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Anticipated album ‘iridescence’ by BROCKHAMPTON does not disappoint

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Anticipated album ‘iridescence’ by BROCKHAMPTON does not disappoint

John Michael Bricker, Staff Reporter

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BROCKHAMPTON’s fourth studio album, “iridescence,” released on Sept. 21, is the hip-hop boyband’s most ambitious work yet, fueled by flawless chemistry and artistic growth from their members.

After breaking out with their 2017 “SATURATION” album, BROCKHAMPTON scrapped their fourth project “Puppy,” in May, after parting ways with founding member Ameer Vann, who had been accused of sexual abuse.

Following the release of three energetic, groundbreaking tracks during the summer, BROCKHAMPTON recorded “iridescence” at Abbey Road Studios over 10 days, delivering some of their best and most surprising performances.

Prior to playing a minimal role in the “SATURATION” trilogy, Bearface proves that he can deliver much more than the moody ballads and buttery harmonies he is known for. On the track “BERLIN,” bearface raps a mangled, pitch-shifted hook, blending seamlessly with the track’s industrial collage of distorted strings, sampled engines and snappy percussion.

Dom McLennon continues to earn his place as BROCKHAMPTON’s best lyricist and most technical rapper with his verse on “HONEY,” where he experiments with raspy delivery and punchy flow while delivering crushing lyrics about urban violence and rappers who use music as a substitute for therapy.

Joba, an eccentric singer, rapper and producer, effortlessly complements “iridescence’s” experimental, scatterbrained production on “WEIGHT” with his soulful falsettos and with infectiously aggressive verse on “J’OUVERT” where he pairs hyperactive flows with insane screaming.

Despite “iridescence’s” standout performances, BROCKHAMPTON’s best tracks display their collaboration as a collective, delivering rewarding and dynamic mixes of breakneck production and heartfelt lyricism.

“iridescence’s” opening tracks effortlessly foreshadow the album’s dichotomy between industrial bangers and heartfelt balladry. On “NEW ORLEANS,” each member gets their own moment to shine, from Kevin Abstact’s relaxed, confident hook to Merlyn Wood’s cartoonish delivery and introspective lyrics. “iridescence” flows seamlessly into “THUG LIFE,” which builds on the snappy drum pattern from “NEW ORLEANS” with watery keys and Bearface’s angelic harmonies.

The album’s stylistic conflict reaches its climax in “SAN MARCOS,” where BROCKHAMPTON delivers wistful and uncomfortable confessional verses as the song gradually builds from warm, simple electric guitar to a glorious swell of soft rock, strings and a gospel choir. This beautiful piece perfectly releases the album’s emotional tension after all the dark, atmospheric bangers and heavy verses.

Even after losing a central member, BROCKHAMPTON produced one of the best, most cathartic albums of the year and paved the way for a bright new chapter in their career.

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