By Kajal Dave
Notorious for being ‘The best boyband since One Direction’, BROCKHAMPTON’s ‘IRIDESCENCE’ has revolutionised music production and has changed the image of boybands for good.
After the release of the ‘SATURATION’ trilogy in a single year, their mosh pit of sounds and creative minds have earned them international success. The California based boyband have not only managed to sell out venues, like the KOKO in London, but are on the cusp of mainstream fame. Comprised of 14 members with different vibes makes their albums sonically interesting, but also challenges the concept of traditional boybands as there is no cohesiveness in sound. This isn’t a negative critique, I am in awe of how they are able to manipulate scatterbrain sounds into versatility and more importantly reveal layers of emotional vulnerability.
Opened by “NEW ORLEANS” which has ‘sad boi’ vibes echoed throughout by rapper Dom McLennon, the album’s cocktail of music genres is purposeful and indicative of the band’s recovery from a tumultuous year and features a short cameo from Jaden Smith. ‘SAN MARCOS’’s mellow tones feature the London Community Gospel with a sombre but yet still radiating youthful optimism with the repeated “I want more out of life than this”.
Slap bang in the middle of the album is ‘WEIGHT’ where rapper Kevin Abstract’s personal lyrics which feature more in his solo album ‘American Boyfriend’, are in conflict with a heavy drum and bass beat that shows a prevalent UK influence. Vocalist Merlyn Wood takes centre stage with ‘WHERE THE CASH AT’ with a hook driven raucous beat. The album’s penultimate song is ‘TONYA’ which offers musings on the story behind ice skater Tonya Harding and how fame can easily be corrupted by personal tragedy, alluding to a former band member. Having scrapped their album ‘Puppy’ and releasing singles ‘1998 DIANA’ and ‘1999 WILDFIRE’, ‘IRIDESCENCE’’s vastly different sound shows the band’s growth and regeneration which is illustrated in the album artwork.
Recording their fourth studio album at infamous Abbey Road crystallises their success but cliché as it sounds, BROCKHAMPTON truly are following in the footsteps of the upper echelon of music artists. IRIDESCENCE showcases the individual talents to produce a medley of sounds unlike anything in the charts, exuding youthful exuberance in a heavy-beat way. BROCKHAMPTON’s ‘IRIDESCENCE’ is without a doubt sensory overload, but the transition from ‘Saturation III’ sees us misty-eyed, pondering if we can get “more out of life than this”.