ROADRUNNER: NEW LIGHT, NEW MACHINE - BROCKHAMPTON ALBUM REVIEW
Before its release, BROCKHAMPTON declared that Roadrunner: New Light, New Machine would be their best album to date, and were they right? Well, long story short, yes.
Roadrunner is BROCKHAMPTON's most brutally honest release and fits a lot of commentary on a lot of both worldly and personal issues into one short album.
Once again we find BROCKHAMPTON blurring the lines of genre, by being a 'boyband' that can be found predominantly with a rap and R&B sound but also venturing out further than this into borderline pop, some rock-like instrumentals, and even an acapella track in the form of 'DEAR LORD'. Although there's this mix of genre, and more features on the album than we're used to, Roadrunner somehow feels like the most put together of the band's EPs and albums.
Roadrunner is cohesive, whilst also keeping you on your toes, excited for the track that'll come next.
Roadrunner is a thoroughly modern album with the brand new style of collaborative group BROCKHAMPTON put forward, but also in the cultural references that are brought forward. JPEG Mafia rapping about Dua Lipa, That's So Raven and Vine on CHAIN ON; references that will only be understood by the younger generation that BROCKHAMPTON not only target but are a part of themselves.
'THE LIGHT' and THE LIGHT II act as particularly stand-out tracks on the album, with their brutally honest storytelling and emotional outpour about one member of the band, Joba's, father's suicide. With lyrics like With lyrics like "When I look at myself, I see a broken man / Remnants of my pops, put the Glock to his head" it's difficult not to resonate with the pain being felt.
However, this isn't the only strongly personal issue discussed. We also find themes of sexuality and racism, not just in these tracks but throughout Roadrunner as a whole. These tracks may be discussing deep and dark thenes, also maintain a distinct hopefullness, which is a contrast that continues throughout Roadrunner. As we head into LIGHT PT II further down the album, we see more uplifting lyrics like "The light is worth the wait, I promise", which give Roadrunner a more positive outlook.
Overall, Roadrunner: New Light, New Machine is a stellar release from BROCKHAMPTON, and is acting as an early contender for best album of the year for many listeners. It's honest, yet hopeful; it's fun yet heartbreaking; it's classic BROCKHAMPTON yet not at all, and that is what makes it work.