Brockhampton makes comeback with 'Ginger'
Courtesy of Genius
After a hiatus of one year, the internet’s greatest boyband Brockhampton is back with their new full-length album “Ginger.” This comes after the release of their last album, “Iridescence,” which came out at a very volatile point in the band’s career, following the resignation of former member Ameer Vann. This controversy threw off their release schedules and caused albums to be scrapped.
Due to this, “Iridescence” was completely rushed and didn’t have the same feeling as the “Saturation” trilogy that came before it. There was no consistency in the album’s structure and all the main hits felt undercut by the outside distractions.
However, “Ginger” feels complete and thought out. Compared to past albums, “Ginger” is a culmination of the band’s feelings about the Vann situation. The lyrics convey a story about the group’s conflicted feeelings toward their former bandmate. They sound like they are depressed that they had to force Vann out of the band but are also shocked and disappointed at why they had to do it. They took all of their negative emotions and threw them into such a great album.
This record is about being lost, an outcast and alone. You feel this from the very beginning starting with the opening track, “No Halo.” The gentle beat, combined with an acoustic guitar playing in the background and bittersweet lead vocals from Deb Nevers, makes for a beautiful melody with great messages intended to resonate with those suffering from depression or in a bad place in life.
The next track, “Sugar,” is reminiscent of early-2000s R&B, along with a slow, calming chorus and beat. This track in particular stands out from Brockhampton, as it shows how good they can be while being honest in their music. “BOY BYE,” the third track on the album, is a much-needed reprieve from the tracks before it. It still deals with the overall dark tone of the album, while being plucky and could be considered the first “banger.” The interlude “Heaven Belongs To You” features none other than Slowthai. Slowthai’s vocals have astounded me, as this was my first time hearing him at all. The beat to this track comes up a bit later in “If You Pray Right,” and acts as sort of a teaser to it.
The next track, “St. Percy,” is probably the most aggressive song on the album. It features a grimy bassline and lyrics that give me goosebumps. Dom’s flow and grit, with Bearface’s sassy bridge and ending with Merlyn’s outro (which could probably shake an entire venue with its ballistic outbursts), are the highlights of the song, but are held down by the performances on the album.
Now we get to the meat of the album with “If You Pray Right,” which was teased earlier. The brass instrumentals and keyboard give the track a unique feel and, combined with the vocals from Kevin, Dom, Merlyn, Matt and Joba, making for the best “banger” in the album. A ballad from Bearface ends the song beautifully.
Now to the most “feels track” in any album so far: “Dearly Departed.” This track deals with the Vann situation directly. There is a slow, melancholic beat hanging over all of it as each main member of Brockhampton lays down some of their most personal bars on how they felt about Vann. I could go on about all of them, but there is one that needs major attention: Dom’s ending verse. It discusses how Vann set up one of Dom’s friends to be robbed (which was actually confessed by Vann). It ends with Dom yelling and slamming the door to the studio, ending the song on a very dark note.
The next track, “I Been Born Again,” was the first single to be released for this album and the song that personally got me invested into Brockhampton again. It is nothing special when compared to the rest of the album and has some weird moments, like giving Joba a distorted, deep voice during his verse.
Things start going blue once more with the track “Big Boy,” which features freakish auto-tuned verses and a chorus with a distorted, depressed, deep voice, akin to the previous track.
The album stays sad with the second to last track, “Love Me For Life,” but felt unfinished. Kevin and Joba’s style felt tedious in this track and I would say this is the least likable track on the album. The final track, “Victor Roberts,” features the addition of a new vocalist of the same name. His style feels unique, just like the other vocalists, and his performance on this track makes the listener hope to God that he stays with the band. The track, ending with Bearface’s and Ryan Beatty’s angelic vocals, leads us out the dark pit of depression the album dug into, on a high and positive note.
I love this album, as it shows how their last album was a fluke and that they are bouncing back from the drop-off. Rating albums on a scale from one to 10, I feel that this album deserves a high eight. Hopefully you will listen and enjoy this album as much as I have.