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Kevin Abstract - Blanket (Album Review)

Thursday, 09 November 2023 Written by Jack McGill

Photo: Arseni Khachaturan

Where do you go after a break-up? Usually, nowhere specific. You float around for a while and find out where or how you’re meant to exist without a former constant in your life. Kevin Abstract’s latest solo album ‘Blanket’ finds the former Brockhampton leader in this open-ended spot, navigating a world without the anchor that saw him from adolescent to adult.

Here his writing bleeds catharsis, as usual, but there’s something missing in comparison to his previous work. Released in 2016, ‘American Boyfriend’ was an emotional introduction to Abstract’s personal feelings, his past sprinkled with trauma, at a time when Brockhampton were about to enter their prime. 

The ensuing ‘Arizona Baby’ found Abstract faced with conflict within himself about decisions he faced as a figurehead and how depression creeped further into his life. Both records were forthcoming and honest, painting a picture of who Kevin Abstract really was.

‘Blanket’ doesn’t do anything of the sort. It’s a trial run where he’s putting feelers out on a new version of his sound, one that foregrounds guitars and indie-rock dynamics. The title track is loud, bold, and nowhere near as subdued as previous efforts, while Real 2 Me sees him gush his true feelings for a close friend he loves over skipping twee-pop.

Running Out offers a brief glimpse of the singer we once knew as, just for a moment, Abstract wrestles with his identity. That familiarity is like a warm hug — one that you wish was present for the whole album. ‘Blanket’ isn’t the magnum opus that fans were hoping for after the split of Brockhampton, but it’s a sign of hope for an interesting future.


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