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Demons Protected By Angels

by NAV

Released September 9, 2022 via XO / Republic Records

Reviewed September 21, 2022

Top tracks (based on community voting)
Dead Shot (62%), Never Sleep (54%), Last Of The Mohicans (39%)

For an artist with a lot of talent, NAV is the blunt of a considerable amount of jokes. I won’t sit here and say I’ve abstained from participating but I try to have valid reasons. In the past, I thought that NAV never really “wowed” me with his sound given his access to producers, features, and other industry essentials on par with his fame. With his latest project I won’t say I’m a new Stan, but he did a good job. This project has a solid amount of fun to listen to songs like “Baby,” “Dead Shot,” and “Never Sleep.” The Uzi and NAV connection works in a way I wouldn’t expect, but nonetheless I’m a fan of the energy they bring. I really can't be angry with anything I’ve heard. I often fall into a hole of overly comparing artists, which leads me to misinterpret their meaning. I don’t think Nav is setting out to be the goat or lyrical savior of music. Now I give him the same ear I give to Future or Uzi, which makes him much more palatable. With all of that said this album is fine. It’s well produced, keeps good energy, and has playlist value with select songs. – Daniel (6/10)

Despite great commercial success, NAV’s catalog up to this point has been lacking at best. His fourth album, Demons Protected By Angels, doesn’t divert from his standard formula, but it might be the most consistent of his yet. Heavily reliant on the most standard tropes of trap music, the extent of lyrical diversity rarely reaches any further beyond the Toronto rapper and producer’s affinity for double cups, jewelry, sex, and fame. Production-wise, he goes a similar route, with compact beats that rely on the barest of trap beat essentials: 808s and hi-hats. Synths find themselves in the mix and add a hazy atmosphere throughout—another NAV staple—but never really elevate the music above anything but serviceable. All of this leaves NAV comfortably coasting throughout another release with middling energy and decent enough turn-up music. Demons Protected By Angels does very little to expand upon NAV’s repertoire, but with solid features on nearly half of the tracks, there are some hidden gems throughout. Most notably, Lil Uzi Vert (twice), Lil Baby, Baby Face Ray, and Gunna offer great contributions that stand tall amidst another shallow effort from NAV. – Dominick (5/10)

Alan: 8/10 | Daniel: 6/10 | DeVán: 5/10 | Dominick: 5/10


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