SATURATION also referred to as SATURATION I is BROCKHAMPTON’s debut album, released in 2017. The album marks the first of a trilogy, SATURATION II and SATURATION III were dropped that same year. Upon release, it was gaining traction in the underground hip-hop scene and received high acclaim off the bat. Although it may be hard to keep track of all the different voices throughout the album, each member of the boy band shares their musical and lyrical styles and personalities, which make up the album’s versatile talent and creativity. It is clear that the members play well off of each other and share a lot of chemistry.
The first three tracks of the album, “HEAT,” “GOLD,” and “STAR” are by far the project’s highlights. “HEAT” features insane, aggressive lyrics alongside a heavy drum beat with a heavily distorted bassline. The chorus features an explosion of noise, with ear-piercing sounds and shrill melodies. “GOLD” is more dialed back in comparison, a smoother, lighter track with a lot of personality. This song features almost all of the band’s members, giving each of them a moment in the spotlight. This song emphasizes their confidence, where each rapper lends their strongest flow. This track is next level, with its futuristic beat and the best hook on the whole project. “STAR” contains countless pop culture references, ranging from music to films. The song emphasizes the boys’ desire to be famous, to be the stars. This beat also hits extremely hard, with flawless flow from every member and insane production.
The tracks mentioned above are already some of my favorites, but “FAKE” and “WASTE” are two others that drive the project home, in my opinion. “FAKE” is a more laid-back track compared to the rest. The song highlights how the music industry does not always allow artists to say what they like, which leads many of them to create fake personas that they have to keep up with. Their voices are also heavily distorted to reinforce this notion of ‘fakeness.’ The album’s final track, “WASTE,” is a deeply melodic, passionate guitar ballad with the spotlight on bearface. It focuses on the fear of being forgotten, creating amazing memories with another person that they ultimately forget.
I first heard SATURATION days after its release, as my brother recommended it to me with high praise. It was like nothing I had ever heard before, colorful and bouncy, catchy with insane production. It is consistent in terms of quality, though lacking an overarching narrative or concept. Its versatility, switching between introspective moments like “WASTE” to hard-hitting bangers like “HEAT” was another compelling aspect. Each member plays off the others exceptionally well, and I soon became obsessed with the band. I have seen BROCKHAMPTON three times, their “Love Your Parents” tour, “I’ll Be There” tour, and “Heaven Belongs to You” tour. Over the past few years, I have noticed progressive growth in their sound and chemistry, and they will forever be one of my favorite bands. This is another album that I cannot say enough good things about and gets better with every listen.
This track, “LAMB” is another one of my favorites, however it never made it on to the final cut of the record.
Favorite tracks: “GOLD,” “STAR,” and “WASTE”
Least favorite track (excluding interludes): “CASH”
Overall rating: 5/5