Less than a year since ‘iridescence’, America’s self-proclaimed “best boyband since One Direction” have returned with their most mature and concise work to date. Basically, the boys are sad. Like, real sad, and there’s a dark underpinning running through the entirety of ‘GINGER’. Just looking at the album artwork, you can see that the guys are feeling all the #feels. On opening track ‘NO HALO’, Joba sets the tone, rapping: “Been goin’ through it again / Been talkin’ to myself, wonderin’ who I am”. What follows is a self-reflective record, confronting their demons with the continued reference to faith and religion becoming a coping mechanism. There are still some bops thrown in there, ‘IF YOU PRAY RIGHT’, ‘ST. PERCY’ and ‘BOY BYE’ are welcome pick-me-ups, and some exciting guest features - slowthai on ‘HEAVEN BELONGS TO YOU’ and Ryan Beatty jumping on several tracks - but this is overwhelmingly a sad album, coming to its climax during ‘DEARLY DEPARTED’ where Kevin Abstract, Matt Champion and, especially, Dom McLennon deliver some of their most raw and unfiltered verses so far.
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A record that packs an emotional punch while finding the collective as accomplished and explorative as ever musically.