NAV’s “Bad Habits” – Album Review

The XO prodigy is back with a (thank god it was a) forgettable listening experience.

If there were one word I could choose to summarize my listening experience for NAV’s fourth full project, it would be disappointing. While I’m not expecting classic-caliber music from the Canadian artist, the complete lack of effort and creativity displayed on Bad Habits is appalling. 

The album kicks off with the lackluster song To My Grave, and doesn’t pick up steam at all from there. The next five tracks are classic examples of an artist making the lowest common denominator of rap music. 

A huge dagger in the tracklist comes in the form of Price on My Head with The Weeknd, where NAV and Abel somehow combine to make the most mediocre Weeknd track of all time. Average verses from the pair are mixed in with a god awful hook that comes in over a beat that just feels like wasted potential – much like the rest of Bad Habits. It’s not like there’s high expectations for NAV. All he needs to make is one Car Sick, or maybe a Lonely, and I’m satisfied. Sadly, there is nothing on this project that even approaches those high water marks. 

The album continues its subpar run with a string of uninspired songs like Ralo and Snap around the halfway mark. In the middle of the the two is a boring Young Thug feature on Tussin– where NAV finally shows some signs of creativity, but they’re extremely short lived. Even with a song with longtime collaborator Gunna can’t save the album. Hold Your Breath is the definition of bland, random trap music that sounds like it was made in a half hour. 

With the first ten tracks in the books, it’s apparent what kind of music is on the project, and it’s hard not to mentally clock out as the next six tracks follow the exact same formula as the first ten. Why You Crying Mama and Stuck With Me are downright cringey, and Dior Runners makes for a bad song with a good title. 

The best track on the album is the outro, Know Me, which was decent at best as a single. Then, just like that, the album is over, and you’ve wasted forty-eight minutes of your life listening to music that doesn’t even work well as background noise. What is there to keep from this album? Not much. There are parts of songs that are interesting, but they come in at thirty second sections at most. There isn’t a song on this album that feels like a well-baked idea or comes together as a whole, and that is ultimately the most upsetting thing about Bad Habits: it’s a whole lot of nothing.

When NAV first entered the hip hop scene, he was at least intriguing. Songs like TTD and Up portrayed someone with an interesting psyche and a mind creative enough to make compelling music. While there have been flashes of that same NAV here and there since then, Bad Habits shows no sign of that artist.