2017’s hottest new boy-band Brockhampton has struck gold twice in one summer with Saturation 2. As a slight aside, this album is hard to both review and digest without having listened to the original Saturation, which released on June 9th. Different from fellow August 25th releases LUV Is Rage 2 and Cozy Tapes: Vol. 2, this sequel demonstrates its relationship with its precursor easily.
Brockhampton has marketed themselves exceptionally well. The group formed initially in 2012 and has modified themselves from then. They debuted with All-American Trash (which is skippable) in 2016, and then exploded over the summer of 2017, capitalizing on internet hype from lead man, Kevin Abstract.
The volume of work released is the most distinguishing aspect of this group. Releasing two full-length projects is difficult, not to mention doing so only in the span of two months. They’ve also promised a conclusion to the trilogy with Saturation 2, to be released at a later date this year. Jennifer’s Tour, which they are bringing to Chicago on September 6th, kicks off soon, and their YouTube page is frequently updated with music videos. It’s truly astounding what they’ve managed to do in such a short time.
Sinking your teeth into this project is an emotional investment. With a runtime of 48 minutes and 4 seconds and 16 tracks, there’s a lot covered here in a short span. You have to pay attention to the album, especially with the pretty layered production, but it’s assuredly worth it.
Positively, this album has a ton going for it. Each member of the group has a unique personality that shines through their verses. Kevin’s unabashed sexuality is what most think of when covering him, but his phenomenal ability to create melodies and rhythms should be discussed too. Ameer Vann’s voice holds your attention and his perfect enunciation makes for some great verses. JOBA is one of the group’s most unique members, with the ability to bust into buttery vocals or an insane verse at a moment’s notice. Dom McLennon brings the most technical ability to the table. Matt Champion showcases the effortless “cool” that the band displays. Merlyn Wood’s wild delivery is one of hip-hop’s most unique. Bearface’s vocals are such subtle additions that improve the album immensely.
The production truly is top-notch. Finding new wave artists that aren’t smattering their tracks with hi-hats and trap 808s is a challenge, but Brockhampton demonstrates some of the most diverse production of any new artists. From the plucky “JUNKY” to the heavenly “TEETH” to the summery “GAMBA”, Saturation 2 has something for everyone, hip-hop fan or not.
Saturation 2 is a project that requires some serious nitpicking to find any fault with. Sometimes the lyrics can be a bit repetitive, but both Kevin and Ameer have demonstrated they’re aware of this, and it comes across as tongue-in-cheek. The split between true hip-hop songs and summer almost-ballads can be a bit jarring for some, but does not personally cause any strife for me. A main critique with the original Saturation was that it felt like they didn’t truly have a lot to say, even though they spoke a lot. Even then, that’s been directly addressed with songs like “FIGHT” and “JESUS”.
In totality, Saturation 2 is a step-up and progression on what was already one of the best hip-hop albums of the year. It’s absolutely something that I recommend for everyone. The conclusion to the Saturation Trilogy will be wildly anticipated, and I can’t imagine it falling short in any way. If they keep doing what they’re doing, Brockhampton is deservedly on the track to truly being the biggest American boy-band of this generation.
Favorite Tracks: TEETH, JUNKY, SWEET, GAMBA, SUMMER