By Jack Lopez
Self-proclaimed boyband Brockhampton released three projects, titled “Saturation,” “Saturation II” and “Saturation III” throughout 2017. Heavily influenced by both hip-hop and pop music, the collective of rappers, singers and artists have created a diverse array of songs that exhibit their versatility in both genres.
The trilogy intended to saturate the market with Brockhampton’s music, and the band succeeded. The 17, 16 and 15-track albums respectively showcased the band members’ talents and abilities.
With “Saturation,” the members of Brockhampton exhibited both their hip-hop and pop-inspired roots. Songs like “GOLD,” “FACE,” “SWIM” and “FAKE” feature catchy hooks from two of the members, Kevin Abstract and Russell “Joba” Boring. These choruses often rely on vocal pitch-shifting to establish a separate voice from their raps. “SWIM” is the best example of a pop-influenced track on the album.
Brockhampton uses autotune or pitching techniques to create a beautiful song about love, reflection and hope.
“Fell in love but it ain’t gonna last, hydroplane like I ain’t gonn’ crash,” rapped Dom McLennon in “SWIM,” which shows a more sensitive side of the group.
Conversely, in songs like “HEAT” or “STAR,” which showcase the band members’ rapping capabilities, the members of Brockhampton seem to be in friendly competition with each other to see who can deliver the best lines.
“HEAT,” which references violence, sex, drugs and alcohol, stands in direct contrast with “SWIM.” These two songs are must-listens for fans who want to fully experience the versatility of the band.
In “Saturation II”, the band seems to focus more on hip-hop influences. Most of the tracks on this second installment include rapping, with shorter hooks and more aggressive production.
Joba, who mainly was featured on hooks and bridges in the first project, is afforded the opportunity to rap on a few tracks, which turns out well. It is hard to believe that he is the same guy who sings, “I just wanna love ya, just wanna hold ya, never would lie to you,” in “FACE” when his verse about the struggles he’s experienced in life comes on in “SWEET.”
The pop-inspired songs are still there in tracks like “GAMBA,” but “Saturation II” shows off the group’s technical rap skills.
Matt Champion, one of the more lyrically proficient members of the group, raps about rape culture on the track “JUNKY.”
“Saturation III,” on the other hand, could stand alone as a pop record. The entire album is full of melodic hooks and up-tempo, danceable beats. “BOOGIE,” “ZIPPER,” “STUPID,” “BLEACH” and “RENTAL” are all songs that use the same vocal pitching techniques present in songs like “SWIM” from “Saturation.”
Other songs on the album are more hip-hop inspired, but it really seems that on “Saturation II” and “Saturation III” the boys tried to go for two distinctly different sounds — which flow together seamlessly.
There is one song on each of the three projects that does not fit into either of the two genres the band is influenced by. These three tracks happen to be the closers to each album: “WASTE,” “SUMMER” and “TEAM” respectively.
These songs feature Bearface, one of the more reclusive members of the band, on his own. Bearface plays guitar and sings on each of these tracks, which are not anywhere near the other types of tracks we have heard so far on the albums.
These songs almost stand independently, but still work to close out each project beautifully and transition into the next project.
Go out and listen to the “Saturation” trilogy, and listen to each member’s distinct voice and ideas. Be a part of this movement in music — you do not want to miss it. The internet’s newest boy band is here to stay.