Showing posts with label brockhampton. Show all posts
Showing posts with label brockhampton. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

video review: 'GINGER' by BROCKHAMPTON

And this happens - have to admit, I'm not sure how much disappointment will be wrung out of this, but certainly following iridescence it's a disappointment to me...

Anyway, Billboard BREAKDOWN is coming next, and then we'll get to Lana - stay tuned!

album review: 'GINGER' by BROCKHAMPTON

I'm worried about BROCKHAMPTON.

Which is a weird thing to say, given that thanks to their signing to RCA they've started to see significant market movement for their albums outside of their cult fanbase - all well and good, because I still hold iridescence as their best album thus far and easily earning its spot in my top 25 albums of 2018. But that was a project that felt transitional, and while there was always darkness between the lines on every BROCKHAMPTON project, here it was reflected in a fragility that made worry that the rushed push for a new album had pushed the band to the brink. And I know that's weird to say about a group that once put out three albums in a year, but creative burnout is a thing, especially when you have to push out a member for some damning allegations.

And thus I was utterly shocked that we were getting yet another BROCKHAMPTON album so quickly and this year - you'd think the group would take a few seconds to breathe and tour, especially with Kevin Abstract releasing a project of his own, but nope! And the reception from what I've seen has been... scattered, to say the least. Some have called it a return to Saturation-era form, others were noting the darkness had only deepened and was further fracturing their sound... but given how much I loved iridescence with multiple songs from it making my year-end list, I had expectations this time around. So what did BROCKHAMPTON deliver on GINGER?

Saturday, September 22, 2018

video review: 'iridescence' by BROCKHAMPTON

Yeah, this is genuinely great, and I really did want to get ahead of this one - definitely a controversial opinion, but we'll see how it goes...

Next up, some long-overdue old business, so stay tuned!

album review: 'iridescence' by BROCKHAMPTON

This was always going to be the biggest test for BROCKHAMPTON. Sure, putting three overstuffed albums out in a year was impressive as all hell and turned a small Internet collective into a festival monster, but when you surge to quickly to that point and land a major label deal as a result, and lose one of your key members along the way amidst a flurry of ugly allegations...

Yeah, I won't lie, even though I would never claim to be a full-fledged fan of BROCKHAMPTON in comparison with their diehard following that nearly crushed me in the pit when I saw them at Reading, I was concerned about this. The collective was bursting forth with so many compelling ideas about pushing hip-hop as an art and genre that I didn't want to see them ground up in the meat grinder of the mainstream music industry, and for a while I was worried that Ameer's departure would compromise their group dynamic. Thankfully it seemed like I was wrong in a big way, as the old songs still banged hard live and the boy band had managed to pull together a record for this year that had every fan salivating at the possibilities. And hell, I'll admit I was excited for this - at the very least a major label budget would give them expanded sampling clearances and fanfare that for their online following they'd never need, but could potentially get them a slice of mainstream crossover or even radio. In my mind that'd be the only reasons BROCKHAMPTON would sign to a major in the first place, but at the same time Iridescence would have to be really good, despite the change in album title every other week - so how is it?

Thursday, December 21, 2017

video review: 'saturation iii' by BROCKHAMPTON

You know, this might have taken a bit to grow on me, but I'm really genuinely happy that it did. Fun stuff.

Anyway, probably one last album review proper before I duck into lists and one big catch-up video... stay tuned!

album review: 'saturation iii' by BROCKHAMPTON

Not going to lie, I had mixed feelings about this the second I heard about it. Hell, they're the same mixed feelings I have whenever a band or act decides to drop multiple projects in a year when they could combine them into one uniquely strong record...

Actually, I'm not sure I stand by that in the same way anymore. The fact remains that I've covered a fair few artists over the course of this show who have dropped more than one project in the course of a year, sometimes with a radically different focus and style where the quality remains consistent - look at billy woods or Eric Taxxon. I think my bigger issue with BROCKHAMPTON is that while both Saturation I and II are good albums, they're a shade away from greatness, and it's hard not to feel like the thematic arc is retreading familiar territory without really evolving on it. And then there's the other big concern: burnout - quite simply, churning out multiple records in a year with a distinct promotion and marketing arc, especially when you're an independent collective, while it might be easier in the internet age it's also the sort of work that can push working relationships to their limit. And thus when Kevin Abstract made his fakeout post that Saturation III was their last hip-hop record, I believed it - artistic collectives have broken up over far less.

Now of course that's not quite the case, and we'll probably have more BROCKHAMPTON coming up, along with solo projects, but in the mean time, the critical buzz behind Saturation III was promising, so what did we get with this?

Monday, June 26, 2017

video review: 'saturation' by BROCKHAMPTON

So yeah, I'm not quite as crazy on this as I want to be, but overall it's still very likable, so check it out!

Next up... I'm going to see if I can squeeze both a review and Billboard BREAKDOWN in tomorrow, so stay tuned!

album review: 'saturation' by BROCKHAMPTON

So I think it's safe to say that music criticism is heading into a new era - and no, I'm not talking about the poptimism movement or the rise of awful thinkpiece criticism, I'm looking more at a shift in influence and power. Because if you go back to the mid-60s, there were names of music critics that stood out and helped to break acts, at least before the rise of major zines and music publications, where the individual critic got subsumed or in some cases actively de-emphasized.

That seems to be changing, and to be fair with the rise of the blogosphere you could have seen it coming. The Internet led to the democratization of music criticism but with the rise of YouTube and the critical personality it almost seems like we've come full circle. But whereas plenty of people can make an album review and a much smaller group can develop with the right persistence to make it something lucrative, we're now seeing the rise of critics with enough of a following that they can break acts through their reviews much in the way Pitchfork or the Village Voice or Rolling Stone used to.

Because let's be brutally honest: you guys wouldn't have asked for me to cover Saturation by BROCKHAMPTON, this Texas hip-hop collective with only one mixtape dropped last year that flew under the majority of radars, if it hadn't been for Anthony Fantano's effusive praise. Now to me that's not a bad thing - beyond the whole #TeamInternet thing it's a really great thing to see Anthony succeed and set benchmarks for where music critics can be on YouTube, but it's also good because we tend to share somewhat similar tastes in hip-hop. And while I wasn't really all that impressed by what I heard from BROCKHAMPTON's first project All-American Trash last year, I found their structure as a 'boy band collective' - their words not mine - to be at least interesting, so I figured I'd give Saturation a listen. What did I find?