Album: Àdá Irin
Artist: Navy Blue
Non-Airable Tracks: N/A
Description: I haven’t heard an album like this in years.
This is not necessarily a good thing. There are cringy phases in one’s life one lives over; obsessions over the Amen break, weird anime music phases, harsh noise phases… this album, however, reminds me of a specific phase in my life. I was around eight or something, and my brother had found The College Dropout somewhere on Naps- I mean iTunes. This was then four or so years post-release of Kanye’s Freshman album, but I can remember the highlights like yesterday. The key of that anecdote was, that, as a kid, the idea of music made up of other music was mindboggling. It was like making something from bits of other things, like a quilt.
And honestly, this is what this album reminds me of. This album reminds me of a quilt. Warm, quiet, kinda quaint and old-fashioned. Dropping the synthesizers, the sheen, and falling out of the trap of the trap, Navy Blue manages to deliver something… kind of nice, actually. It’s a throwback album to days before the clashing of industrial noise and rap, before the monoliths of Yeezus and trap and… oh God, Death Grips altered the scene forever. It’s back to simpler times, times when Kanye said “George Bush doesn’t care about black people”, times when streaming services on demand weren’t readily available at all times.
The album itself thus presents itself as this kind of reminder of decades past, and it does its job pretty well. The second half of the album is better than the first. There are, again, no particular standouts on this particular album. But I do think that the album itself is a prime example that comfort never dies; and that R&B and Jazz still have a firm held place in Hip-Hop. You may not ever get old Kanye back, but this is about as close as you’ll get.
Otherwise the melty parts sound kind of like early Earl Sweatshirt? His rap style is very quiet, unpretentious. I can’t see the immediate comparison besides some of the tracks on the earlier half of the album.
Base Rating: 5
Neat: + 2
Sounds Like: A gentler College Dropout. Like a really, really gentle College Dropout. Also Earl Sweatshirt’s beat styles around his Doris release.
Reviewer’s Name: Abraham Aruguete
Date of Review: 02-14-2020