Full disclosure – I very rarely listen to an entire album in one sitting. I find that it is rare for me to find a single album with enough variety or good tracks to captivate me enough to want to listen the whole way through in one go. However, every now and then I find an album that breaks that rule. For me, ‘GINGER’ is one of those albums.
BROCKHAMPTON seems to have taken on a more commercial and polished direction on this album. Their youthful and rambunctious f**k you we are making this music even if you don’t like it energy seems to have been replaced by a more controlled sound. They seem to have a greater grasp on their sound than ever before.
This control shines through on this album perfectly. If you set whatever streaming service you use to fade the end of one song into the next you can easily find the album blurring into one beautiful 44 minute and 16 second track in the blink of an idea. Then before you know it, boom, you’re back at the beginning ready to go around again.
The album opens with ‘NO HALO’ and ‘SUGAR’, two songs anchored by acoustic guitars. With both tracks featuring backing vocals (Deb Never on ‘NO HALO’ and Ryan Beatty on ‘SUGAR’), the album opens with a very airy and light sound. The next four tracks bring more of that rap sound one might expect on a BROCKHAMPTON album, with a fantastic feature from Slowthai on ‘HEAVEN BELONGS TO YOU’.
Where the album really shines, and cemented itself as one of my favourites of the year so far, is the final four songs. The title track, ‘GINGER’, is fantastic. It has a spacey sound that leaves you unable to sit still. Ryan Beatty again lends his vocals here, and they provide a fantastic backdrop to the track.
I really loved how ‘BIG BOY’, ‘LOVE ME FOR LIFE’ and ‘VICTOR ROBERTS’ continued the spacey vibe that the best tracks on this album have. The sounds combined with strong flows and beats leave you with a really consistent sound across them. These tracks are where BROCKHAMPTON seems to be showing their maturing tastes and styles. The stripped back sounds leave you to get lost in the music. These songs don’t have that typical boom in your face sound that so many of us have come to know, love and expect from BROCKHAMPTON
Even though I love a lot of the tracks on GINGER, none of them really stand out as #1 radio single kind of tracks. Even thought I would love to be proven wrong; I don’t necessarily think that is a bad thing. Will these songs get a high energy crowd going like some of their older work? Probably not. But that doesn’t matter. These new tracks show the groups desires, and more importantly, ability to adapt and evolve their sound while still staying true to the roots that won them so many fans to begin with.
GINGER is an album greater than the sum of its parts. BROCKHAMPTON is clearly here for the long haul.