed albums for Giannascoli in the past, to produce the new record.
The lo-fi aspect that so many know Giannascoli’s music for is nowhere to be found on this release, as he opts for a more ‘polished’ production here, with close similarities to his seventh album ‘House of Sugar’. On the topic of production, he also employs the use of autotune throughout the album, most notably on the songs S.D.O.S, Cross the Sea, and Immunity. It took me a couple of listens to really get used to the over-the-top vocals on these songs and even after sitting with them for over a month, these songs mark low points on the album for me. Although, I can appreciate the exploration of different vocal techniques, which is something that Giannascoli has experimented with on previous albums (most famously, his use of vocal pitch shifting which can be found on the intro track ‘After All’). Even though Giannascoli has expanded his horizons sonically, songs like Mission, Early Morning Waiting, and Runner are reminiscent of ‘classic’ Alex G songs due to their stripped back guitar and piano.
The lyrical content on this record is something that I found interesting, as there are many mentions of religion throughout, and obviously in the title of the album itself. Although the mention of religion is not new to Giannascoli (he has a history of writing about Satan and ‘666’ in songs like ‘Sandy’ and ‘Gnaw’) he is much more explicit about it in this album. Lyrics like “You and me, we got better pills than ecstasy, they’re miracles and crosses” off Miracles and “God is my designer / Jesus is my lawyer” off S.D.O.S make the religious inspirations clear, but allow the listener to make their own assumptions about what he is talking about. “Jesus is my lawyer” isn’t exactly indicative of his views on religion. Overall, the album is strong, but has its low points sprinkled throughout. With his discography being so strong, I would rank this album as being average for an Alex G album, and would give it an overall score of 7/10.