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Saturday, October 16, 2021

“Saturation III,” Brockhampton

CINDY CHEUNG / AGGIE

The end of the “Saturation” trilogy brings new hits and even greater expectations for 2018

2017 was a year of highs and lows. But for Brockhampton, it’s been nothing but highs. A self proclaimed “boy band” based in Los Angeles, the musical group rode a wave of success throughout the year. Just over a month ago, the band released its third and final album of 2017, “Saturation III.” The album has completed Brockhampton’s transition from cult phenomenon to critically acclaimed musicians.

Beginning with its first album of 2017, “Saturation,” Brockhampton  always prided itself on punching you in the mouth with the first tracks of its albums. On “Saturation,” it was courtesy of “HEAT,” a hard-hitting song characterized by aggressive rapping over a thunderous bass line. On “Saturation II,” “GUMMY continued the trend with an equally large and complex beat. “Saturation III” bunnyhops the previous two openers with “BOOGIE,” bringing police siren production and a perfect blend of singing and rapping.

After recovering from the onslaught of “BOOGIE,” Brockhampton presents the musicians’ multifaceted personalities over jazzy production in “JOHNNY.” The song features many of the group’s unique characters, with topics ranging from One Direction’s Harry Styles to severe depression. In any other situation this might raise questions, but with this boy band it’s not only what the fans want, but what they’ve come to expect.

Toward the middle of the album, “BLEACH” is a true standout. Anchored by one of the band’s signature catchy hooks, the song is composed of two deep verses by members Matt Champion and Ameer Vann. Fellow musical artist Ryan Beatty provides the chorus.

The album is rounded out by “RENTAL”, which, much like “BLEACH,” is held down by yet another intoxicating chorus. Brockhampton founder Kevin Abstract raps, “Ridin’ on the roof with a dollar sign attached to my head, head, head, head, head, head, head, head.” This is prefaced by Champion’s equally catchy pre-chorus, and before you know it, you’re singing along.

“Saturation III” is far from polished. However, given that this group of 14 20-year-olds self-produced, self-recorded and self-wrote not one, not two, but three good albums, we all have to give credit where credit is due. If this is Brockhampton’s ceiling then this year has still been a great moment for music. But in all likelihood, these guys are really just scratching the surface of their potential. They have three good albums under their belt, along with a dozen incredibly imaginative music videos and a national tour. If 2017 is any indication, Brockhampton is going to come out on top in 2018.

Brockhampton’s Love Your Parents Tour is coming to Sacramento in early March.

 

Written by: Rowan O’Connell-Gates — arts@theaggie.org

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