Brockhampton
Saturation


4.0
excellent

Review

by jack CONTRIBUTOR (42 Reviews)
June 13th, 2017 | 304 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: GOLD STAR, BOYS

Every track title on SATURATION is a single word stylised with all caps, like BROCKHAMPTON are students to the gospel of DOOM. It’s appropriately immediate: the verses and beats all over this record are confrontational and very-fucking-to-the-point, without a filter only because the collective have taken to smashing that thing to pieces. The all caps aesthetic might seem gimmicky if it wasn’t for the fact that, on this album, BROCKHAMPTON are actually shouting at you to pay attention. They’ve written a record that kicks doors down with a smile, and follows up its bar-for-bar braggadocio with actual substance. Thank God.

Like all my favourites, the arrogance is reeled in by a sense of sincerity, even if it means dropping the façade for a second. MILK, a song that could actually be called beautiful (huh?), collapses against the walls of its own paranoia and insecurity. “I’ve gotta get better at everything / at being who I am” it cries, lashing out against life with the abandon of a genuinely frayed human being. It occurs during the latter half of the record, and it gives the general impression of a group of people gradually working out what they really consider important. It’s the old materialism versus spiritualism argument, except it’s filtered through an album of absolute bangers…or whatever.

It’s a testament to how well SATURATION works as a whole. I began this album from my vantage point, off to the side of the railway, watching in confusion as the hype train barreled inexorably towards the global society of hip-hop fans. But the second half (from BUMP to WASTE) wonderfully re-contextualizes what came before it, like we’re watching a behind-the-scenes documentary in which BROCKHAMPTON scoff at a life of gold chains; of “crack rocks and stripper poles”. The whole thing is invigorated by the skits as well - little soundbites that treat existentialism with a shrug of the shoulders and then turn themselves back to the music.

But this is a hip-hop record, and a prototypical hip-hop record at that. The lyrics weave in and out of violent disputes and drug-fucked relationships with an intensity that can only be scraped off the ground floor. HEAT kicks off (really, it kicks off) the record with Ameer Vann as he makes himself unmistakably clear: “Give me something or a body, only way I’ll leave / I love to watch ‘em squirm / I love when bitches bleed”. It’s a shocking, vile way to introduce the landscape, but retrospect serves to show the distinction between this ugly surface and what lies beneath; the battleground and the living, breathing people forced into its crossfire. BROCKHAMPTON are poetic when the need arises, too, delineating their struggles against cultural ignorance and needless violence without the use of throwaway lines and ham-fisted rhyme schemes (check Dom’s verse on CASH).

The beats, though? Half the time they hold no reservations, delivering blows with clenched fists. It's almost like they're being controlled by a palpable aggression; like they demand nothing but your respect and your unequivocal attention. The rest of the instrumentals might as well be the same beats on a different day – more composed but just as embittered. The fists are still curled up into balls, make no mistake, but the songs are warier of the consequences, so they hold back from the confrontation. Tracks like HEAT fall into the former class: it’s a cut that sounds like it’s slowly burning away gristle, needling under the skin without even trying. WASTE, then, represents the latter category because it has aggression coalescing with seduction; making for something syrupy yet passionate. BUMP has one foot in either camp.

SATURATION is a music fan’s hip-hop album. It’s a carefully constructed mosaic of pop-culture references, antagonistic rhymes and a chemistry between the members of the "boy band" which cannot be understated. The end product is kind of scary, kind of lovely and kind of exhilarating. Just remember: all-caps when you spell the band name.



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3.9
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Comments:Add a Comment 
LandDiving
Contributing Reviewer
June 13th 2017


732 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

summary is a reference to the tracklist and i'd be lying if i said i wasn't a little bit ashamed of it

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
June 13th 2017


38801 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

I would love to know how you pump out quality reviews so frequently my friend. teach me your secrets

Digging: Tyler, the Creator - Flower Boy

LandDiving
Contributing Reviewer
June 13th 2017


732 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

haha aw i got this big dumb smile on my face, so thank u, but i'd say your reviews are of a much higher standard tbh



if you want an actual answer it's because nothing is going on in my life at the moment so i have too much time on my hands

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
June 13th 2017


38801 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

idk your regularity just blows my mind, keep it up fam



been hearing about this a shitload on hhh, might be time to jam it, sounds fascinating

LandDiving
Contributing Reviewer
June 13th 2017


732 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah it's a very memorable album i think. it's creative but it feels like there's just a lot of good old-fashioned jams as well

Divaman
June 13th 2017


1034 Comments


As usual, nice job.

guitarded_chuck
June 13th 2017


13209 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ok ive been waiting for something new and fresh in hip hop for awhile now and this might finally be it



seems very odd future influenced but unique enough anyway

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
June 13th 2017


15282 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah nice write up, killer album. definitely my favorite rap album release this year

Digging: Pretend - Circular Rsoning

BlushfulHippocrene
June 13th 2017


1535 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Output is inspiring as usual, man. One thing, however, is that the breeziness of your reviews, whilst it makes for an easier and more enjoyable read, feels somewhat nondescript at times, as though the writing exists simply for writing's sake. Sometimes (stress: sometimes) it feels a little style over substance, as a result. I think writers like klap and johnny find a good balance between writing something that feels like it needs to be said, and in a way that is very accessible to the reader, and as such their reviews feel a little more urgent. I can be a bit more specific if you need, unsure if I made much of a point. Pos'd, of course, though, fantastic review.



Also, album is incredible, I love Kevin Abstract.

Digging: Wicca Phase Springs Eternal - Raw and Declawed

pjorn
June 13th 2017


3150 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

had 0 expectations before I heard this, ended up being one of my favorite things this year.



also, nice review. pos.

Digging: American Hate - I?d Rather Repeat Every Mistake

LandDiving
Contributing Reviewer
June 13th 2017


732 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks both of ya!



Blushful check your shoutbox my man. Appreciate the feedback but wish to inquire further (:

LandDiving
Contributing Reviewer
June 13th 2017


732 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks both of ya!



Blushful check your shoutbox my man. Appreciate the feedback but wish to inquire further (:

hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
June 13th 2017


2424 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Great review man, by far my fav hip-hops of the year

LandDiving
Contributing Reviewer
June 13th 2017


732 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thank you hogan! also I don't know why that double posted considering i only submitted once but oh well

LandDiving
Contributing Reviewer
June 13th 2017


732 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks con and diva, too

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
June 13th 2017


15282 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ayy chuck nice 4.5

hesperus
Contributing Reviewer
June 13th 2017


790 Comments


great review as usual. i listened to the first few tracks of this and wasn't terribly interested, but i might have to revisit the whole album after reading what you wrote about the second half

guitarded_chuck
June 13th 2017


13209 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yea man this came out of nowhere for me and im all aboard the hype train hard



saturation 2 coming out sometime this year and the speculation says itll be out soon (maybe this month even)

DeadlyNightShade
June 13th 2017


483 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

About DAMN. time, a hip hop release better than Kendrick's new album. Which don't get me wrong I obviously enjoyed.

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
June 13th 2017


12858 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is pretty dope

Digging: At the Drive-In - in?ter a?li?a



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