Brockhampton SATURATION ll Review

SATURATION II album cover

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SATURATION II album cover

Amidst the number of great rap albums this year, like Tyler, The Creator’s Flower Boy, or Vince Staples’ Big Fish Theory, we now have a sequel to the critically acclaimed SATURATION, with the appropriately named SATURATION ll. BROCKHAMPTON, the LA-based alt-rap collective, made waves this June with their first album SATURATION, renowned for it’s intense bangers and unique use of synths, as well as the blend of calm and light-hearted melodies. The group has once again delivered with an impeccable sequel to the style they’ve developed, fittingly ‘saturating’ 2017 with their trademark catchy and peppered track listing.

To begin the SATURATION ll, the album kicks off with one of the best tracks on the listing, “GUMMY,” a song filled with dark keyboard tones and a catchy chorus from Kevin Abstract, having a seemingly sinister feel to the beat with an instrumental mishmash ending the track with a satisfying conclusion.

The next track “QUEER” is full of one transition after another, beginning with hard hitting guitars and tight drum beats, starting a smooth verse by Matt Champion, progressing to an even faster, more aggressive verse by Merlyn Wood, transitioning to an airy and soft chorus by Kevin Abstract with slow synth leads, before the track seemingly fades to black after another few verses by the other members of the group like Ameer Vann and Dom McLennon.

The third track in the listing “JELLO” with arguably the most catchy hook on the album by Kevin Abstract with an almost cartoony use of strings for the beat, leaving barely a second between when when one artist transitions to the next almost seamlessly.

The track “TEETH”, acting as more of an interlude for the album with the a soul-fueled choral arrangement with a fluid xylophone that drones in the background as Ameer Vann does a short verse about growing up from a poor neighborhood, going to white schools and feeling like an outcast, leaving a very bitter taste that Vann has felt countless times before.

“SWAMP” is another song with a hook that can’t be ignored partially because of the lyrics and in part because of the almost dreary tone that the violins and light guitars, combined with the wobbly synths that blend into the chorus. In general, the verses are mediocre in comparison to their other work, with the track being more fueled lyrically about personal strife for each of the members, but the following track, “TOKYO,” more than makes up for the slow and gloomy vibes that “SWAMP” gave off.

“TOKYO” begins with a quick, choppy verse from JOBA that grips the listener from the very beginning. In perfect progression, Kevin Abstract comes in with a vibrating chorus with a saxophone that seems to flow through you as the track progresses. The song’s powerful and incredibly produced ending has the listener wishing the song lasted even just 20 seconds longer.

Other great bangers like “FIGHT” and “SWEET” are some of the backbones of the album, providing great perspective into the racism that members like Ameer Vann endured throughout their lives, citing anecdotal experiences like a time when Vann was told by his history teacher that “black boys belong dead in the streets.” It’s incidents like that ignite the frustration that much of the group raps about so vigorously. The album is an epic reflection of different hardships and pains that the group copes and puts up with in their lives, acknowledging it every day, from the poor conditions of each of their lives growing up on the streets, to looking back on the pain of relationships like the one told of in “JESUS”, or calling out certain groups that try to hold them back like described in “SWAMP” and “CHICK.” The compelling tracks like the closer “SUMMER” are akin to songs on their previous album, with clean and soothing vocals seen on previous work like “FACE.”

SATURATION ll is not necessarily a progression or change up, rather it continues the same shtick that made SATURATION so popular in the first place. The raw and outright nature of the group has made them stand out among other rap collectives as of late. This peppered album is a worthy sequel to their already astounding start and a testament to the impeccable consistency that BROCKHAMPTON is capable of. We only hope to see what the group has in the works for the already announced SATURATION lll.