Monday, August 5th, 2019

NF – Time

A song for anyone looking to tick away the moments that make up a dull day…


Jonathan Bradley: NF’s dour rap forbids hope; “Time” is the story of a marriage that proves its strength through its unpleasantness. Relationships are tough, but I hear no love, no joy, in these lines that barrel fearfully from rhyme to rhyme and verse to verse, oblivious to rhythm. I think we are supposed to admire his sense of commitment, but I only hear obstinacy. This is not unfamiliar terrain for NF; on this occasion, he has an alt-rock chorus could have carried a song less leaden.

Iain Mew: The chorus melody heads right along a well-trodden path for rap songs with emotional sung choruses, but “Time” is better than most. It feels weird to say about a song which starts and ends with those extraneous string bits, but it’s the lack of pomposity that makes it work. The way that the singing just jumps in unheralded and the weird trip-hop excursions at the end of the chorus both de-emphasise its scale in a refreshing way, and it’s a similar story for NF’s raps. He’s got familiar problems, but  the message of things working out over time is gently cheering in a realistic kind of way. 

Joshua Minsoo Kim: NF’s better when he’s not singing because his rapping ends up sounding cornier than it already is. Like, the chorus reminds me of Brandon Heath with some low-effort vocal processing thrown in. NF’s popularity seems to stem from finding a crucial niche — Christian rap that isn’t from a Black person (c.f. the relative lack of success and acclaim from Lecrae’s album with Zaytoven or any of his stuff that isn’t super watered down), is angsty in a way that Christian emo/pop punk/metalcore was during the 2000s, and talks about Serious things without explicitly mentioning Jesus. “Time” is the crossover Christian pop radio hit that’s meant to appease some of those who want rap at its least confrontational. It talks about redemption and has some epic strings. Cool.

Alfred Soto: The space for confessions expands while their expressive possibilities contracts. 

Katherine St Asaph: That’s all right, because I like the way you kinda stretch the truth.

Will Adams: Every generation gets the B.o.B. it deserves.

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