Brockhampton
Roadrunner: New Light, New Machine


5.0
classic

Review

by TheWalkinDude USER (12 Reviews)
April 9th, 2021 | 50 replies


Release Date: 04/09/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The light is worth the wait

Brockhampton are finally unburdened by the image issues that have orbited them since the moment they signed to RCA. The ensuing drama felt like it was so ingrained into who they were that it took them two albums to properly get it out of their system. While I'm far kinder to the post-Saturation BH era than most, I must admit that I wanted a taste of what this band had to offer back when things were a bit sunnier for them, able to pursue their endeavors on a more artistic level with the freedom they've longed for since iridescence.

Roadrunner has ostensibly proved that they've had this in them all along. That the energy, youth, and exuberance that made them so refreshing when SAT 1 dropped was no flash in the pan. This is the most polished, full-sounding record from the band yet, and its embrace of trap sounds is a left turn to be sure, but a welcome one at that. The deliveries of the verses are hungry, fiery, and full of life and aggression that feels infectious. Even the features feel as if the band is embracing a more collective idea of what a Brockhampton album even 'is' in the first place, and while it takes a bit to adjust to their eclectic approach here, it yields rewards that feel astronomically valuable. The structure is tight as a drum, no extraneous short tracks or skits, every song is fully-formed and dense, and god damn does this record just KNOCK. Upon first listen I was taken aback at how bouncy it was, easily the most fun I've had since SAT 2 in that respect, but upon further listening, it becomes apparent that beneath the wild but still-glossy sheen of New Light, New Machine lies something a bit darker than the title may imply.

In many ways, this is Kevin and Joba's album, as nearly every verse they drop is basically 24-carat gold, but also in the respect that the verses from their bandmates seem to be ABOUT them, as if they're communicating through song. It may seem like a weird thing to point out, but if you remember, the last two albums were basically a revolving door of each member unloading their personal struggles in a deeply cathartic and intensely intimate way. NO HALO epitomizes this by having each of the boys just sort of have their own secluded little moments where they dominate the space they're given. Here it's a bit different. Now that they've broken, healed, and come together, we see them lift each other up and support one another through several notable struggles: the pandemic, isolation, insecurity, loss, things they have indeed covered before. But it's more blanketly direct. Songs like DEAR LORD showcase certain members specifically singing to and about one another, primarily Kevin and Joba, emphasizing the topics of the tragic passing of Joba's father and the death of Kevin's cousin. They've learned enough to be able to lift each other up, and have acquired enough musical experience to showcase a definitive rebirth on here.

The real show-stopping moments are indeed the parts where the members take time to be direct to one another, but nowhere is it better displayed than THE LIGHT and THE LIGHT PT. 2- showing off some of the most adventurous production they've experimented with that somehow balances out the raw intensity of Kevin and Joba blanketly speaking on their grief. TONYA felt like a watershed moment for the group, and this builds off of that song in fantastic ways. In many respects, this feels like a sequel to iridescence, where that album left off on uncertainty and raw catharsis, this one gives closure because of the evolution they've undergone. This is my long-winded way of saying that I haven't been this choked up by a song in years as I have with this album's closer, which features Joba speaking to and attempting to reconcile with his departed father, speaking in alternating frankness and poeticism in ways he's always hinted at, becoming the true MVP of the band. The way he keeps collected as he talks about telling his future children how amazing their grandfather was, or speaking on how his feelings for his father are still messy, complicated, and unresolved, is nothing short of emotional euphoria.

Brockhampton have reached their final form, sonically and emotionally, and I can only say that I'm immensely grateful to have been along for the ride.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
dannooo28
April 9th 2021


266 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I’ll be honest this felt like their weakest to me on first listen, but then again I could definitely see it grow on me more

Colton
April 9th 2021


9523 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

good rev

AxeToFall93
April 9th 2021


294 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, this is great.

TheWalkinDude
April 9th 2021


39 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

It's a grower for sure, but I think it'll stand the test of time when push comes to shove

Digging: Brockhampton - Roadrunner: New Light, New Machine

TheWalkinDude
April 9th 2021


39 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

It's a grower for sure, but I think it'll stand the test of time when push comes to shove

BaloneyPony
April 9th 2021


337 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wow, super tight album.

botb
April 9th 2021


14480 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I’m gonna give this a shot but I’ve found these guys to be incredibly overhyped up until this point. That song with Danny brown was SICK though

ConcubinaryCode
April 9th 2021


5630 Comments


I definitely find them a teensy bit overhyped as well, iridescence was a big lull for them. Felt like it killed a ton of momentum they were building to but they obviously got talent and their albums are well made in a bunch of facets from a musical standpoint.

Also realized your shoutout to TONYA which is indeed a great song.

TheWalkinDude
April 9th 2021


39 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Genuinely think people who might've been turned off by their last two records might get back on board here, so I'd say its worth a shot. It's just a lot of fun when it's not kicking your heart in the ass

Colton
April 9th 2021


9523 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I like pop rap but I think Brockhampton are just bad at it so that holds this one back a lot for me

dannooo28
April 9th 2021


266 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I didn’t realize I was in the minority of thinking Iridescence is their best until I looked on sput lmao

AlexKzillion
April 9th 2021


12408 Comments


Idk this album is.............fine. And rather inoffensive.

Snake.
April 9th 2021


22856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

sounds like merlyn has been getting faux patois lessons from drake

AlexKzillion
April 9th 2021


12408 Comments


This review is pretty well written, but I gotta say, I disagree with just about every sentence in that second paragraph haha. Feel like the energy on this thing falls off a cliff after the first track.

wwf
April 9th 2021


7017 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

They definitely back off the abrasive experimental shit immediately after the first song



Which is fine by me, I like Buzzcut fine but its messy in kind of a bad way

JeetJeet
April 9th 2021


9356 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Great review. Pos.

Digging: Kenny Mason - Angelic Hoodrat: Supercut

nolerthebowler
April 9th 2021


8909 Comments


Album Rating: 👍


meh

JeetJeet
April 9th 2021


9356 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thoughts:

I didnt fw Buzzcut but it was at least interesting. Sucks that this is the only real experimental song on here.



Whoever thought it'd be a good idea to have Merlyn get a verse on Bankroll, but not

Rocky needs to be fired.



Joba once again proves why he's been the MVP of this group post-Saturation. Every song on here gets elevated when he comes on, even the boring ones.



Windows is cool but its hilarious how everyone tries so hard to give a memorable verse on it and Bearface just comes in at the end and slides on the beat so hard that it makes everything else before it feel irrelevant



Shoutout to Chad Hugo for the great production on When I Ball.



Dont Shoot Up The Party is fire.



Merlyn is one of the worst rappers I've ever heard.



Matt Champion and Bearface need to be used more.



All in all tho this album is mid. Way better than Ginger, but still mid.

InFiction
April 9th 2021


3944 Comments


"Genuinely think people who might've been turned off by their last two records might get back on board here, so I'd say its worth a shot."

Yeah 100%. On first listen, I'm enjoying this a bit more than expected. Didn't mind Ginger and Iridescence, but this feels like their most cohesive project since Saturation.

encomium
April 9th 2021


83 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Eh I've always thought Merlyn is far and away the worst rapper in Brockhampton but he's grown a lot imo. His verse on TONYA is one of my absolute favorites of BH. Album needs wayyy more Dom though, I feel like SGSF has more time to shine than he does 😭😭



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