Published Feb 19, 2020It's hard to imagine any fan of Allie X's dark, shiny pop will be displeased with Cape God. The new record by the classically trained performer turned electro-goth idol elegantly blends the new and old styles of Alexandra Ashley Hughes to create the artist's best work yet.
There's a carefully crafted grit and griminess to the instrumentals that telegraph a sense of impending doom even before X's vocals arrive. Previous records have worked similarly, featuring non-vocal parts just as memorable as the melodies, but here they feel more communicative. Every part of the record is talking to you.
As for what it has to say, tracks like "Life of the Party" and "Learning in Public" see Allie X examining her role in the various forms of her existence: the woman; the idol; the artist; the entertainment. Cape God seems to revolve around the thesis that identity isn't a singular concept for anyone, but especially not for Allie X.
If you can get past the silly title, "Super Duper Party People" might just be X's best work. Its narrator gives the listener a hallucinogenic tour of a rave through lyrics oozing with drug and sex references, all set to a hypnotizing synth bass loop. It's an anthem meant to celebrate any congregation of misfits and outsiders, and destined to be a fan favourite.
Cape God also marks the first time vocal duets play a role on an Allie X album. "Love Me Wrong" features a back-and-forth with Troye Sivan, with Sivan's part offering a second take on a complicated quarrel. Until now, it's been Allie alone telling listeners about these situations, so the clash of perspectives is a welcome and mature addition to the storytelling. The Mitski collaboration "Susie Save Your Love" is another highlight.
Cape God does such justice to the patented Allie X sound, refining and mastering it to the extent that it makes all that came before it feel like a proof-of-concept for this project. Pulsing keyboards clashing against string instruments and met with intoxicating vocals, Cape God sees Allie X reach her final form. (Independent)