By Viridiana Salgado
There are times where one wishes to escape to some vaguely described location with words such as “woodsy” and “full of nature” in the description. I feel that there are many people who have this desire but are often too accompanied by everyday responsibilities. In our modern society, it’s become common for one to get lost in their own cycle that they forget to refresh with a breath of fresh air. That breath of fresh air can come from a multitude of places, people or things. Rocket (2016) by singer-songwriter Alex Giannascoli (Alex G) is one of those places.
The album kicks off with the twangy-folk track Poison Root, which follows repetitive lyrics that sing “Now I know everything.” This track is accompanied with a violin which allows the listener to be transported into a different reality, where nature overcomes all else and humanity is submissive to the strength of our green Earth. Bobby, Big Fish, and Alina all share a similar dream-like Irish feel.
Powerful Man, track 11 off the record, acts as a story. The narrator reminisces on events that make him believe that he will be a powerful man, such as in the introduction where it opens with the narrator disappointedly stating that their brother broke the law again and that he’s being sent to jail for his crime. The narrator then goes to admit that his brother is not exactly the best person, suggesting that his brother has hurt him before, but overcomes any doubt of love for his brother by singing “but a brother is a brother, and that is that.” This is the beginning of his journey to be a powerful man, as to be powerful is to be forgiving. He ends his story by describing a conversation with his lover, appreciating that his lover will always stay at his side because they know he chooses love and forgiveness, which translates to strength.
Forgiveness is a common theme in Giannascoli’s music. However, although this theme may be persistent, he also admits his own faults and is aware of his challenges to accept the fruits of his labor.
Tracks Guilty, Judge and Brick presents as the darker side of the paradise the album sets itself to be in. Guilty follows the narrator’s inability to be open about his own desire to just be alone, without any of the people who wish to be around him. In a way, it plays a contrasting piece to Powerful Man, as this track discusses forgiveness, family and love, while Guilty exposes another view of this theme as the narrator questions if he is who he claims to be, or if he’s “buried all the evidence of what you used to be.” The jazzy instrumental acts as a dizzy subconscious, and it makes you feel reflective upon yourself as Alex G takes you through his own mindset.
This record takes one to an entirely different universe, as it both plays as an appreciative piece towards love, nature and forgiveness but also admitting the faults one has to accept. It’s refreshing to sit in the middle of a woodsy location that’s full of nature, but if one stays there for too long, it may become difficult to escape your own mentality. Nature acts as a reflective place, and it’s important to acknowledge and accept your own mistakes, but it’s also important to strive to be better.
Rocket by Alex G was released in 2017 and is available on all streaming platforms.