By Ryan Sterling
Album Release Date: June 9th, 2017
This is what Odd Future would sound like if they were good:
BROCKHAMPTON, the self-proclaimed “boy band” formed over the internet by leader Kevin Abstract, is anything but an actual boy band. The group was literally created through internet forums, where individuals who were talented in rapping, singing, producing, and singing were all invited to live in the same house and create music as a collective. Their first album, All-American Trash, released early last year, featured weird and unique beats and vocals, some of which worked. However, it’s been clear since the beginning of their formation that they are trying to do something different than most artists in the hip hop genre today; they aren’t afraid to experiment with sounds, beats, vocals, or song structures. The same can be said for this album, but it’s done in a much better way than previously.
SATURATION is a huge album, featuring 17 tracks across 51 minutes. However, with the group containing 15 or so members, there is clearly enough creativity and artistic talent in this group to make it work. Some songs like HEAT, STAR, and BUMP are insanely hard, with rough experimental beats and tough deliveries. Other songs are chilled out, with synth led beats and laid-back vocals. This whole album shows the versatility the group has, as it seems they can successfully make any type of song they want to make. There isn’t a single song on this album where you can tell they’re trying something new or experimental and it’s not working.
With 14 non “skit” tracks on the album, you would think there would have to be at least one or two bad filler tracks on it. But there just isn’t; the worst tracks on the album are good. Each song has an idea and each member that appears on the track helps clarify that idea to the listener, and there’s not a single transition from one member of the group to another that I found awkward or out of place. Each member knows what they can and can’t do, and are placed perfectly into wherever they fit. The only minor complaint I have about this is the rare artistic use of autotune in some songs, like FAKE or SWIM, when there are clear examples in the album which showcase some members’ ability to sing well.
Overall, this is the most surprising and amazing album I’ve heard this year, and is a good contender for album of the year for me. Kevin Abstract stated that BROCKHAMPTON will release a second album this summer, and I couldn’t be more excited to listen to it. A bunch of kids who live together in a house shouldn’t be able to make music this good. If you’re a fan of rap, don’t let this slip by you.
HEAT, GOLD, STAR, BOYS, FAKE, BANK, TRIP, BUMP, CASH, MILK, FACE