The American boy band, Brockhampton, finally releases their 4th Studio album, Iridescence. The group confirmed the cover art, track list and release date earlier this week on twitter. None of their pre-album singles are featured on the album – with ‘1999 WILDFIRE’, ‘1998 TRUMAN’, and ‘1997 DIANA’ all being left of the full album. The only pre-released track the group included on the album tracklist was ‘TONYA’ which debuted live on Jimmy Fallon in June.
The cover art features a thermal filter over a pregnant woman, while the word iridecense alludes to bright colours that change along with movement/seen from different angles. This could be perceived as the group trying to show their fans the rebirth of their ambitions in the rap scene, as they are trying to be seen under an entirely new light with this latest release. A noticeable example of this is the change of bearface’s role where we can see him start to rap on some of the tracks including “J’OUVERT”. Here we see the artist expand past his guitar/singing roles and showcased under an entirely new light. See the thermal graded music video for “J’OUVERT”.
The album theme is fitting, considering the controversy surrounding the band earlier this year in May when one of their main members Ameer was charged with sexual misconduct allegations, causing Brockhampton to drop him from the team. This album is a response to some fans’ critiques alleging that they’ve lost one of their most prominent members.
Brockhampton responds to this by revamping their style, adding all new sounds throughout the album – starting strong with the opener “NEW ORLEANS” filled with a punchy distorted kick and high intensity verses followed by a chorus featuring Kevin Abstract & Jaden Smith. There is a seamless transition into the slower paced ‘THUG LIFE’; a piano ballad reminiscent of nostalgic sitcom intros. Merlyn Wood and Matt Champion team up on top of a bouncy electro based beat on ‘WHERE THE CASH AT’ to bring the energy back up.
On ‘WEIGHT’ Kevin Abstract reminisces on his feelings of inadequacy and pressure that he’s been facing in the past year surrounding the increasing spotlight the band has been getting in media. The soft strings on the track soon switches to double time using a drum n’ bass breakdown, only to have it brought back down once again.
The group throws in the skit ‘LOOPHOLE’ towards the end of the album where we hear an interview of Cam’ron on breakfast club detailing his story of his friends taking advantage of him and hiding his money from him as he began to come up as a musician. This deception and distrust could be seen as an allusion to Ameer who abused the groups trust and almost ruined their reputation with his controversial lies.
Brockhampton follows this by exhibiting extreme diversity in vocal styles and production throughout the album. The self-proclaimed boyband used this project to show their own personal iridescence, as they showcase their diverse talent and ambitious musical abilities.