A collective of 14 members, self-proclaimed boy band/rap group BROCKHAMPTON released their first major label album Sept. 21 and their first album since their 2017 trilogy of “Saturation” mixtapes.
What is there to say about the boys that hasn’t been said? Their alternative hip-hop/alternative pop-rock style is an immersive experience; their production value is always top notch; and their lyricism, delivery, and vocal inflections are exquisite. This new project, though, is different.
“Iridescence” has a cover of a pregnant woman colored wildly by a thermal camera, which is fitting as the google definition of the title is “showing luminous colors that seem to change when seen from different angles.” This really explains the whole album. Everything about the project is colorful and changes with each listen. It means something a little different to each person who listens to it. You hear (or see) a new shade of color every time.
The themes focus on color, differences, and diversity throughout the entirety of the album, from the cover to the music videos to the music itself. With different sounds, hardships, and sexualities explored on the project, it truly becomes its own world of BROCKHAMPTON.
Normally, the number one issue in a boy band or rap group is one member outshining the other. Harry Styles in One Direction, Dre in NWA, Tyler the Creator in Odd Future, and Justin Timberlake in NSync are just a view examples of members outshining the others and becoming the main attraction. Few groups can truly balance their work to where everyone takes an equal part, but BROCKHAMPTON is one of them.
Nobody outshines anyone on the entirety of this project (besides Joba on track 10 “J’ouvert”).
No band is without its adversity, though. This project is really a comeback after having to out Ameer Vann, the literal face of their previous three mixtapes, due to sexual harassment allegations. The album, although very sensitive and emotional at times, oozes with the confidence and swagger needed to show people that these guys mean business, and they’re not backing down. “We’re tryna do Travis Scott numbers,” Kevin Abstract said to Beats 1 Host Julie Adenuga.
Every song transitions seamlessly to the other; every line has punch and has meaning to whichever member is rapping, yelling, or singing it. Every song has meaning to the entire group. “It felt like the biggest accomplishment because we made something that was very personal to us, and a lot of times when you make something that personal, it’s probably not gonna be the most successful thing you’re making,” Abstract told Rebecca Haithcoat of Entertainment Weekly.
The many colors of BROCKHAMPTON shine through brightly and equally, no matter how you look at it. “Success messes with the way artists create at times,” said Abstract. Hopefully, more success comes your way then, Kevin. If this is what your success will give us, then keep topping the charts.
Favorite Tracks: NEW ORLEANS, HONEY, VIVID, SAN MARCOS, J’OUVERT, DISTRICT, SOMETHING ABOUT HIM
Least Favorite Track: WHERE THE CASH AT
Header and Thumb Photos: Cropped video still of Brockhampton performing at Music Hall, Minneapolis. 25 February 2018 by Bending River. Wikimedia Commons.