Brockhampton fails to live up to expectations

Eli Thomas, Co-Entertaiment Editor

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American boy band/hip-hop group Brockhampton released its long-awaited fourth studio album Sept. 21, titled Iridescence.
Brockhampton is a “boy band” hailing from San Marcos, Texas. “Boy band” is in quotes here because they don’t sound like a regular boy band. In fact, the only thing that qualifies them as one that the band is made up entirely of men. They are more of hip-hop group than anything.
In 2017, Brockhampton released three albums, Saturation 1, 2 and 3, in less than six months. These albums featured a unique sound. They recently parted ways with a founding member and sought a new direction for their next trilogy of albums. Many fans were hoping the creative energy from the 2017 albums would carry over. But unfortunately, that was not the case.
One of the biggest downsides of this album is the lack of focus. Some of the tracks sound all over the place and disorganized. “SOMETHING ABOUT HIM” is abrupt and absurd in every way. The beginning sounds like the listener has teleported into a song that has already been playing for 2 minutes. The instrumental is directionless and adds nothing to it. The Radiohead-inspired robot vocals come off as unsettling. This song is supposed to be some sort of love statement to a significant other, but the lyrics are super-redundant and meaningless. By the time the song might be figured out, it ends and segways into the even messier song, “WHERE THE CASH AT.”
The singing in this song isn’t unsettling, but just flat-out annoying. The production is run-of-the-mill and yawn-inducing. The lyrics make it nothing but another materialistic, lifeless hip-hop song about money.
Perhaps the worst song on the entire album is the acoustic guitar piece “SAN MARCOS.” The auto-tuned, whiny vocals and bland guitar riff make this 5-minute song seem like 50 minutes of torture. But the introspective lyrics on this song actually act as a silver lining.
Some songs are a step up from others and stand out, but still are not that good, such as “DISTRICT.” The track “NEW ORLEANS” is a great energetic opener, but the droney, hard-hitting beat catches the listener’s attention at first, but it does not go anywhere and gets old over the course of its 4 minutes.
But an upside to this song is the transition into “THUG LIFE,” which features a beautiful piano instrumental and some very good vocals. One of the only downsides to this song is that some of the vocal harmonies can be overwhelming, sounding too much like an typical boy band. Both “NEW ORLEANS” and “DISTRICT” also lack a lot lyrically.
Another decent song on this album is “TAPE,” which sounds very Tyler the Creator-esque. The lyrics are emotional as the members address their regrets and fears. It also features a pretty well-written verse by Joba, who had the best lyrics on the album. But, having said that, even these lyrics aren’t anything special.
The main reason this album is an overall a failure is that the group is trying too hard to make something experimental and groundbreaking when they should stick to their roots. The only song genuinely interesting song is “J’OUVERT” because of its interesting flow and the ominous sounding production. Other than that this album delivered a lot of half-baked ideas and concepts. The band came off as trying too hard to be different while still putting out no sense of originality. For that reason Iridescence gets a 4/10.

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