Album Review: BROCKHAMPTON – SATURATION II

By Sam Tornow, General Manager
[QUESTION EVERYTHING, INC.; 2017]
Rating: 7.5/10

Key Tracks: “GUMMY”, “SWAMP”, “TOKYO”

Strip away the exterior context from SATURATION II and you are left with 48 minutes of diverse beats, a stacked (yet relatively unknown) cast of characters and a glimpse into a myriad of themes including blackness, queerness and the combination of the two in the breakneck internet era.

Put the context back in and it is impossible to know where to look first. Is it the seemingly-guaranteed shimmer that comes from hip-hop collectives with outspoken leaders these days (*cough* D12,*cough cough* OFWGKTA)? How about the fact that this is the second release from the group this year (and they still have one more up their sleeve)? Or what about how part of BROCKHAMPTON formed on a Kanye West fansite a few years back. Dizzying, isn’t it?

Well, let’s keep the context, but don’t be ashamed for squinting, it’s a lot to take in.

From “GUMMY” to “SUMMER”, SATURATION II strolls along with a swing it steps that’s the product of an unbelievable amount of cohesion of flow. In-and-out verses are handed over from member-to-member so smoothly that the tracks slide their dense themes into the listener’s ears with ease. Before it’s outwardly apparent, the listener is subject to bars such as “Step off the ship with the slaves, then I go hit the stage / I just left in a whip, all I need is a chain,” breaking something that feels akin to the 4th wall.

“SWAMP,” “TOKYO,” and “FIGHT” represent the more party-centric tracks. Utilizing more yelping vocals and bubble gum instrumentals, they push the project ahead and avoid the middle of the album slump we saw on the group’s debut album, ALL-AMERICAN TRASH.

However, there is no denying the copy/paste relation this album has to its predecessor in the trilogy, SATURATION. With roughly the same length, flow, and distribution of verses, the formula is clear. This is BROCKHAMPTON though, and with fire track after fire track, it’s not hard to ignore how – well, saturated – the trilogy already feels.

Chances are when SATURATION III drops, BROCKHAMPTON is going to be championing the exact same style as they have since 2017 started. Thank god.

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