They’re back baby! BROCKHAMPTON return with their fifth studio album and my god it’s definitely what it says on the tin – GINGER is sweet and spicy.
Self-proclaimed boy-band BROCKHAMPTON (BH) have finally released their newest album GINGER. The record has twelve tracks but four were pre-released throughout August. In the lead up to the full release, my attention was particularly caught by ‘BOY BYE’ with its momentum of catchy beats, flowy verses and fascinating visuals. I loved the use of strings, particularly the plucking scales which gave me Latin-American vibes reminiscent of Buena Vista Social Club (a sentence I never thought I’d write). One thing I admire about BH is their confidence in using a wide variety of instruments, sounds and influences. You never know what you’re gonna get.
GINGER is no exception, aside from strings they utilise boozy brass and even sample their previous albums (listen out for ‘SUMMER’ at the end of ‘DEARLY DEPARTED’ – sheeeesh). The production of this record is, as always, phenomenal. I’ve got a lot of respect for Romil Hemnani, Jabari Manwa and Kiko Merley.
The first thing that hit me listening to this album was how meditative it was. Following on from iridescent, the tone seems to be looking inward in contrast from the perhaps braggadocio era of the SATURATION trilogy. The second track ‘SUGAR’, which Kevin Abstract said was his favourite on their Friday Therapy livestream, is one example where this can be heard. The angelic chorus by Ryan Beatty is a stand out from the whole album, added to this is an almost 00s RnB melody and some brooding verses resulting in a beauuuuutiful track. ‘DEARLY DEPARTED’ is believed by fans to discuss the Ameer Van controversy, Dom McLennon’s emotional verse gets increasingly intense before it sounds like he drops the mic. Coupled with the slow-cooked, moody guitar this track seems really cathartic.
Another reason to listen to GINGER is for the features. I’ve already mentioned Ryan Beatty, but other artists feature such as Deb Never, slowthai (big up) and Victor Roberts II. ‘VICTOR ROBERTS’ especially feels like an important moment in the album. In his own words on their beats radio takeover, Dom said that he met Victor online and just had to give him a voice. He says: “I realised this person was sharing their story with me and it was a story that the world deserved to hear.” The track begins with Victor reciting his past, touching on run-ins with the police, drugs and betrayal. The inclusion of this is so moving because it gives a voice and a platform to a new talented artist. His method of storytelling is great and I hope he keeps creating. Closing with Ryan Beatty and Bearface’s silky vocals, this final track ends the album with a sense of closure.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Kevin said: “Our album is very summery right now. Even though it’s maybe rooted in sadness, the goal is to make it feel right and to uplift and help people get through.”
And yet, through GINGER, BH seem to be working through their own emotions (I haven’t even mentioned Joba’s chilling verse in ‘BIG BOY’). What is really interesting about this album is its maturity, indicating perhaps a reconciliation with the past. Lets see where they go from here!
The verdict: It’s gotta be comfort food! I’m talking about Heinz tomato soup obviously… (other brands available). Sweet, tangy, a lil bit addictive. After you consume, you feel warm, fuzzy and relaxed. That’s it. That’s the tweet.
Listen for yourself:
- Beats 1 takeover: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VA9OYU0WyY
- Interview with Rolling Stone: https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/brockhampton-ginger-profile-871695/