BROCKHAMPTON – SATURATION III Album Review
2017 has been a year of uncertainty. From politics to sports, there was nothing that could be taken for granted. In music though, there was one certainty: quality BROCKHAMPTON albums. The self-proclaimed boy band released two projects, SATURATION and SATURATION II, both received well by hip hop fans. The two albums pushed the boundaries of hip hop both lyrically and in the way they are produced, all while handling everything that goes into an album in-house. SATURATION III, the conclusion to the SATURATION trilogy, continues on what the group had been doing and is a fitting end to what will go down as one of the most monumental series of releases in hip hop history.
The best part about SATURATION II was its cohesiveness and SATURATION III is as cohesive as the last. Every track is placed exactly where it needs to be and the skits, called cinemas on the album, truly add more to the context of the SATURATION series. This album also introduces listeners to a unique way of transitioning tracks. When two tracks do not necessarily transition well together, there is a record scratch to show that there is a clear transition between the two. The album flows perfectly and is something more artists should pay attention to.
A complaint some had for SATURATION II is that the group had abandoned their R&B sound a bit in favor of a straight rap album. Those concerns were addressed tenfold on SATURATION III. Several songs do an excellent job of blending R&B with hip hop, the same way the group did on the first installment in this series. The best example of this is “BLEACH” where BROCKHAMPTON add another amazing hook into their collection of already impressive hooks. Here they allow the rappers of the group to seamlessly work in conjunction with the singers. Ryan Beatty features sounds angelic, as does Joba who sees far more work on this project compared to the past projects.
There are also the obvious things that are just expected from BROCKHAMPTON at this point. Lyrically, not many individual artists, let alone groups are touching BROCKHAMPTON. They rap about similar themes, something they address on “STAINS,” but because no one else is rapping about these things, it still feels fresh. They bring unique takes on sexuality, what it means to be black in America and in music. The production is still great and evolves some of what they have been doing. Tracks “STUPID” and “SISTER/NATION” sound like instrumentals straight off of a Danny Brown project. The beautifully minimalist guitar and background vocals on “TEAM” blend to make one of the most soothing songs of 2017. “TEAM” has a switch up halfway through that allows for a fun surprise for fans at the end of it that seamlessly ties together the entire SATURATION series.
If people are still doubters of BROCKHAMPTON at this point, it is hard to pinpoint them as anything more than haters. The group is doing so much new and interesting in music. Every project is interesting. Their track record thus far is nearly flawless and with the group already having announced their next studio album TEAM EFFORT, this already prolific group will continue to rise in the eyes of the mainstream.
David Arroyo is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Senior / Broadcast Journalism