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Every Alex G Album Ranked Worst to Best

Alex Giannascoli isn’t just the man behind the TikTok treehouse song. He’s also a prolific songwriter, avid dog lover, and the only musician (to my knowledge) who has been mistaken as Beto O’Rourke with pissed pants. For many aspiring bedroom musicians, he was the proof of concept for a path to success through DIY ethos and outlets like Bandcamp. Alex G’s plethora of influences and willingness to experiment has resulted in a particularly diverse discography. If you asked ten fans for their album ranking, you’d get ten completely different lists, at least three cases of head lice, and gaslit six ways to Sunday into thinking your opinion is wrong.

9. Winner (2011)

“Winner” is the proverbial black sheep of the discography. Banished from every streaming platform save for Bandcamp, plenty of fan lists forget to even include this in their ranking. Which is a shame, because there are lots of ideas on here that make the project worth a listen. But something’s gotta be last, and there’s a reason this one hasn’t gotten the same rerelease treatment as his other pre-label albums.

Play it again: “Explain”
Skip it: “Math” (I don’t like long division)

8. Rules (2012)

This album is full of all the pieces that make Alex’s music great: catchy lo-fi singer-songwriter tunes, a warm blanket of melancholy, and plenty of off-the-cuff, yet strangely sentimental, lyrics about pissing yourself and vomiting. Not to mention some nasty guitar instrumentals on songs like “Master” and “Message.” Unfortunately, just like plenty of Hard Times readers, this album has been doomed to live in the shadow of its overachieving younger brother.

Play it again: “Mis”
Skip it: “Know Now”

7. House of Sugar (2019)

There is no denying some of Alex’s most extreme and successful experimentation is included on this project, illustrated best by songs like “Gretel.” But the record takes a noticeable step down in quality on the wandering back half. Trying all sorts of crazy new things is a double-edged sword, which I learned the hard way after taking three different strains of mushrooms and forgetting how to open my eyes in the Natural History Museum.

Play it again: “Cow”
Skip it: “Sugar” (the instrumentation is solid but the “talking through a fan” vocals get grating)

6. God Save The Animals (2022)

With his most recent album, Alex dove deeper into his unique blend of electronic and country influence and delivered an introspective view of aging. “God Save The Animals” sees Alex exploring faith, family, and eternity, illustrated plainly by the fact that he finally outgrew his bedroom and recorded this one in the big boy studio. This also seems to be his most personal record, though any long-time listener has no doubt learned to take everything he says in his lyrics with a grain of salt.

Play it again: “Miracles” (relisten to the second verse on this knowing Alex’s long time partner is playing the violin part while pregnant with their child, a real tear-jerker)
Skip it: “S.D.O.S.”

5. Race (2010)

It’s impossible to listen to this debut and deny the natural gift Giannascoli has for writing oddball earworms. The melodies on standout songs like “Gnaw” and “Crab” far exceed the quality that could be expected of a seventeen-year-old recording in GarageBand. I know because at twenty-four the best writing I can do is for a satirical punk news site.

Play it again: “Let It Go” (this parlor piano that appears throughout the album is so campy you can’t help but smile)
Skip it: “Time/Space”

4. DSU (2014)

With the subdued and dreamlike flow of “DSU,” Alex G tapped into a new plane of artistry that began to push his trademark slacker rock sound into a realm of psychedelia. The heavy layering of vocals and unique instrumental elements creates an undulating soundscape that floats you every which way before spitting you back out on your crumb-covered mattress. A consistent album from back to front, and a staple of Alex’s discography.

Play it again: “After Ur Gone” and “Boy”
Skip it: “Axesteel”

3. Rocket (2017)

Fresh off an unexplained moniker change, (Sandy) Alex G came out swinging with this Americana folk obsessed project. Full of types of songs that make you imagine sitting on your grandpappy’s knee in a backwater town, “Rocket” is made full by lyrics of longing and the same ear for catchy tunes that has always been central to Alex’s success as a songwriter. This is a perfect album for a breezy drive on a hot summer day, save for “Brick” which is a noise-influenced single that feels like a UFO crash landed in the middle of the serene cornfield that is the rest of the tracklist.

Play it again: “Bobby” and “Powerful Man”
Skip it: If you don’t want to give your country-loving Meemaw a stroke, “Horse”

2. Trick (2012)

Hazy, fuzzy, and proof of the eternal quality of music produced by an artist true to themselves, “Trick” is in many ways the purest synthesis of the childhood nostalgia that has become synonymous with this era of Alex’s work. The low vocal mix, bedroom quality recording, and mature-beyond-years writing all blend perfectly, evoking bittersweet memories of school years and young love lost long ago. This was the album that began the legend of Alex G, told through songs about eating whale meat and getting dommed by weed.

Play it again: The last run of songs from “Mary” through “Adam” (+“Sarah” if you include the bonus tracks) has a little bit of everything that makes this album great
Skip it: “So”

1. Beach Music (2015)

Alex G’s first release after signing to Domino in 2015 would no doubt be many listeners’ first impression of the then 22-year-old musician. What followed was a young artist firing on all cylinders, letting himself be swept up by a wide-ranging wave of musical experimentation but never losing direction or that gut instinct for what would make a beautiful song. “Beach Music” is a warm and charming trip through diverse genres and the broken relationships Alex has always indulged in with his songwriting. But this time, he imbues the lyrics with a maturing sense of hope and growth stemming from pain. It’s an album that welcomes you more intently with each listen.

Play it again: Let the whole thing wash over you (especially “Kicker” and “Snot”)
Skip it: To my lou while listening to “Brite Boy”