One member lighter, Brockhampton return with their fourth studio album, Iridescence | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

One member lighter, Brockhampton return with their fourth studio album, Iridescence 

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click to enlarge Brockhampton

Brockhampton

Ashlan Grey

Just months after Los Angeles-based boy band Brockhampton headlined at Chicago’s House of Blues this February, founding member Ameer Vann was accused on social media of sexual misconduct by several women who detailed encounters with him that they allege were abusive and manipulative. In May, Vann was kicked out of the group, and the remaining members canceled tour dates so they could take time to regroup. Finally, this September they made their return with their fourth studio album, Iridescence. On the new album, Brockhampton prove that Vann’s absence hasn’t impacted their uniquely sculpted rap-pop sound; across its tracks they successfully maintain—and even amplify—the signature balance of vibrance and moodiness that’s helped catapult them to fame. Raw, erratic, and experimental, Iridescence won’t immediately appeal to all who listen. Though its mix of up-tempo techno and garage beats with the members variously yelling, rapping, humming, and singing is nothing new for Brockhampton, it can come across as overwhelming and uninviting at first spin. But play it a just couple more times and Brockhampton just might hit a sweet spot you didn’t even know you had. The relentless energy of “New Orleans” is similar to “Boogie,” their hit track off of last year’s Saturation III, while the mellow, cooled, asentimental chords of “San Marcos” serve as a reminder of the group’s versatility. And taken as a whole, Iridescence reaffirms Brockhampton’s ability to completely captivate their fans.   v

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