“Rocket” goes straight to the moon: Alex G fires on all cylinders through genre and rules

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Straddling the line between musician and enigma, multi-instrumentalist and native Philadelphian Alex G has created an output comparable to those in their 50sand hes only 24.

Rocket, Alex G’s eighth full-length project, finds him moving through genre to genre, acting upon his creative impulses. On Rocket, Alex G is not afraid to hop in a couple different genre pools. While some artists are more suited for one sound, Alex G seems to be comfortable wherever he decides to dip his toes in.

From Americana and Folk music layered with acoustic guitars and banjos making tender and sweet love songs, to the chaotic and sleepless sounds of songs like “Horse,” which incorporates some uneasy synth parts and some very loose acoustic parts, Alex G has a little bit for everyone in this album. 

But the genius behind making songs with multiple genres in mind for Alex G is that it does not separate the listener. One could listen to the lovey folk songs and also “Horse” and not be able to pick favorites. There is a feeling of cohesion throughout this entire record regardless of genre; it’s as if the listener is saying, “Alright, this is a little weird, but I think I get it. I’m with you”.

“Bobby,” one of the aforementioned sweet and tender Americana songs, is a simple song, but it’s a highlight on the album. Alex G sings in unison with a female partner about a relationship determined to work out no matter the emotional consequences, naming situations and offering to fix them one way or another “if you want me to.” A sweet sentiment with a sweet fiddle solo.

Alex G maintains a lo-fi feel that his fans initially enjoyed, and it is not so jarring to where new listeners won’t be able to enjoy it, but that’s also because these songs are really good. Alex G keeps his low volume, almost mumbling singing style with him, and it continues to work for the moods that he is creating. Something new, however, is his attempt at the use of autotune in “Sportstar.”

This inspiration may have come from working on Blonde with Frank Ocean. He laid some guitar parts down on a couple songs, and everyone wondered who he was because people want to like what Frank Ocean likes. This gave him an entirely new level of exposure.

Verdict: Song after song, Rocket showcases Alex G’s continuous (and a bit scary) proficiency at songwriting. Heartfelt tales like “Powerful Man” and “Bobby” show Alex at the fundamentals with acoustic guitar-based folk songs about simple things while keeping his emo and lo-fi sentimentalities in his back pocket. There is one thing for sure: Alex G on Rocket is an Alex G not afraid to try out new things, but what the listener gets every time is a talent that everyone should know about.

Grade: A

Best Tracks: “Judge,” “Bobby,” “Horse”

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