Go Native by Yusuf Azak – Album Review

A Review of Yusuf Azak’s Upcoming Album, “Go Native”

My goodness, this man is amazing!  Yusuf Azak wowed me once when I first discovered him in July, and now he has wowed me again – the elusive double-wowy.  I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have been given the opportunity to listen to Yusuf’s upcoming album, “Go Native”, prior to it’s November 12th release date.  In fact, Yusuf himself emailed me a copy.  I was honored.  I hold him in high regard in the music world both because of his music and the way he goes about his business.  Unlike Yusuf, I am by no means a master of words, but I will do my best to describe to you the epic-ness that is “Go Native”.

I sat down right away to give the new 11-track album a listen, expecting to be quite pleased with what I was going to hear.  I ended up being so far past pleased, it’s very nearly indescribable.  Saying that I was “pleased” after listening to his upcoming album is like saying the Sun is warm.  I know the year isn’t quite over yet, but this album is so good, I’m going to put it in my top 2 albums of the year.  I absolutely adore harmony driven songs, and every song on “Go Native” has breathtaking harmony.  It’s been a long time since I have listened to an album where I actually like every song.

Apparently this album has been stripped down and gone back to basics.

This new record is a little different. It’s lighter, cleaner and more straightforward, and I think this new directness might just make it a little easier for people to get into Yusuf’s gorgeously melodic songwriting – Song, By Toad

Let me tell you, the basics from Yusuf Azak are better than the greatest thing you can think of.  I am honestly floored by this album.  The amazing simplicity each song is composed with somehow morphs into intricate complexities that will leave you breathlessly impressed.  Be it the delicate and highly skilled plucking of guitar strings like in Smile TacticsAmerican Eyes or Move Me Starlet or the entrancing and hypnotizing violin, piano and organ in songs like Immunity or Rescue or Swim, I was continually amazed how so few instruments could create music that seemed to have so much going on.

One of the great things about this album is that every song runs perfectly from one to the next.  It’s like each new song is just an extension of the one before it to create not an album, but one cohesive song that is more masterful than any painting or sculpture you’ll ever see.

My Favorites

  • Losing My Aim
  • Lay Me Down
  • Immunity or Rescue
  • Sanctuary
  • Smile Tactics (click the link for a free download!)

My favorite song on the entire album changed with each song I listened to.  It started out as Lay Me Down, and then it was (I Would Sooner) Fade to Love, and then it was Sanctuary and then… well you get the idea.  It was difficult to decide, but once I heard Losing My Aim, I was amazed at the sheer brilliance of it.  It is, hands down, my favorite track on the album.  The hypnotizing way Yusuf’s voice will slowly entrance you is so much fun to be a part of.

The thing I enjoy most about Yusuf Azak’s music is his non-use of drums or electric guitars.  I am quite fond of Rock music – the louder the better, I always say.  Yet, somehow, Yusuf Azak’s album, “Go Native”, gives me the same feeling I get when I listen to one of my favorite loud Rock songs.

Perhaps it’s the way he meticulously tickles the strings of a guitar, hauntingly gasps every lyric, or intricately harmonizes with himself.  Whatever it is, I am drawn to his music.  I am proud to say that I am a fan of Yusuf Azak and that “Go Native” is without a doubt one of the best albums I have heard – beginning to end – in a long, long time.  When “Go Native” is released, I strongly urge you to get it.  You will quickly find yourself amazed and enthralled in a world of acoustic bliss.

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