Album Review: 'TM' by Brockhampton

Have Brockhampton fallen short of their latest album?

George Neal
5th December 2022
Credit: Spotify

For the past six years Brockhampton has showcased a bright spectrum of energetic talents - from its wide selection of members across various rap projects. But, as all good things must come to an end, the legendary group recently dropped the two last albums of their career: TM and The Family. With TM serving as the actual finale, there’s quite a bit of surprise to take in with this 37-minute ride, most notably how shockingly flat it is compared to the rest of the group’s discography.

With Roadrunner having raised the bar even higher last year with lightning production, killer features and strikingly vulnerable moments, TM ultimately feels like a collection of discarded B sides from that album jumbled together as a last-minute send-off. But while crushingly-tight concepts and pushing the greatest of skills from all thirteen members may not be essential to have a satisfying experience, TM nonetheless remains a disappointment, with tracks ranging from serviceable bangers to some of the driest material they have ever put out.

Brockhampton find themselves attempting to retrace the past with a blunt pencil

The album’s strong moments are undoubtedly when our artists reveal their fiery passion hasn’t run out yet, with Kevin Abstract and Matt Champion spitting ruthlessly on the simple hi-hat banger ‘FMG’ and flowing like angry butter melting through hell on the trap-acoustic fusion ‘New Shoes.’ The boys also show classic moments of internalisation and vulnerability on songs like ‘Crucify Me,’ (‘My lowest points were formed standing at the sink, I gotta hide these tears just like a G’) supported by a moving low-fi chorus from Joba. However, on other songs, Brockhampton find themselves attempting to retrace the past with a blunt pencil.

Credit: YouTube @BROCKHAMPTON

Tracks like Animal and Listering have passable lyrics but all too familiar and uninteresting beats and vocals. When production isn’t needlessly dry, it's most likely way overblown. Most notably, the embarrassing synth-pop and vocal work on ‘Man on the Moon’, which feels like someone stuck an adrenaline needle into a Daft Punk song after sucking out any originality. While there are certainly moments of reinvigorated swagger and iconic hilarity on TM (‘Green Lamborghin' look like Bulbasaur and his dad’), it remains a head-scratching ‘conclusion’ to a group with an otherwise stunning legacy.

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