REVIEW: Brockhampton’s newest release disappoints

Online editor Natalie Sadek reviews Brockhampton's album,

Courtesy RCA Records

Online editor Natalie Sadek reviews Brockhampton's album, "iridescence," writing that it failed to reach the bar previously set by this alternative music group.

Natalie Sadek, Online Editor

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Brockhampton redefined the music industry’s idea of boy bands and hip hop with their alternative rap sound. Their collaborative work went beyond engaging 13 year old fangirls, like most other stereotypical boy bands, and aimed to produce music with a unique sound and deep meaning.

Their latest release, “iridescence”, fell short of the high standards set by their previous albums. It was evident the group had to find a new dynamic, with the loss of the band’s main MC Ameer Vann due to sexual misconduct allegations in May 2018. The loss of Vann must have been incredibly difficult to navigate, as he was a key member in the band.

They had produced their previous project, “SATURATION III” in December 2017, only leaving for nine months to produce their latest 15 song project, in addition to restructuring themselves due to loss of their star MC. I believe instead of rushing a sub par project, the group should have waited to find a new way to cope with the loss and produced a project up to their standards.  

The most listened to song on the album, “NEW ORLEANS”, only has eight million streams on Spotify as of November, whereas their top hits on previous albums climb towards 40 million streams. “NEW ORLEANS” is a mix of noisy background sounds and seemingly meaningless lyrics, yet it is still the most successful on the album.

Unlike their previous albums, most of the songs on their new project blended together with overproduced alternative beats and amateur rapping. It seemed as though they were trying to mimic a sound similar to that of Travis Scott, but failed immensely. Listeners, including myself, came in with high expectations but were met with a failed attempt to be “abstract.”

Brockhampton is unique and does not have a single genre to identify with, as they can be labelled as pop-rap, alternative hip hop and a number of other things. They were met with incredible success on their previous albums because very few other musicians were producing the same kind of content. Yet, it seems as though the temptation to become mainstream was too compelling, and the group sought to morph into something they were not.

Whether it be due to a loss of a key member, an attempt to become mainstream or a combination of the two, Brockhampton lost the momentum that had accompanied them on their previous projects. I applaud the group for attempting a new style, however I hope with the lack of success on their latest project, they realize they must tackle one obstacle at a time, rather than fail in both categories. Although this album fell short, I have high hopes that the group will learn from this and produce music of the same quality they once did.

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