Album Review – GINGER – BROCKHAMPTON

Review by Brahm Berry

BROCKHAMPTON’s most recent album, GINGER, has garnered over one hundred million Spotify streams alone in less than one month from release. To say that this collective is in artistic limelight would be an understatement. So, is GINGER worth all the hype? After thorough analysis and reflection, this is the answer I resolved to. 

From a production standpoint, GINGER is of mainstream, professional-level quality. There is clarity between the highs and lows, the sound profile is expansive, and the parts are distinguishable. One could see, from this aspect, why BROCKHAMPTON has rocketed to fame so rapidly. Looking at song composition, however, the album starts to appear a bit hazy. While there are a few instances of good songwriting, (incidentally, in GINGER’s better songs), the album has a couple of persistent issues; the most glaring compositional issue with this album is quite deceptive, as one issue causes another. Initially, the tracks seem to last too long. The songs appear to be closing, but instead continue on for an extra minute and a half. However, the underlying problem is, in fact, not in track length; instead, the songs lack a sense of build. Take the first song in the collection, “NO HALO.” The song stays in the same tonal position the entire time, which makes it appear to overstay its welcome. Most of this is due to the use of melodic loops. It’s difficult to make tonal changes when one uses samples rather than having an instrumentalist that can make changes on-the-spot. Not that there’s anything wrong with using loops, though; I would argue that, aside from this infraction, BROCKHAMPTON uses loops in a very appropriate and effective way.

As far as notable songs go, GINGER does boast a few winners. Fans of classic, bass boosted rap will enjoy “ST. PERCY.” “DEARLY DEPARTED” is a psychological introspective with great effectiveness. Unfortunately, as far as complete tracks, these are the sole two that can claim some artistry. “GINGER,” (the song), has its moments, and it sounds distinct from the rest of the album, but it isn’t void of annoying missteps. “VICTOR ROBERTS” has impressive lyricism, but the music isn’t anywhere near strong enough to back it up. At the worst, GINGER is tedious and annoying to listen to; at its best, the album is surprising and thought-provoking. At the least, the varied musical styles represented in the album should contain something for everyone. The tracks aren’t so far different that they destroy album cohesion, but they aren’t woven together in any masterful sense, either. 

BROCKHAMPTON is assuredly a collective worth keeping track of for modern rap fans. GINGER will likely please existing fans of the group, and it may appeal to those that are into chill/melodic rap. However, it isn’t anything new or innovative, which is disappointing. The album is frustratingly safe; it takes zero risks and sounds very similar to everything else coming out right now. If you’re a fan of the same tired tropes of money, flexing, and women, you won’t be disappointed. But, if you’re looking for the album of a decade, your search continues.

Track List:

  1. NO HALO
  2. SUGAR
  3. BOY BYE
  4. HEAVEN BELONGS TO YOU
  5. ST. PERCY
  6. IF YOU PRAY RIGHT
  7. DEARLY DEPARTED
  8. I BEEN BORN AGAIN
  9. GINGER
  10. BIG BOY
  11. LOVE ME FOR LIFE
  12. VICTOR ROBERTS

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.