BROCKHAMPTON “Iridescence” album review
Donovan Wilson – Contributor
“Iridescence” is BROCKHAMPTON’s first album for RCA Records following a contract signing earlier this year. It also makes history for the band by being the first project without former member Ameer Vann following sexual assault allegations against him, also earlier this year.
As this series of events unfolded and the album changed names and statuses time after time, fans began to worry that the album would either become non-cohesive or become too similar to the previously released “Saturation” trilogy. The question on everybody’s mind was, would BROCKHAMPTON continue to innovate their lane of music or would the hype die down way too early?
Fortunately, BROCKHAMPTON delivered on the anticipated innovation with a whopping punch on “Iridescence.” BROCKHAMPTON takes their previous influences of industrial hip hop and uses their newfound mainstream success to test the waters and push the work to the forefront.
From the minute the record jumpstarts to life with the song “New Orleans”, you can hear the rough deliveries and squeaky beats that usually line tracks from groups like Death Grips that live in a much more obscure universe than BROCKHAMPTON previously seemed to.
However, there are still songs reminiscent of BROCKHAMPTON’s typical irreverent, 90’s tinged, group hip hop vibe in songs like “Tonya” and “Thug Life”. This album also seems to take the focus off of Kevin Abstract as the main star and instead shoves Joba to the forefront. Joba takes focus on many of the groups verses and some of the hooks all throughout the entire album, with a newfound gritty and aggressive flow on many verses. This album’s shining star is definitely its innovation and changes in subtle, yet drastic ways.
The album, as with any album, is not absent of its flaws. Its only real drawbacks would be that throughout the album you will hear certain structural flaws and edits that do not belong here and there.
Other than that, “Iridescence” is a cohesive project that seamlessly links together how everyone felt while dealing with Vann’s departure and all the events in their lives that followed it.
The same jittery flows and individual minds mentality exists here, but with a new, tuned up and adventurous attitude unlike anything the group has ventured into. The subject matter follows this new found loss of a member but also holds the groups typical themes of juvenile activities and discovering sexuality. The way Kevin Abstract seamlessly works his sexuality in without even turning a head is still very prevalent in the bands lyricism. BROCKHAMPTON’s writing is as sharp and tuned as ever.
“Iridescence” is a strong record for the relatively new hip hop group, helping to solidify their place in the scene as owne of hip hops new and fresh driving forces.
The combined use of old favorites and new tricks combines for a near perfect album full of only great tracks, with none truly falling flat. BROCKHAMPTON’s “Iridescence” is a solid eight out of 10 and really shows that this group is not going anywhere but up and doing nothing but breaking ground for their brand of hip hop to be.
Photo Credit: Jeff Lamson