'iridescence' - BROCKHAMPTON : Album Review

Serving as the first installment in the self-proclaimed "world's greatest boyband's" second album trilogy, The Best Years of Our Lives, iridescence is a deeply personal, synth and orchestrally driven self-examination of sorts. Leaving no stone unturned, Brockhampton doesn't lose stride in their fascinating rise to musical fame.


Brockhampton has had a difficult past year.

Following the release of Saturation III, the third and final installment in the boyband's debut Saturation trilogy, sexual assault allegations led to the removal of rapper and album cover-man Ameer Van, leaving many questions about the groups future unanswered.

Where would Brockhampton go from here?

In the months following Ameer's departure, the group released a series of singles titled "1997 Diana", "1998 Truman" and "1999 Wildfire". All equally enticing in their own right, it was clear Brockhampton still held the same fire and power without a key piece to the puzzle.

The group's definitive, page turning moment, however, came in the form of a performance on The Tonight Show. Uniformly dressed in plaid flannels, sitting in a circle, the group performed "Tonya", a track off of their upcoming album, iridescence. This coup-de-grace moment showed the world that for better or worse, Brockhampton was turning a new leaf in their timeline, whether we liked it or not.

Despite the numerous singles and live performances leading up to the release of iridescence, nothing could have prepared the world for what was to come on their newest album.

In bold and risky fashion, iridescence takes every sound and message Brockhampton has procured in their discography and turns it up to ten.

The heavy, bass-driven production on previous records like "HEAT", "JUNKY", "SWAMP" and "TOKYO" is featured on nearly every track, with "J'OUVRE" serving as the embodiment of this sound.

The smooth, seamless flow from Don McLennon and the heavy, emphasized lyricism of Merlyn Wood are highlighted on every single song, allowing two artists who were previous seen as role players to shine in their own right.

The groups resident vocalist, Bearface, is featured on a plethora of tracks, which is a vast improvement from his brief involvement on previous albums. Bearface shines on "Tonya", providing hypnotizing vocals on a memorable intro verse.

The groups most versatile member, Joba, is a star on iridescence. On "Berlin", Joba spits a catchy verse that were used to seeing him deliver, but his involvement on the album comes in a collection of forms. Joba's standout verse is on "J'OUVERT". Screaming into the microphone, calling onto previously uninterested ears, Joba demands attention on this track, giving listeners one of Brockhampton's greatest verses of all time.

And then there was one.

Kevin Abstract is a poet. Kevin Abstract is a commander. Kevin Abstract is a visionary. Kevin Abstract is a superstar.

The groups de-facto frontman, Kevin Abstract delivers one of the greatest solo performances of any artist this year on this project. On iridescence, Kevin rips his heart out and slams it onto the table, sucking listeners into the vulnerable and honest mind of a artist that, above all else, demands attention. Kevin Abstract is known by fans as helmet boy, but on iridescence, the helmet is gone, and on top of Kevin's head sits a crown of thorns. He's not asking for your approval or sympathy, just your ears and an open mind.