Album Review: Saturation III

It’s been a busy year for Texas native group, BROCKHAMPTON. In the span of one year they’ve managed to create a trilogy of albums, sell out a United States tour, film a feature film, have a show on Viceland, and much more. However, the group wasn’t quite finished and returned after months of silence to drop the final album in the trilogy, Saturation III. After dropping its predecessors, Saturation and Saturation II, BROCKHAMPTON quickly gained buzz throughout the music community by creating one hard-hitting track after another. In the months prior to their latest release, there was certainly much skepticism over whether the group could release anything that topped or was on par with the last two. However, Saturation III is one of their most solid and consistent pieces of work to date.

From the moment the album begins with tracks such as “BOOGIE”, “ZIPPER”, and “LIQUID”, BROCKHAMPTON presents some of their most bombastic songs to date. From the hard hittingĀ drums to the swirling and playful synthesizers, the group masters its unique production and concepts that were explored in their previous projects. The group also takes risks in new song structures that they’ve never done before in tracks such as “HOTTIE” and “NATION/SISTER”, where we see beat switches, shifting voices, small interludes, and polarizing production. While these tracks see the group exploring new sounds, they ultimately pay off and leave the listener wanting more. This kind of experimentation is one of the album’s strong points, especially since Saturation II was more of the same sounds the group had already done on Saturation. This new risky production style combined with the vulnerable lyricism scattered throughout the album is what truly makes Saturation III an amazing album. Tracks like “STAINS” and “BLEACH” are a perfect example of this. In these tracks, we see the group really come into their element with catchy hooks, fantastic production, and it is also evident just how much each member has come into their own zone. Rather than any members of the group outshine one another, the chemistry and energy between the group truly shines in a way that is cohesive and seamless.

While there are many great tracks on this project, it isn’t perfect. While tracks like “STUPID” and “ALASKA” are catchy, they at times feel rushed and like a rehash of songs we’ve heard on past projects due to the pitched vocals and repetitive beats that don’t change very much at all throughout the duration of the song. However, though these tracks can detract from the album’s overall uniqueness, they are still highly enjoyable tracks.

Furthermore, the two tracks that stand out the most to me are “JOHNNY” and “TEAM”. In “JOHNNY”, BROCKHAMPTON gives us one of their best-produced songs that also features some of the best verses on the album. From the smooth saxophone to scattered drums, as well as the vocal samples, it is one of their most infectious beats yet. Another highlight of the song is a stand out verse from member, Joba, who really shines on this album as opposed to scattered hooks that he normally had in the previous two projects. On “TEAM”, member Bearface returns for a glimmering solo track that crushes your heart, but also heals it at the same time. Whether it’s the lush guitars or the airy harmonies, it’s certainly one of his best from the trilogy. Not only that, but the track also surprises listeners with a smooth posse cut as well as a sample that leads back into “HEAT” which is the first track of Saturation.

Overall, BROCKHAMPTON really comes into their element and masters what made fans fall in love with them in the first place on this album, as well as explore new territory gracefully and makes it all seamless. From bombastic bangers to catchy yet introspective tracks, to emotional ballads, there’s something for everyone on Saturation III. BROCKHAMPTON is a group that wants to be truly great, and they make it known with Saturation III. While there are still things left to say and sounds to explore, the future is bright for BROCKHAMPTON, and I can’t wait to see where the group goes next.

 

8.5/10

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