Brockhampton Searches for Peace and Purpose on ROADRUNNER

Dom Maiorca

Finally, the boys of Brockhampton are back with their sixth studio album, ROADRUNNER: NEW LIGHT, NEW MACHINE.  The 13-track project sees the group once again interrogating their darkest thoughts, yet still leaving room for charismatic energy and eternal hope.   

 

Every new BH album signals a new era and creative direction for the collective.  The ROADRUNNER era kicked off with the release of the wildly entertaining BUZZCUT music video featuring Danny Brown.  With a visual aesthetic built on green screens and 3D-renderings, this era is stuck in directional limbo.  “What is God to you?” asks Merlyn, embodying the central themes of persistence, motivation, and self-improvement.  ROADRUNNER finds the collective questioning their future and searching for something to keep them going. 

Leading up to the release, Brockhampton shared feedback from legendary producers Rick Rubin and RZA.  Both marveled at the group’s ability to pay homage to their musical influences while taking the sound in a direction completely their own.  Throughout the album, you hear hints of Kanye West, *NSYNC, and Wu-Tang Clan woven together beautifully.  ROADRUNNER floats seamlessly between raw hip-hop (“WINDOWS”), soulful R&B (“I’LL TAKE YOU ON”), and somber gospel (“DEAR LORD”).

 

While previous BH projects brought little outside collaboration, ROADRUNNER is filled with impressive guest appearances.  Danny Brown, JPEGMAFIA , and A$AP Rocky each bring a unique, untamable energy to the first three tracks.  Also featured are rising artists SoGone SoFlexy and Baird, both of whom are signed to Kevin Abstract and Romil Hemnani’s Video Store label. 

Review

 

ROADRUNNER is by far the collective’s most mature and cohesive project to date.  Gone are the carefree, fun-loving SATURATION days as adulthood sets in.  On ROADRUNNER, every track is saturated with deep melancholy amidst confrontation with real-world problems.  With the more free and easy songs like “COUNT ON ME,” an ideal summertime hit, and “OLD NEWS,” an airy, neo-pop bop, Brockhampton shows that they are still masters of harnessing a mood and curating an immersive trip.  

 

Where 2019’s GINGER saw the boys at their most introspective, ROADRUNNER pushes forward, centered around “the light”.  In a trailer for the album, members of the collective speak on what the light means to them.  The light is a motivational tool used to chase your best self and the life you deserve.  To chase the light is to illuminate the world around you, thereby inspiring others to chase their own light. 

At its core, ROADRUNNER is a culmination of everything we’ve heard from Brockhampton previously.  The collective again wears their heart on their sleeves and uses music to cope with the trials and tribulations of life.  ROADRUNNER is a collage of emotions past, present, and future, fully embodying the vivacious fluidity of Brockhampton.  Once again, Brockhampton proves that if you want to go far, go together.  

 

Favorite Tracks: CHAIN ON, WHEN I BALL, WINDOWS, DON’T SHOOT UP THE PARTY,  BUZZCUT, COUNT ON ME

 

Score: 7/10

 

Listen to ROADRUNNER on Apple Music and Spotify.  Let us know your thoughts on ROADRUNNER in the comments below!  Lastly, if you wanna read more epic music reviews, check out the debut EP from Boston-based fusion pop band Couch.

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