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The workaholic hip-hop collective eschew catchier beats for a darker, more mournful noise with Ginger. It's a melancholy mood piece that finds them battling the demons that follow an astronomic and dramatic rise to fame.

A tumultuous period saw Brockhampton oust fan favourite Ameer Vann from the group - after numerous allegations of sexual misconduct - and release the grandiose yet rather rough-round-the-edges Iridescence, recorded at Abbey Road.

Lyrically, Brockhampton are becoming more visual and evocative

It seemed that the self-styled boy band might have lost some of the steam that saw them release three albums in a year. But with Ginger, they prove that bigger isn't necessarily better. Unlike Iridescence, it's a mature record rather than just being about maturity. It's tight and musically focused, where Iridescence was vast and clumsy. It knows exactly where to hold back and where to ramp up, bleeding through every production choice and becoming their most immersive and haunted album yet.

Lyrically, Brockhampton are becoming more visual and evocative. Some of Ginger's quietest moments are its loudest. Joba self-deprecatingly describes a drunken trip to a church at his rock bottom, and themes of hope and religion resurface throughout. There's Nina Simone references in places, like the track titles of 'If You Pray Right' and 'Heaven Belongs to You', and a blistering verse from usual standout Dom McLennon as he spills his feelings of betrayal towards Vann on 'Dearly Departed': "and it's not my problem anymore / That's just where you stand / That's just who you are / That's your cross to bear / You could talk to God / I don't wanna hear, motherfucker."

A noticeable slip arrives with a guest appearance from larger-than-life English rapper slowthai, who is completely incongruous on such an agile album. "And there's a war in my head / Just like the Middle East", he raps on 'Heaven Belongs to You', casually gifting us one of the worst lyrics of the year. Otherwise, Brockhampton hit the mark in all dimensions, displaying their usual musical inventiveness, but more surprisingly a willingness to commit to gloomy themes that may alienate some of the fans that came on board during their youthful, sweet-sounding heyday.

"Don't pout 'round me / Don't cry around me," frontman Kevin Abstract sings on standout track 'Big Boy'. It follows a devastatingly sarcastic line about the elusiveness of adulthood, which Abstract sees as a sort of pot of gold at the end of the rainbow: "Big boy, you a big boy now / Big boy, you a big boy now". Listening to that chorus is the sound of how it must feel to grow up.

Louis Norton

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