This album was released on August 23rd this year. I think I’m gonna enjoy this project, but it’s not something that I’m super excited to listen to. I considered myself a really big fan of BROCKHAMPTON around 2016 and 2017. I really liked Kevin Abstract when I heard American Boyfriend, and I ended up being pretty blown away by the first Saturation album. Unfortunately, every subsequent album from the group has gotten progressively less enjoyable for me, some I’m hoping this project ends that downward trend. Don’t get me wrong though; I still like all of their albums. I never really listen to iridescence anymore. Well, if I’m being completely honest, I don’t listen to any of BROCKHAMPTON’s albums anymore. I don’t even really play Saturation. I’m sure if I listened to it right now I’d still enjoy it, but I never have the desire to go back to it. I just don’t really find the group that interesting anymore. When I was in New York earlier this year, my friend told me “I’ve still never heard a BROCKHAMPTON song,” and I was like, “oh really? I don’t know if you’d like it…” He asked me to play something, so I pressed play on a Saturation song, and all we heard was “TODAY IMA BE WHOEVER I WANNA BE” over and over again. I said to him, “damn, I forgot how gay this is,” and he was like “yeah… I don’t like this. Turn it off.” I don’t know why I felt the need to tell this story. I guess I had just really forgotten why I liked BROCKHAMPTON so much in the first place. I think I still like that song because music doesn’t typically grow off me like that. I think I just have to be in the right mood for it though. Or maybe that particular track works better in the context of the full album. Anyway, this project is probably gonna be pretty solid, but, again, I’m not really excited for it at all. I’m just tired of BROCKHAMPTON’s sound at this point. It’s really gotten old to me. I guess that’s what happens when you drop four albums in two years. I don’t know though. It’s entirely possible that I’ll feel completely different after hearing this. It’ll probably be pretty good. However, if I end up being indifferent towards it I won’t be very disappointed because I’m not really expecting this to be that great.
My expectations pretty much ended up being completely accurate. I like this album, but it’s definitely my least favorite BROCKHAMPTON record to date. I personally don’t believe that any of the songs on this project are bad. There just aren’t really many great moments or songs that surpass just being good or solid. As always, I’ll talk about the songs I liked before getting into what I disliked. The project starts off with No Halo, which I think is one of the better songs on the album.
The acoustic guitar driven beat on this song is actually pretty great, and Matt’s flow on the first verse is really nice. The lyrics aren’t bad at all, but they kinda just go in one ear and out the other for me. The hook from Deb Never is easily the best aspect of the song for me. It has kind of an alternative, Indie Rock sound. It’s definitely one of the best hooks on the album to be honest. Merlyn’s verse is pretty worthless lyrically, but he sounds good on this song. It was a solid performance. I think Dom easily had the best verse from a lyrical standpoint.
Used to fight all my night terrors, now I smoke through the dreams
Depression put me into places where I’m stuck in the seams
They sealed my mouth and said the only way to breathe is to scream
Pop the stitches from society and fall to my knees
However, I think Matt had a better flow and delivery personally. JOBA & bearface. didn’t really add much to the song for me. I really could’ve done without either of them, but they weren’t really bad. The song is pretty dope overall. The following track is called Sugar.
I don’t like this song as much as the opening track, but this is still pretty good. It has another acoustic guitar driven beat, which is cool. These first couple tracks have a very melodic, R&B-ish atmosphere. I guess that could be said about most of BROCKHAMPTON’s music. Truth be told, my initial reaction to the autotuned verse from Dom was pure disgust, but it grew on me within seconds. It’s a solid verse overall. I found it interesting that they brought back the rewinding record motif from Saturation 3. I don’t remember hearing it on iridescence, but maybe I just forgot. It’s been a long time since I actually listened to it. Anyway, Matt’s verse was okay I guess. Kevin Abstract‘s performance didn’t really impress me that much. bearface. was alright too. Honestly, I really only like the song because of the production and the hook from Ryan Beatty, but nothing about the song is particularly bad. The verses just aren’t that impressive to me. It’s a pretty good track overall though. I fuck with it. However, the music video is 10x more interesting than the song itself. Track 3, Boy Bye, is easily my favorite song on the album.
First of all, this beat is fucking amazing. It’s the best beat on the album. It’s also the only Q3 beat on the entire project, so that might have something to do with it. Maybe not though. I don’t know. Anyway, the first verse from Dom is pretty great.
Everybody ask me how I deal with my depression
Man look, man, I don’t got the answer to your question
If I did, you would probably never hear from me again
That’s a promise, not a threat, and it ain’t no half-steppin’
Matt’s verse had some really bad lines, but at least his flow was pretty nice.
Bonafide big brr lookin’ like a Yeti
Swift feet cheetah, that’s a real big kitty
Who made y’all judges? That’s a real ass feeling
I don’t like the sly ones, forget ’em and I dead ’em
Always off the shit like a constipated reverend
This is the first song on the album in which Kevin really impressed me. I think his flow was great, and he sounded really good. After his verse the song kinda loses steam for me to be honest. The hook from Merlyn isn’t really bad, but I don’t think it adds much to the song. I’m also not a fan of the final verse from bearface. I don’t think it’s terrible, but he’s not someone who I want to hear rap. The song is still dope af though. I love it. The next track that I actually like is called St. Percy. I think the production is pretty cool, and the first verse from Kevin is dope. I’m unfortunately not really a fan of the sample that they flipped for the hook. It’s fine though I guess. It doesn’t completely ruin the song for me. I think Matt’s verse is kinda trash lyrically, but his flow and delivery sound really good to me.
Major League, I’m Sheen; Call me Wild Thing
She got strings all up the neck just like a violin
I crave that chada-ching when that venom sting
Eyes turn redder than a motherfuckin’ cherry stem
Someone’s gonna have to explain to me what exactly “chada-ching” is. Dom easily has the best verse on the song, which isn’t really a surprise. He consistently outshines every other member of the group when it comes to rapping. I think bearface. actually sounded pretty decent on his verse too though. The outro from Merlyn is cool as well. I don’t know what it is about this song, but it just feels kind of unfulfilling. It’s like something’s missing. I still like it though. It’s far from my favorite track, but it’s still pretty good. The following song is called If You Pray Right, and I believe it was the second single from the album.
This song feels very redundant to me after hearing one of the earlier songs called Heaven Belongs to You, but I’ll talk about that later when I’m discussing the tracks that I don’t care for. Anyway, I think the verse from Dom McLennon is pretty good. It’s probably the best verse on the song. I also like the horns in this instrumental a lot. The hook from Kevin isn’t really anything special, but it serves it’s purpose well enough. I think Matt & Merlyn had decent verses, but the only person who really stood out to me that much was Dom. The beat is dope too though. I like the song, but it’s far from my favorite. I think it’s a little boring, and it honestly wasn’t a great choice for a single. I do like it to some extent though. The outro is the most interesting part of the song for me. I think Kevin’s singing is pretty terrible to be honest, but the production during this part is great. It’s a good song. It’s followed by Dearly Departed, which is one of the most discussed tracks on the album.
I think the beat on this song is very pretty, and I like it a lot. The first verse from Kevin is cool. His flow is pretty Spoken Word-ish, and it kinda sounds like a run-on sentence. It works though. Matt Champion’s flow is similarly all over the place, and it still sounds fine I guess, but it’s not really… Well, I mean it works, but it’s not ideal. I prefer the more traditional, smooth flow that Dom employs for the final verse. He easily had the best performance on the song. It’s kind of a diss targeting Ameer Vann. It’s not a petty diss in which he just insults him though. He’s pretty much just telling Ameer that he’s really angry with him and that he’s a shitty person. I feel like this’d be a much better song if it was just a solo Dom McLennon track because I’m not crazy about the other two verses. I guess JOBA did his thing on the hook. He can stay. Even though I’m not really that impressed by the first two verses, I still think this is one of the better songs on the album. It’s dope. The title track of the album is another one of the songs I liked.
This track definitely has one of the best beats on the album, and I really like Kevin’s sung hook on this track. I just kinda wish it wasn’t so repetitive. His actual verse isn’t that great, but I don’t mind it. Same goes for Matt’s verse. Well, in all honesty… I really don’t care for any of the verses on this song. I love the beat, and the hook is cool, but the sung verses do absolutely nothing for me. I think I might’ve liked bearface.’s performance more if he didn’t use a voice synthesizer. This is a cool track, but I feel like it could’ve been much better. I also feel like the way they ended the song by just having it fade out was pretty lazy, but that’s just a nitpick. It’s still a good song. I was just hoping it’d be a great song. Big Boy was another song that I liked. I really love the beat, and the hook from Kevin is dope. His actual verse isn’t very good to me, but it’s not bad enough to ruin the song. I think JOBA’s verse was pretty solid, and I actually liked bearface.’s verse a lot too. It’s a dope song. The penultimate track is called Love Me for Life. The production on this song is fantastic, and Kevin’s verse was solid, although I really wish he would’ve switched his flow up at some point. It’s super simplistic, and it gets old very quickly. I like JOBA’s performance a lot more, but, once again, he runs a single flow into the ground throughout almost the entire verse. I think Merlyn’s verse stands out the most just because he actually has a more dynamic cadence, but his lyrics are honestly kinda trash.
Spying on your ho from a SpaceX rocket
She wanna know why my wrist so rocky
Flash splash on me, photocopy
My weed, my weed at the party
I think the sung outro from bearface. on this song is cool, but, just like with the title track, I feel like this song could’ve been so much better than it actually is. The only aspect of the song that really ended up impressing me that much is the production. It’s a cool track, but I wanted more out of the vocal performers on it. The final track is called Victor Roberts.
For whatever reason, BROCKHAMPTON decided to let this completely random guy close the album. bearface. is the only actual member of the group who performs on this track, and literally all he does is say one line twice. This Victor Roberts guy ended up spitting the best verse on the entire record, which is kind of a problem. I have no idea why they let this dude completely steal the show. Even the production isn’t that great. I don’t think it’s actually bad, but it’s just really simplistic. It’s mainly just one piano loop with no percussion. The vocals from Ryan Beatty on this song are great. I feel like it’s a really big issue that the actual members of BROCKHAMPTON are the least interesting aspect of the final song on their album. Victor’s verse was super personal and emotional. It was a really fantastic performance. It’s better than nearly every other song on the album. He did a great job. The song’s dope af. As I mentioned before, there are really only two songs on the entire project that I didn’t end up caring for. The first one is called Heaven Belongs to You.
I alluded to this earlier, but this is basically just a reprise of If You Pray Right performed by slowthai. I wish they would’ve just included his verse here on the original song. There’s no reason to listen to this track instead of that version. If You Pray Right has a more fleshed out, detailed, and entertaining version of this beat, as well as a more substantial structure. Dom’s verse completely blows slowthai’s verse out of the water. I just don’t see why he was given his own track. Nothing about it really stands out, especially in comparison to the other version of the song. It just feels really pointless and redundant. slowthai fans may feel differently though. I’ve never really been into him. I really disliked the extended plays that he dropped in previous years. I haven’t heard his critically acclaimed album from this year, but I know a lot of the songs that I disliked from the aforementioned EPs made it onto that record, so I’m not interested at all. Funnily enough, the only track I dislike more than Heaven Belongs to You is the lead single from this album, I Been Born Again.
I remember being pretty underwhelmed by this track when it initially dropped, and in the context of the full album I unfortunately dislike it even more. The instrumental sounds like what I’d hear if I searched for “brockhampton type beat” on YouTube. I think the first verse from Kevin is decent, and Merlyn’s verse is okay I guess. I liked his delivery, but none of the lines were that great, and he only spit 6 bars anyway. Dom sounded good, but he only spit one quatrain. JOBA’s verse sounded kinda cool at first because his vocals are pitch-shifted, but it gets old after a while, and once you get over that aspect of his performance nothing else about it stands out. Matt’s little outro did absolutely nothing for me. I don’t know if I’d call this a bad song, but it’s certainly not very good to me. I just think it’s incredibly mediocre. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I think this album is kinda good. It’s obviously very flawed, but overall I enjoyed it. With that said, this is my least favorite BROCKHAMPTON-related project to date. I’d take iridescence and ARIZONA BABY over this personally. I do like the majority of the songs on this project, but I only love a couple of them. I unfortunately just don’t really find these guys that interesting anymore to be honest. I feel like I would be completely indifferent if they announced that they’re never releasing another album. Maybe it’s because they’ve dropped so much music already in such a short amount of time. I don’t know. I still think Dom is the best rapper in the group. Honestly, I found Merlyn really intriguing and interesting the first time I listened to Saturation, but I feel like his eccentric delivery is just him compensating for his lack of lyricism and technical skill. Matt Champion has always been the least interesting member of the group to me, and that didn’t change at all with this record. I prefer JOBA & bearface. as singers, so the only rappers in the group that I really care to hear at this point are Kevin & Dom. I think most of my enjoyment nowadays comes from the producers. If these beats weren’t as good as they are this would honestly be a really goddamn boring album to me. I’m hoping they end the downward trend on their inevitable 2020 release, but I can’t really say that I’m anticipating future projects. It’s fine though. They’re fans are still eating up all their work. Again, this is a good album. I like it. I don’t wanna give off the impression that I hate this album. I’m just at a weird point where I like BROCKHAMPTON’s albums, but I feel like I don’t like the group itself that much anymore. I guess it’s kind of unfortunate, but I’m just really over them. I enjoyed this project though. Lol. I feel like I’m going in circles at this point, so I’m just gonna end it here.
Favorite Song: Boy Bye
Least Favorite Song: I Been Born Again
Watch the videos below for more thoughts on this album.