Label: Thousand Story
Released: December 2020
Indescribably expressive singer Naji presents ‘Angel’ - a collaboration with dextrous and experimental producer The Kount. This song is once bitten twice shy. It is cautious to trust again after having been disregarded. I have particularly enjoyed this admittance of vulnerability in such a pure form from a male vocalist, a flourish of the evolving renaissance in men who are allowed to feel but not to the detriment of their masculinity.
The timbres of blissful cascading Glockenspiel and analog drum machine lend perfectly to the gentle strength of vocalist Naji, who is able to explore many avenues of melody with differentiation in harmony added within the bass line. The exquisite harmonies and rhythmic runs of wordless expression used to underpin the verses are breathtaking - and as for the lyrics? I only wish I could publish them in their entirety, for they are simply beautiful.
“I wonder how much of my power
Slipped through your hands
So I'm careful now
I'm there for now
I've made my amends
You made me your friend
But I don't intend
There's a special kind of loneliness
That holds me down and wraps my chest
I think about when we first met
"I'll be back, don't you cry" you said
And sent away my trust
Packed on your back
And stuck in your dust
So I brought it back myself
With no fear of being left alone”
Whilst this track suggests that Naji is struggling to submit to his desire to trust again, I also feel he understands sometimes the necessity of forgiveness for the perpetrator and patience for the victim in matters of love. The narratives of our time show little regard for the concept of redemption, but it is an essential aspect of our desperate need to maintain healthy relationships.