By Ray Rahman
August 01, 2012 at 04:00 AM EDT
Dan Steinberg/AP Photo

Life Is Good


As Tony Soprano once said, ”’Remember when’ is the lowest form of conversation.” Sadly, onetime wunderkind Nas falls into that trap on his 10th album. Given his bitter 2010 divorce from Kelis (that’s her wedding dress on the cover), the millions he owes in back taxes, and the diminishing returns since his game-changing 1994 debut, Illmatic, it’s no wonder he’d rather live in the past. Too many tracks here recount his salad days in the era ”before Air Jordans.” Still, Life Is Good‘s better moments, like the languid Amy Winehouse collab ”Cherry Wine,” manage to give his classics a run for their money — even if that money’s going straight to the IRS anyway. B

Best Tracks:
Cherry Wine
The Don

Life Is Good

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