Album Review: BROCKHAMPTON Shine As Collective On New LP 'GINGER'

BROCKHAMPTON keep the movement going with their new album 'GINGER.'
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BROCKHAMPTON GINGER Cover Art

BROCKHAMPTON broke out of the gate in 2017, showing just how prolific they can be, releasing three albums in that year and another last year. They continue that streak with another LP out today called GINGER.

BROCKHAMPTON kept the release cycle short and sweet, dropping a few singles, but made sure not to draw the process out. Now we have the full record to digest.

2018 was a year of upheaval for the group. There were moments of maturity in their lives and in their business after signing a $15 million RCA deal. The group kicked out Ameer Vann over the summer of 2018 when he was accused of sexual assault and after the release of Iridescence in the fall, they scattered for six months to deal with a stressful year, before returning together and recording this new album.

The album carries on the tradition of collaboration and posy-rapping as they are often led by Kevin Abstract, but the whole gang is found throughout GINGER. They aren’t reinventing the wheel with this record, but are moving beyond the tumult of the past.

The LP may not have obvious hits, but that has never been their m.o. Plenty of these songs have the potential to bubble up and become either streaming hits or slow-rising tracks like “GINGER” or “BOY BYE.”

This album does take on a different tone. Gone are the joyous gospel choruses and soulful beats, but rather they hone in on the anger at society and the harshness of their collective and individual pasts. They replace that with autotune and varied production from Romil Hemnani, Jabari Manwa and others. 

One thing you will never worry about with a BROCKHAMPTON is the record getting stale. Kevin Abstract remains the face of the crew and he is found on almost every song, either with a verse of humming along a hook, but the other members find their light on the right tracks. That has always been the genius of BROCKHAMPTON. For a group so large, they never seem to trip over each other and give each other the space to shine on the right tracks. It is rare this many people can get along so well creatively, but they manage to do it.

They do have one guest on the record, UK rapper Slowtai (they don’t need many guests given how many members they have), taking over “HEAVEN BELONGS TO YOU” and meshing with the album’s overall feel and vibe.

BROCKHAMPTON haven’t missed a beat from Iridescence and seem to be evolving in exciting new ways. With so much intrinsic diversity to choose from with their music, they can morph and shift in plenty more ways without losing the soul of the group. Their angst, anger and sadness could be repetitive, but with so many different perspectives it remains fresh.

Listen to GINGER below and pick up a copy here.

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