If ever you were looking for a case study in an argument why Hip-hop artists shouldn't be judged by albums, Nas is Exhibit A. However the build up promotional work has hinted at a more relaxed and comfortable Nas, since his collabo with Damian Marley he's seemed free from the pressures and disappointments of previous commercially "packaged" work - would this be reflected on Life is Good (as the title suggests).
Throughout each track Nas is in full steam locomotion, even across tracks like "Accident Murderers", "Reach Out", and "The Black Bond" (which all could have been produced in different decades in different genres) he manages to weave is complex stories and personal opinions alongside themes of celebration and perspective. He never slows momentum, and this is a particular subtlety that is credit to the track selection on Life is Good.
Previous albums pinned Nas too close to what niche people loved him by. Meaning he had a couple of classics but the album as a whole fell down. Now Nas is allowed to breathe on a much varied set of production. Meaning he's allowed to maintain his lyrical stride without fear of repetition. At the core Nas in full stride is what we all want, and this album gives us that with a track listing that still manages to cater to 2012 "shuffle generation's" varying moods.
This freedom and inspiration produces more mature and delicate handling of deeply personal matters showing Nas' wealth of experience beyond street stories. He's both old and young at the same time. In this album he moves within time and space like a spectre - but this, and only this is the "ghostly" element of this album. Hearing journalists talk about ghost-writing with Nas is akin to modern architects saying the pyramids must have been built by Aliens, undermining the craft and ingenuity that existed before their time.