Life Is Good

Studio Album by released in 2012
Life Is Good's tracklist:
No Introduction
Loco-Motive (Feat. Large Professor)
A Queens Story
Accident Murderers (Feat. Rick Ross0
Daughters
Reach Out (Feat. Mary J. Blige)
World's An Addiction (Feat. Anthony Hamilton)
Summer On Smash (Feat. Miguel & Swizz Beatz)
You Wouldn't Understand (Feat. Victoria Monet)
Back When
The Don
Stay
Cherry Wine (Feat. Amy Winehouse)
Bye Baby

Life Is Good review

Time to be strong

It is not news that in times of great troubles of a personal nature musicians get to make strong albums. Art becomes another reality where they escape from problems crushing down on them, and the air they long for in moments of desperation. Yet, there are those who make albums to release all the hurt, bad emotions and thoughts, and there are those who, on the contrary, strive to use music to share their optimism and give an example to listeners to hold their ground. Famous New York rapper Nas appears to belong to the second category, which leaves no doubt after the release of his new album Life Is Good. To this life-asserting title the artist dared to add a controversial cover featuring him holding the wedding dress of his ex-wife, popular singer Kelis. Furthermore, Nas stated that this release would bring back the glory of hip-hop which is currently turning into something displeasing him greatly. The new record’s material is supposed to mirror the stylistics and atmosphere of the early nineties and records that accompanied the artist’s adolescence.

Nas puts an emphasis on lyrics

The singular, retro-colored sounding Life Is Good is a credit shared by the producers who stayed off prevailing thundering beats which became the favorite tool of present day’s performers. As always, Nas once again bets on listeners paying closest attention to his lyrics. At the same time, in terms of arrangements, Life Is Good is the most advanced effort in the musician’s discography with a great variety of means applied. Piano and strings in the opening part of No Introduction are replaced emphatically by mighty drums; and Accident Murderers houses choirs and organ hospitably. Yet again, it is the lyrics that draws the focus. Life indeed is good, but not perfect, says Nas. Daughters, and Loco-Motive express the rapper’s fears that his street past might hamper his relations with his children. Of course, he could not leave off his break-up with Kelis. The direct message to his ex is contained in one of the album’s biggest tracks Bye Baby. Here, as well as in Reach Out, he is assisted by Mary Blige. Another well-known guest vocalist here is Anthony Hamilton who gave World’s An Addiction an adorable chorus.

Anniversary album means best album

Life Is Good is almost an hour, yet it maintains the same style and atmosphere that is filled with a sweet nostalgia. Speaking of which, the six-minute Cherry Wine is beyond comparison. You will not this song to end, largely thank to the vocals provided by the brilliant Amy Winehouse. The beats, direct and simple, borrowed from hip-hop classic works, the elegantly fitted saxophones and colorful keys add to nostalgia a great deal of romance. Only in a couple of episodes does Nas presume to apply a more modernized sound, and, generally speaking, fails. You Wouldn’t Understand, and Summer’s On Smash are crafted too close to pop-format standards, too self-imposing and even tasteless. But this is the very case when disadvantages help to see advantages better. Nas has grown wiser, smarter both as an author and performer, and the worldly experience he has gained over these years is reflected in mature and thoughtful texts. The tenth, the anniversary album had to be an outstanding work, and this is exactly what it is.

Alex Bartholomew (26.07.2012)
Rate review4.93
Total votes - 3069


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