All-caps loving boyband BROCKHAMPTON has returned with a more focused sleeper hit of an album, GINGER.
After 2018’s divisive iridescence., which split the opinions of fans and critics, it seems the group has been able to get a hold on their newfound fame and hone in on a consistent sound, as opposed to the kitchen sink approach of their last effort.
The ill-paced but admittedly exciting switches between industrial bangers and soft orchestral pop-rap are no longer, but that’s not to say the group has lost its versatility. Two acoustic guitar-driven songs, “NO HALO” and “SUGAR,” start the album off with sprinkles of BROCKHAMPTON’s signature production and unique vocal styles, but they manage to throw in the Latin jazz influenced trap cut “BOY BYE” immediately after, followed by a few more hard-hitting rap tracks, and it works so damn well.
The reason it works? Minimalism. BROCKHAMPTON’s instrumentals are less lavish and gargantuan than ever, which allows for an easier bounce between different types of songs, even though they still fit under the group’s unique sound of Hardcore Hip-Pop.
Their influences do bleed through a little more here, with the always present Tyler, the Creator sound bubbling up especially strong on “ST. PERCY” and “DEARLY DEPARTED.” And while they still manage to provide their own twist on their roots, it does somewhat detract from what feels like could’ve been a major turning point for the group, though in many ways, this album sounds like an improved version of SATURATION I.
The dark, bass-heavy bangers are here, sounding better than ever, but the more downtempo and melancholic moments are written and produced with a new level of skill that simply comes with age—especially when you’re as young as some of BROCKHAMPTON’s members are.
The lyricism remains pretty consistent with their previous albums, staying sharp and poignant as ever, though they deal with themes such as faith in a way they haven’t before, and they speak more maturely on their situation with former member Ameer, now that they’ve had the time to meditate on the issue.
Merlyn’s upward trajectory seems to continue on this album, as he manages to keep the energy alive on his more reserved moments on the album, and still scream like hell.
All in all, this feels like a major improvement for BROCKHAMPTON, and though time will tell if it stacks up with the now classic SATURATION trilogy, it’s definitely a step in the right direction.