It’s the middle of December, everybody is busy finishing their respective end-of-the-year lists, it seems nothing interesting will happen. Then suddenly one album drops, and it fucks up everyone’s lists, forcing them to put it on top (or near the top). And the world’s hottest boyband did just that. And I’m so glad they did.
Sure, the release of Saturation III wasn’t all that sudden – the group made huge waves with two previous albums released this year, and many were expecting the third installment to be just as good – if not better. And it is better. Absolutely no filler, great songwriting, the flow of the album is brilliant, and so are the lyrics, videos and so on. But before I get carried away with all that praise, let’s dissect the music.
BOOGIE is the best possible choice for an opening track. Frantic rhythm, saxophone mixed with police sirens – it hits you right in the face like a truck. On top of that, you get some of the catchiest verses of the year. It’s not just about high-speed bangers though – they can get more reflective (LIQUID, STUPID), fierce (the first part of SISTER/NATION – it sounds like Death Grips for a while) or obscenely catchy (the chorus of HOTTIE is so damn sweet).
The production is stellar, some of the best instrumentals are ALASKA, the jazzy licks of JOHNNY or the guitar on TEAM that slowly gets submerged in more and more reverb to the point where it sounds almost shoegazy. All of the members bring something unique when it comes to the flow, but Joba shines especially bright, mostly due to his unpredictability – from the wild screams on BOOGIE to the stunning first verse of SISTER, he’s excellent all the way through. Kevin Abstract and Matt Champion never fail to deliver a great hook and Merlyn namedropping Anthony Fantano has already been hailed as the greatest music moments of the year (the meme potential is virtually endless).
I’m really tempted to give this album a perfect 10, but somehow I feel like this isn’t the best Brockhampton can do. They showed steady progress throughout the Saturation trilogy and if they can keep this up then Team Effort scheduled for next year may be a decade-defining album.