(Sandy) Alex G // House of Sugar
A fearless experimenter, Alex G has mastered the art of album-crafting
5 out of 5 stars
If you Google "(Sandy) Alex G," you're bound to see words like "prolific" and "enigmatic" alongside comparisons to Elliott Smith within the first few search results. While all of this is apt, it also buries the lead when it comes to Alex Giannascoli as a musician. A fearless experimenter and heartfelt songwriter, (Sandy) Alex G has mastered the art of album-crafting. Following some collaboration with Frank Ocean, 2017's Rocket felt like an unbelievable step forward into the spotlight. But put simply, House of Sugar takes everything the songwriter has learned and doubles down on those lessons, leaving us with both cohesive melodic experiments (opening track "Walk Away," "Project 2") and emotional storytelling ("Hope," song of the year contender "Gretel"). Within the span of just 38 minutes, there is somehow both genuine cowboy affectation and ultra-vocoded vocals commanding a sea of synthesizers. Even a potentially grating song like "Near" has its place in the album's unpredictable midsection. Equal parts bizarre and accessible, House of Sugar is the rare, genre-denying record with the potential to leave a true legacy.
— Aaron Mook