The genre-defying, Honda-swerving, harbingers of musical mayhem have returned, with more explosive aggression, soulful introspection and turn-up slappers. Despite a larger gap between albums than fans are accustomed to, it doesn’t seem like they’ve done much to change their musical formula; instead more work has gone into perfecting their sound and vision.
On previous albums the band have jarringly juxtaposed genres, but on iridescence genres are far more blended. Therefore, the biggest selling point of iridescence is that it feels like a cohesive album, unlike the disorderly, ‘mixtapey’ Saturation albums. Tracks flow into each other seamlessly, and are arranged to give the album a steady and fluid pace. The sad part is that rather than sounding like a completely different album, it very closely resembles the styles, tones, and themes on all of their previous albums, albeit with a fresh lick of paint.
They’re definitely more capable of conveying their style, which admittedly is a difficult balancing act, but have made no substantial developments in composition. Instead of taking the opportunity to depart from their Saturation era, this album comes across as Saturation 4, but with slightly better production.
Obviously, the fans will be pleased, but you can’t keep doing the same album forever and hope that people will still tune in.
It’s surprising that for a group can who blend so many genres, it eventually comes across as boring. The blame for this can be pointed at a couple of things, mostly toward the lack of diversity in the vocals. Flows and rhyme schemes are overused, and often disrupt the essential unity between vocals and instrumentals (apart from when Merlyn is on the mic).
However, my biggest complaint about the album, and Brockhampton in general, is that they cannot compose a melody. There are no memorable riffs or choruses and, as a result, none of the tracks stand out. On top of this, for all their genre-blending, they can only ever alternate between aggressive and depressing, nothing in-between.
Overall it makes for a really frustrating listen, as their production skills definitely deserve credit, but it’s all for naught if you can’t compose a tune.