BY MILES PREKOSKI, PHOTO COURTESY OF RCA RECORDS
With the rollout of Brockhampton’s fifth studio album, “GINGER,” the Texas boy band has produced one of their tightest, most memorable works yet. More importantly, they’ve proven that the ragtag group isn’t just a fount of online excitement.
Brockhampton’s fifth studio album hit stores Aug. 23, solidifying their new direction as a 13-member group following the removal of vocalist Ameer Vann from the group in May 2018. Fans expected an album that could rebound Brockhampton to the anarchic, eerie, do-what-you-want status they had during their three-part “SATURATION” series, and while for many their last album “iridescence” didn’t live up to those expectations, “GINGER” is a different case.
With their latest album, it’s clear that ex-member Ameer Vann would no longer fit with the group, as tracks like “BIG BOY” and the self-titled “GINGER” go to show. Their latest project shows the group refining any sign disarray or chaos in their songs.
“SUGAR,” the second track on the project proves to be the most instantly infectious one, as featured vocalist Ryan Beatty makes his first of multiple appearances on the album. “Spending all my nights alone waiting for you to call me / you’re the only one I want by my side when I fall asleep”—the opening lyrics in the song elevates the track to one of the best pop songs the group has made.
The first three tracks on the album lead listeners to believe the group is headed in a new direction completely, but it’s later on in the album that we hear flashes of Saturation II and III on the project. “ST. PERCY” sticks out among most hip-hop tracks on the album, a grimy track that gives off creepy Halloween vibes. When all six members of the group are on the same page for a song, the chemistry and flows match up between vocalists and the song gets all the more better.
There are times, however, where some vocalists provide a verse that sounds unenthusiastic. It’s clear that the members of Brockhampton are depressed, scared, or trying to cope with their own anger and chaos. But on tracks like “LOVE ME FOR LIFE” or “BIG BOY,” entire fractions of the song sound subdued.
The songs speak on heavy subjects like drug use, losing close friends and violence, but none sound as emotionally intense as “DEARLY DEPARTED.” The first track on the second half of the album, members of the group recount the impact Ameer Vann had on them after he was booted out of the group. Dom McClennan delivers the hardest hitting verse of the song, suggesting that Ameer threw off the trajectory of the group. Vann was a core part of the group only two years ago, making it a deep track for BH fans.
“GINGER” goes to show that Brockhampton is still here, and they’ll be here for a long time. It’s only fair to assume the group will keep getting better.