Calling themselves “the hardest working boyband in show business,” vocal group “BROCKHAMPTON” released a new album titled “iridescence” on Sept. 21, 2018.
Members Kevin Abstract, Matt Champion, Dom McLennon, Merlyn Wood, Russell “Joba” Boring, Rodney Tenor, and Ciarán “Bearface” McDonald all have intense verses in the album, along with unique tracks by our very own KO graduate Romil Hemnani.
“Iridescence,” originally set to be called “The Best Days of Our Lives” has 15 tracks, not including singles “1999 WILDFIRE,” “1997 DIANA,” or “1998 TRUMAN.” “NEW ORLEANS” made a really strong introductory track for the album.
The song focuses on how they have to be independent as a group and have faced adversity, so much so that they’ve had to “learn to fly again.” Also, it’s just a really great song to get hype to. It’s definitely going on my workout playlist.
Another song that’s definitely getting added to my workout playlist is “HONEY.” This catchy song serves as an inspiration to keep working hard, as there are “a million reasons to get rich.” Not to mention, “NEW ORLEANS” has a seamless transition to the next song in the album, “THUG LIFE.”
They repeat lines from the previous song to show the integration of themes regarding struggle but also include their childish humor when they speak in mocking voices. Additionally, it has a gorgeous major melody even though the subject matter is on the darker side.
On October 23, BROCKHAMPTON made an appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” where they performed “DISTRICT.” This song uses stereotypical rock melodies combined with rap tracks, which isn’t really the most common musical combination.
Most rap fans don’t really listen to rock, and vice versa, making this song one of the least streamed on the album, with 4,324,772 listens on Spotify. Although it’s not my favorite piece on the album, their live performance had an amazing turn-out and spread the word about the band having Jimmy Fallon as your biggest cheerleader is a significant accomplishment and just goes to show BROCKHAMPTON’s success with the album.
One of the last few songs on the album, “TONYA,” is a very emotionally driven song that begins with a beautiful piano melody. Throughout the song, the boys all speak on insecurities they’ve had since their band took off and how they’ve been stuck in the grind of what the music industry and the world expects of them as a famous group.
BROCKHAMPTON performed “TONYA” on Jimmy Fallon a few months earlier when the album concept had originally been pitched. They were seen sitting in a circle on a set with fake grass, while Joba played the piano. It had a sensitive feel to it, and viewers could see the pain of the past being relived in the song. It was a stellar introduction to what “iridescence” would eventually become.
One common theme I’ve noticed in BROCKHAMPTON’s music is that although they may rap about difficult times in their lives (as seen in “BLEACH” and “SISTER/NATION” from the album “SATURATION III”), the music behind them tends to be something you can blast in the car with your windows down. I believe this gives them a more original and likable quality, as most rappers have a tendency to talk about pretty questionable topics, and they often just use a basic beat.
Coming from the rural parts of Texas, BROCKHAMPTON members all reminisce over the late nights they spent in their basement where they could just play music together. However, the band is not ungrateful for their success and continues to tour and perform live.
All in all, I enjoyed most of “iridescence,” but found the music behind some songs a little intense. It’s not their best album in terms of music. However, the lyrics and subject matter in it were beyond compare to their other albums. I look forward to seeing them thrive in the music community and the release of yet another album.