BROCKHAMPTON wraps up their music career beautifully with The Family

November 17, boy band BROCKHAMPTON released their seventh and, initially, final album, The Family. Serving as the group’s swan song, The Family reminisced on BROCKHAMPTON’s greatest triumphs, regrets and everything in between. Except, these parting thoughts exclusively belonged to lead singer Kevin Abstract. 

None of the band’s usual vocalists were featured on The Family. Besides Abstract, the only members found on the album’s credits were Ciarán McDonald, known by his stage name of Bearface, and Romil Hemnani. Both individuals helped in the making of the album by writing and producing respectively, but weren’t involved in the actual singing. This is typical of Hemnani, BROCKHAMPTON’s longtime writer and producer, however McDonald has always contributed his vocals in past albums.
This absence of group unity was indicative of BROCKHAMPTON’s disbandment, which was officially announced in January of 2022. Abstract woefully described the separation throughout The Family, sharing his love and appreciation for each member in tracks like “Brockhampton” and “Good Time”. The blunt delivery of the lyrics provided fans with an honest explanation of the breakup, as well as Abstract’s post facto emotions. The closure one received from The Family was much-needed and appreciated. Not to mention, the instrumentals are fantastic. 

And then came TM. A mere few hours after The Family was released, TM, an eighth album, was announced. It was released the following day, November 18, and included all the band members in the songs. However, it lacked the authenticity of The Family. Hinted in “Big P****” and “Gold Teeth”, TM was created out of necessity. The general consensus is that BROCKHAMPTON’s label, RCA, required the group to release a certain number of albums, with the final album needing to meet a minimum amount of minutes, 35 specifically. They complied and delivered — TM is exactly 35 minutes.

In the aftermath of the eventful two days, exclusive merchandise was released, some of which accompanied the group’s limited three-show radio series I Miss The Band Already. Their final hurrah took place November 19 at the Fonda Theater in Los Angeles, where they hosted a free concert. Songs from their extended discography were performed with all the vocalists present; it was a nostalgic conclusion to the group’s ambitious 12-year run. 

There’s something poetic about traversing middle school and high school listening to a certain music group, then having them come to an end during your senior year. All I can say is, I miss the band already.