Released earlier this summer, BROCKHAMPTON followed 2018’s ‘Iridescence’ with their fifth studio album ‘Ginger’. Since Iridescence, the self-proclaimed greatest boyband since one direction has faced chaos and separation, but out of this, the boys have birthed ‘Ginger’, a compelling sonic diary of their trials and tribulations. However, rather than being melancholy for all 12 tracks, the album is hopeful instead, with a more mature and yet sensitive sound.
There is no such thing as too many cooks in the case of BROCKHAMPTON as the 14-piece group adopted new collaborators such as Slowthai who owned the whole 90 seconds of ‘Heaven belongs to you’ which explored his relationship to religion. Honorary member Ryan Beatty, who previously performed with Brockhampton on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, makes a cameo on No Halo, Sugar and Victor Roberts.
The album contends with issues previously explored in their 2018 album, yet Ginger seems to be a reflective renaissance on how change has transformed them. Ginger exists within the blur of past and future, and by doing so the tone of the album cannot be labeled happy nor can it be called sad; however, it is precisely this murky existence in flux that is enjoyable without a constant or consistent genre. Beatty’s ‘I don’t know where I’m going’ on No Halo is a perfect example of their nostalgia and their contentedness with the present, suiting the hazy vibes of summer at the time of its release.
Similarly, to the title track Ginger, Boy Bye features a trippy and sonically eerie loop, sounding familiar to a carnival, juxtaposing the vulnerable lyrics from all the vocalists in the boyband. The music video features incredible cinematography reminiscent of 2012 Tumblr edits. Dearly Departed also exhibits raw and emotional vocals from Dom McLennon, Matt Champion and Kevin Abstract detailing the departure of former band member Ameer Vann in late 2018 and the lasting impact it has had on the band.
Unlike the mosh-pit appropriate tunes featured in the Saturation trilogy, Ginger will undoubtedly create a new genre of hits, perfectly suiting the mix of talent and personalities within the group. Ginger sees the band more in sync than ever, uniting through adversity while exhibiting all their individual talents without any hierarchy or rules, and is perhaps their most concise work yet.