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A Cloudy Start To Their Bright Future: iridescence Album Review

The+iridescence+album+cover+shows+a+pregnant+women+posing+in+front+of+a+thermal+camera.+Although+the+meaning+of+this+is+still+lacking%2C+it+is+rumored+that+because+the+album+is+the+first+of+the+trilogy+The+Best+Years+Of+Our+Lives%2C+the+next+two+covers+will+show+growing+of+the+child.
The iridescence album cover shows a pregnant women posing in front of a thermal camera. Although the meaning of this is still lacking, it is rumored that because the album is the first of the trilogy The Best Years Of Our Lives, the next two covers will show growing of the child.

The iridescence album cover shows a pregnant women posing in front of a thermal camera. Although the meaning of this is still lacking, it is rumored that because the album is the first of the trilogy The Best Years Of Our Lives, the next two covers will show growing of the child.

Photo via brckhmptn.com

Photo via brckhmptn.com

The iridescence album cover shows a pregnant women posing in front of a thermal camera. Although the meaning of this is still lacking, it is rumored that because the album is the first of the trilogy The Best Years Of Our Lives, the next two covers will show growing of the child.

Alex Estes, Staff Reporter

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Following a rough start to their 15 million dollar record deal with RCA (Radio Corporation of America), Brockhampton has run into many problems. From canceling every show of their tour, scraping their upcoming album and kicking out one of their members, Ameer Vann, it seemed like their self-proclaimed “boyband” was falling apart. Fortunately, that did not stop this group from recollecting their thoughts in London and creating their most experimental work in the legendary Abbey Road Studio, but that doesn’t mean it’s not flawed.

Last year Brockhampton released three of my absolute favorite albums from their Saturation trilogy, which set the bar pretty high for me and many others. From the time they released Saturation III to now, they have announced and scrapped 3 albums, “Team Effort,” “Puppy” and “The Best Years of our Lives.” Although “Team Effort” was delayed because they wanted to change their creative direction, the two other albums were tossed likely from their recent troubles. “Iridescence” was a result of the boyband visiting the world-famous Abbey Road Studios in London, and they produced and recorded it in only 10 days.

One of the challenges I saw for the group was them trying to move away from their sound in the Saturation trilogy, which in my opinion is a really smart move and they truly did accomplish this. I was pretty nervous about this upcoming project, again from their recent troubles and personal issues, but I was nonetheless excited for another project since they have been so polarizing thus far. Not to my surprise, they did indeed change their sound, but in a lot of ways that felt weak.

Brockhampton’s biggest strengths in past projects are their sticky and incredible hooks by Kevin Abstract, and on “iridescence” we don’t have much of that. There are some cute hooks like in“New Orleans” which serve justice, but for the most part, you don’t actually see many hooks. Having no hooks is not especially a bad thing but with it being Brockhampton’s strong suit, it’s noticeable that it’s missing.

Most of my complaints about this project come from a lot of the verses where they sound more like spoken words or poetry rather than verses. I see this mostly on “San Marcos,” one of my least favorite songs on the album and the auto-tuned Kevin in the intro of “Tape.” The verses from the boys, for example, Kevin, when he’s talking in that Alvin and The Chipmunks voice just seems out of place and rather annoying because it’s just…there.

Along with the frequent “spoken words” tossed around here, there was an issue on the song “San Marcos” with the auto-tune, because it isn’t up to par to their previous novelty sound or how it is on “Thug Life.” That with the spoken words niche that I don’t like, it feels like an emotional and personal ramble of words. Although it comes across that way to me I can still appreciate how it is one of their more personal songs and the downright beautiful bridge, “I want more out of life than this,” which is one of the highlights of this record.

Despite some of these messy songs, there are still some bangers on here in the collection of their personal songs about their issues and dealing with fame. The starting track “New Orleans” as said by Kevin, obviously takes inspiration by “Fireman” by Lil Wayne with their own twist to it. Each member has a verse on this, and the best one easily is from Merlyn where he mentions his Ghana culture which is one of my favorite verses on this entire album.

Now, he is more like the star of the show.”

Songs like “Honey” and “District” share some fairly experimental instrumentals that are a highlight, but without a doubt, “J’ouvert” takes every song on here by a storm. It’s murky bass and sharp verses by Joba and Merlyn are incredible. Joba is literally screaming into the microphone while still riding the beat sharing sheer violent and violating lyrics that blew my mind. After that, it just gets better with bearface rapping, something he has never done before iridescence, and Merlyn once again just destroying the song. Merlyn in general I think is the beast of this album, and it’s so great hearing him improve, because, in the past, I saw him as one of the weaker members. Now, he is more like the star of the show.

I do love a lot of the ideas Brockhampton is throwing here changing their sound and it’s a definitely a step in the right direction. Their troubles they’ve endured and experienced, personal and as a group, has a factor into how this album turned out, and it did them justice in good and bad ways. I’m really looking forward to what they are going to do with their next project, and this was a good start for them in finding a new sound.

I’m feeling a light 7/10 on this and if you are already like Brockhampton or want to see what they are about this would fit you quite well.

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3 Comments

3 Responses to “A Cloudy Start To Their Bright Future: iridescence Album Review”

  1. Maxwell Yang on November 4th, 2018 8:16 pm

    Excellent review, Alex! I ordered this album on vinyl and I can’t wait for it to arrive.

    Gamers rise up

  2. Jake Nipper on November 4th, 2018 8:18 pm

    Hey

    So there’s this girl

    And um

    BOTTOM TEXT

  3. Andrew Emde on November 5th, 2018 7:44 am

    This is a really good review Alex. I really enjoyed this album.

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A Cloudy Start To Their Bright Future: iridescence Album Review