This album’s name fits how I feel about it. Depending on how you look at the verses and beats, their quality seems to change when looked at from different angles. What I mean by that is when I first listen through the album, I thought the entire thing was just hit or miss, with a lot more misses than hits. After re-listening to it and really looking at the lyrics and how their accompanying mixes fit with them, I grew to appreciate the album more.
That being said, I think the album had was still one of Brockhampton’s worse ones when compared to past albums. As I said before, only a few tracks stood out to me, the main three being “WEIGHT,” “THUG LIFE” and “SAN MARCOS.” Outside of those tracks, and a few others verses from Kevin Abstract, I felt like the mixes and beats of the other tracks overtook and distracted from the groups vocalists rather than complimenting their lyrics. This made the absence of Ameer Vann, a former lead MC who was accused of sexual misconduct and removed from the group in May of this year, extremely apparent.
Throughout the album, I felt the beats and mixes were lacking in quality. Some beats were too intense or too mellow for certain verses. Sometime there were straight up moment where it felt like the accompaniment didn’t fit with the vocal. While this didn’t happen often, when it did it took me out of the moment and made me pause and ask, “Wait, why did that happen?”
This album does have some saving graces, but for the most part it was just an okay listen that occasionally made me ask why stuff was made the way it was, which was unfortunate because I really liked the meaning behind many of the tracks. Keryce Chelsi Henry summed up the meaning behind the album perfectly in her review of it when she said, “The album is the group’s look at the shape-shifting nature of success, they hold their own success up to the light, and scrutinize all its possible appearances.”
My main criticism of the album was the way many of the tracks were put together. Fortunately a documentary film about its making, titled Longest Summer in America, is releasing in November and I’m hoping that it will address and change my criticisms of the album.
“I like that people can have the context of everything that went into the album and what led up to it and what we went through,” said Kevin Abstract, when asked about the documentary. “Listening to the music afterwards makes way more sense.”
Hits: “WEIGHT”, “THUG LIFE”, “SAN MARCOS”
Misses: “BERLIN” & “J’OUVERT”
By Zach Perez