Following a six-month hiatus from the music industry, boyband BROCKHAMPTON has finally released their fifth album, titled “GINGER.” The storytelling on this album is unmatched and sets the album apart from past projects. The members cover tough topics including the loss of a close friend, mental illness, growing up, feeling lost and finding your way.
The momentum BROCKHAMPTON maintained with their first four albums came to a halt when accusations against one of their core members, Vann Ameer, surfaced. Two women came forward describing Ameer’s sexual and emotional abuse, but did not press charges. BROCKHAMPTON released official statements of Ameer no longer being in the group as well as scrapping “PUPPY”, the album they were working on with him at the time.
“DEARLY DEPARTED” quickly became a fan favorite off “GINGER” because of its seemingly direct response to Ameer leaving the group. Listeners initially hear this from Kevin Abstract in the first verse: “What’s the point of havin’ a best friend if you end up losin’ him?” The depth in this song goes beyond just Ameer when Russel Boring, who goes by Joba, talks about the loss of his grandma and feeling guilty.
We hear a collaboration with Victor Roberts on the last track titled “VICTOR ROBERTS”. This song takes listeners through a traumatic event that Roberts experienced as a young boy. The song is unbelievably honest and the lyrics seem to be heavily influenced by Roberts’ faith. This song stemmed from member Dom McLennon’s desire to collaborate with people who “deserve it”.
Oddly enough, this album came from weekly sessions led by Shia LaBeouf at Abstract’s house. The group explains how setting time aside each Friday to talk about their feelings is what kept “GINGER” so honest. LaBeouf introduced Hemnani to the sample used in “IF YOU PRAY RIGHT”, which beat-wise sounds the most like BROCKHAMPTON’s previous albums. The group has spoken on the confidence of this song serving as a part two to “HEAVEN BELONGS TO YOU”, a more melancholic sound.
“GINGER” contains similar themes from previous BROCKHAMPTON albums, but is not near as focused nor aggressive as Saturation I, II and III. This album has its upbeat moments with “BOY BYE”, a fast-paced production with dark lyrical undertones, as well as another aggressive track, “ST. PERCY” which starts with a monotonous bass line that leads into a minimal beat.
The slow and more lyrical tracks like “NO HALO” and “SUGAR” feature a gentle beat paired with acoustics that combine for an overall sad tone. Much of the album’s slow pace leads fans to believe the group might be taking a more mature direction.
The album cover symbolizes this in a very distinct way by capturing a hug from two members of the BROCKHAMPTON team. The softly toned color palette we see on “GINGER” contrasts from the oversaturated portraits on the Saturation Trilogy album covers. “GINGER” feels different and unlike any other project the boys have released, they seem to have used this album as a way to say their piece and move forward.