NF is back, not that he was ever gone. Perception is NF’s third full length LP, each released in subsequent years. In 2015, Mansion put NF on the scene displaying his honest lyricism and affinity for good beats. In 2016, NF offered raw emotion and relatability on Therapy Session with more concise lyrics and dynamic beats. In 2017, NF continues to grow as an artist with Perception as he makes himself known to the world.
To be honest Therapy Session made it difficult for me to go back and listen to Mansion because I felt like the quality of the album and individual songs were so elevated. And I am feeling the same with Perception. I don’t say that to disrespect NF’s past discography. I still enjoy many older tracks, but NF has developed in almost every way on Perception. There are more concise thoughts and lyrics (10 Feet Down, Green Lights, Remember This). There are more creative cadences (Destiny, Know). There are catchier chorus’ (Let You Down, Dreams). There are better bangers (Outcast, One Hundred). The only thing that is not improved are the worst tracks. What I mean by that is though the best tracks on Perception are better than the best tracks on Therapy Session, the worst tracks (You’re Special, If You Want Love) on Perception are not improvements compared to the worst on Therapy Session (Breathe, Wish You Wouldn’t). Though NF has raised his ceiling, he has not raised his floor on the album.
Perception and Therapy Session are better for people who like songs compared to people who like albums. Mansion was better understood as a whole project. Therapy Session had 14 tracks and was kinda disjointed in how the tracks were laid out. Perception is even longer at 16 tracks and suffers from being disjointed in the middle as well. Tracks 8-10 create a lull based on their style and timing within the record. If the record was around 12 tracks, I would find it much more digestible as a whole. I believe NF leaves certain songs on the album that don’t need to be there because they lack the quality of the other tracks. This to me makes me view the record as certain songs versus an album because I gravitate towards certain songs instead of digesting the record as a whole.
Overall, I think Perception has some of the best songs NF has made on it. I believe he has continued to improve with each record. I will continue to listen to this a ton of times. I also think NF can continue to get better and I am excited for him to prove that statement right with his next project.