Reviewing NAV by NAV

Just as expected, NAV delivered a silky, treble abundant and lyrically heavy collective which did not disappoint his fervent growing fan base. He’s signed by The Weeknd’s XO label, but before this he has steered his own way and imprinted his mark on the scene from his unique sound and mysterious demeanour. From the release of take me simple, to the huge success of Myself, the anticipation of a project from NAV was at boiling point, so when he dropped this project I was mad gasssed. There’s aspects which I absolutely loved of this album and other aspects from previous songs which I was waiting for but was absent. Here are my thoughts of the project!

What I loved!

NAV keeps it real. He has kept making music that reflects his phase of life he’s at which takes the listeners through the journey with him. We see his life changing gradually from the way he writes about the changes in his relationships, money and success. He’s becoming wealthier, the challenges of being a South Asian artist are becoming smaller and women now give him a second look.  Early NAV fans witness his growth in confidence in himself and his music and his portfolio of collaborations including Metro Boomin, Drake, The Weeknd, French Montana etc. speaks for itself.  . What this album characterises is a shift from NAV’s hindsight and reflecting approach on past challenges to a confident and obsessively ambition for the future.

Couple of his hits before the album notably Myself, TTD and Up is featured in the album – which are absolute bangers. Women, drugs and reflections on his identity is investigated with increasing discoveries respectively through subsequent releases, which we starkly see from the contrast of these tracks compared to newer songs such as Good for it which presents a more assured and blunt NAV. I was kind of disappointed The Man wasn’t on the album, If you haven’t listened to The Man. Say no more click here.

My favourite songs (which aren’t rereleases) on the album are probably Good for it, Lonely, Mariah, and Some Way. Good for it has that classic NAV bounce with the consistent flow with the hidden BARS. “Come get your issue, we got mags…”. He’s really about that. It also feels like the coming of age track, he has confidence and he really believes in himself as he moves away from reminiscing about past obstacles and brags about what he can and will do given his found fame. Lonely and Mariah are just mad melodic vibes. It brings that flow and shoulder bop with tweetable lyrics. “I won’t drink this sprite unless its dirty…”.

As an early NAV fan I really appreciated how his track She Know was recycled for the album’s Interlude, but in a sultry and intimate manner.

Self-titled Song, NAV, although I didn’t particularly love it was a great way to open the album as it reflects and epitomes the current state of the NAV brand. Live.

What could have been done better

Although there’s melody in a few of the tracks mentioned above, I felt the musicality that we saw in Over, Brown Boy, The Man, Nothing on you, Nothing on Me (just to mention a … few?) was missing. I loved the album don’t get me wrong but I was waiting for that element which I felt has been lost. I wanted to see him revisit neighbouring octaves to the mid-range register this he occupies in this album.

All in all, I love the album but more importantly I’m proud. I discovered NAV early 2016 when he was on 23k views, now my man is going places and paving the way for up and coming Asian artists such as Armi. I remember people thought he was Posty – but now no one confusing NAV.

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