Saturation III

Saturation III (stylized in all caps) is the third studio album by American boy band Brockhampton, released on December 15, 2017.[1][2] Production is predominantly handled by Romil Hemnani, alongside production duo Q3 (composed of Jabari Manwa and Kiko Merley), as with previous releases. It concludes the Saturation trilogy, commenced with Saturationand followed with Saturation II. Originally promoted as the group’s “final studio album”, the group announced their fourth album, titled Team Effort at the time before being scrapped, a day before Saturation III was released.[3]Saturation III is the band’s last album with founding member Ameer Vann, who left the band in May 2018 amid accusations of sexual misconduct.[4]

2017 studio album by Brockhampton
Saturation III
Studio album by

Released December 15, 2017
Recorded August–November 2017
Studio Brockhampton Factory, Van Nuys, California
Genre Hip hop
Length 46:17
Label
Producer Brockhampton

  • (Kevin Abstract
  • Romil Hemnani
  • Joba
  • Bearface
  • Q3 (Jabari Manwa and Kiko Merley))
Brockhampton chronology
Saturation II
(2017)
Saturation III
(2017)
Iridescence
(2018)
Singles from Saturation III
  1. “Boogie”
    Released: December 12, 2017
  2. “Stains”
    Released: December 14, 2017

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To promote Saturation II, Brockhampton released a single from the album for every week of August along with accompanying music videos. The night that “Sweet”, the final single from Saturation II was released, the music video for the song “Follow” was posted, along with the announcement that Saturation III would be released before the end of 2017. However, “Follow” was later revealed to not be included on Saturation III, but rather with the Saturationbox set along with other musical demos.[5][6]

In October, it was revealed that Saturation III was scheduled to be released in December.[2] On December 1, the release date for the album was announced, along with the statement that it would be the last studio album by the group.[7] This statement ended up being false, as what was to be their fourth studio album, Team Effort, was announced later that month. On December 6, the track listing and cover for the album were revealed.[8] Keeping in line with the previous Saturation albums, the cover featured vocalist Ameer Vann, however every preceding day alternate covers featuring other members of the collective were revealed. On December 13, 2017, the short film Billy Star was released, directed by Kevin Abstract and starring multiple members of Brockhampton. The short film included snippets of the songs “Bleach”, “Nation”, and “Team” (titled “Evanie” in the film) from Saturation III.

On December 12, 2017, the first song from the album, “Boogie”, was released as a single along with an accompanying music video. The song “Stains” was revealed on Apple Music‘s Beats1 radio station on December 14, 2017.[9] Both tracks were produced by Romil Hemnani and Jabari Manwa.[10][11]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 82/100[12]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic [13]
The A.V. Club B[14]
Clash 9/10[15]
Consequence of Sound B+[16]
HipHopDX [17]
HotNewHipHop 75%[18]
Pitchfork 7.5/10[19]
TheNeedleDrop 8/10[20]
The 405 8/10[21]

Saturation III has received widespread acclaim from critics, with many citing it as the strongest in the Saturation trilogy. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album has an average score of 82 based on 10 reviews, indicating “universal acclaim”.[12] For The Boston Globe, Isaac Feldberg praised “the sense that Brockhampton’s creative energies thrive most when every member’s strengths, and stories, are being utilized”, stating that the album “is entirely of a piece with its two predecessors; the disc exudes confidence on every front, though the group’s ambitions seem scaled up to world domination.”[22]

HipHopDXs Marcus Blackwell described the album as “their strongest project yet”,[17] with Timothy Michalik of The 405 also describing it as “their smartest album to date”, concluding that “this run of SATURATION albums have turned out to be among 2017’s finest musical achievements”. He also said that the album is “the ultimate victory lap for a group who have stayed busier in the studio than some artists do in their entire career.”[21] For Pitchfork, Sheldon Pearce wrote that “it’s on their third album of the year that rap crew BROCKHAMPTON’s whole gestalt comes into focus”, praising the album’s “memorable performances” and the “fascinatingly unorthodox compositions servicing them.”[19]

Veronica Irwin for The Quietus described the album as “their most abstract, their most experimental, and by far their weirdest”, stating that “at first listen it’s incredibly off putting”, but concluded that “in the span of their 3-album-in-a-year discography it fills the hole where something totally new and experimental needed to be.”[23]

For HotNewHipHop, Patrick Lyons praised the album’s “beat change-ups and multi-genre excursions,” however criticised the group’s “thematic repetition and loss of stylistic grounding”, concluding that “this trilogy is good-to-great, but I think its lasting legacy could be that of a breeding ground for solo stars who are still finding their own footing.”[18] Clayton Purdom of The A.V. Club wrote that “like its predecessors, the album is hit or miss, but the batting average remains uncommonly high for a project like this”, concluding that “if it seems like there’s nothing these guys can’t do, it’s because there’s nothing they’re not willing to try.”[14] Reviewing the album for AllMusic, Neil Z. Yeung stated that the album “entertains as much as its two predecessors” and called the Saturation trilogy overall “a fun, thoughtful, and unexpected experience from a group of highly creative young musicians.”[13]

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