Hope is a solid album from NF. It is a departure from his previous work in some ways and even his personae. NF quickly became synonymous with emotional rap exploring themes of mental health, self-discovery, and childhood trauma.
His signature black overall quickly became a hallmark, alongside frequent comparisons to Eminem and Machine Gun Kelly because of similarities in style.
NF’s previous album, “The Search,” saw the Michigan rapper willing to tackle his “demons” and make some life changes. He went off the grid for a few years, with only a mixtape to keep his fans busy.
Now, with “Hope,” NF comes back to the scene with a new, grown, hopeful sound. He has traded in his black overall for white, and his lyrics reflect his newfound optimism.
NF’s “Hope Track-by-Track Analysis
The album begins with the title track, a reflective intro in which NF reflects on his last 30 years, the massive life change that came with the birth of his son, and the struggles he has overcome. He promises a turn to light, not darkness.
“Motto” is a playful track in which NF pushes back against the superficial standards of the music industry. It’s a departure from his usual serious tone, and it shows that he’s willing to experiment with his sound.
On “Careful,” NF teams up with rapper Cordae to rap about his wealth and success. He shows gratitude for his achievements, but he also promises to share his wealth with his loved ones.
This is a refreshing perspective in hip-hop, where rappers often brag about their material possessions without acknowledging the people who have helped them along the way.
“Mama” is a beautiful tribute to NF’s mom. It’s a stark contrast to his previous tribute, “How Could You Leave Us,” in which he expressed anger and resentment. In “Mama,” NF expresses forgiveness and hopes that his mom is in a better place.
“Happy” is undoubtedly the trump card of the “Hope” album. It’s a pop-influenced track in which NF sings about his uncertainties with happiness after years of struggling with depression. It’s a vulnerable and relatable song that will resonate with many listeners.
“Pandemonium” and “Suffice” sound more like the NF we know and love, with dark and introspective lyrics. On these tracks, NF displays a newfound confidence that verges on boasting. It’s a welcome change from the self-deprecating tone of his previous work.
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“Gone” and “Bullet” are romantic songs. “Gone” is a pop duet with Julia Michaels about lost love, while “Bullet” is a love letter to NF’s wife. “Bullet” is a particularly personal track, and it’s the highlight of the album.
“Turn my back” and “Let ‘em pray” have messages for NF’s critics. He enforces his relevance in the industry and reminds them that he’s not going anywhere.
“Mistake” and the final track, “Running,” are both vulnerable and introspective songs. On “Mistake,” NF apologizes to his fans for not being there for them during his hiatus.
In “Running,” he talks about his struggles with anxiety and self-doubt. It’s a fitting end to an album that is all about hope and overcoming challenges.
Overall, “Hope” is a departure from his previous work in some ways, but it’s still a personal and introspective album that will resonate with his fans. NF’s newfound optimism is refreshing, and his willingness to experiment with his sound is commendable.
“Hope” Overall Rating: 9.5/10
Album Sequencing: 9/10
- Track Order: 8.5/10
- Song Placement: 9/10
- Flow of Songs: 9.5/10
- Arrangement: 9/10
- Song Progression: 9/10
Songwriting, Themes, and Delivery: 9/10
- Lyrics and Storytelling: 9.5/10
- Message and Articulation: 9/10
- Concept and Artistic Expression: 9/10
- Narrative and Presentation: 9/10
- Vocal Interpretation: 8.5/10
- Instrumentation: 9.5/10
- Soundscaping: 9/10
- Musical Arrangement: 9/10
- Sonic Craftsmanship: 9/10
- Sound Production: 9/10
Enjoyability and Satisfaction: 9.5/10
- Pleasure Factor: 9.5/10
- Entertainment Value: 9/10
- Listener’s Delight: 9.5/10
- Overall Enjoyment: 9.5/10
- Fulfillment: 9/10
- Performance: 9/10
- Realization: 9/10
- Implementation: 9/10
- Delivery: 9/10
- Artistic Rendering: 9/10
- Wordcraft: 9.5/10
- Poetic Expression: 9/10
- Lyrical Prowess: 9/10
- Penmanship: 9/10
- Verbal Artistry: 9/10
- Song List: 9/10
- Album Order: 9/10
- Sequence of Tracks: 9/10
- Track Order: 9/10
- Song Arrangement: 9/10
Sound Engineering: 9/10
- Audio Engineering: 9.5/10
- Sonic Craftsmanship: 9/10
- Audio Production: 9/10
- Sound Manipulation: 9/10
- Acoustic Mastery: 9/10
- Singing: 9/10
- Vocal Performance: 9.5/10
- Voice Artistry: 9/10
- Singing Style: 9/10
- Vocal Delivery: 9/10
Listening Experience: 9/10
- Auditory Journey: 9.5/10
- Music Appreciation: 9/10
- Sonic Voyage: 9/10
- Acoustic Adventure: 9/10
- Hearing Engagement: 9/10