The british singer, Nao, caught my eye a year ago while I was surfing between new tracks on Youtube.
"For All We Know" is a beautiful mix of R&B, soul and electronic cuts. "This former backing vocalist’s soulful, involving debut album is at first glance a thoroughly up-to-date digital workout with a long cast list of co-producers bringing their A-game (the jazz-trained Nao has co-producer credits throughout). Somehow, unity of vision pervades." (The Guardian)
Nao penned her first song in 2013 and her first single, "So Good", helped her create her template for an emotionally pop that gives away little about its creator. "On "For All We Know", Nao autopsies various relationships—with friends, lovers, outgrown versions of herself—and, having decided what went wrong, calmly takes down the perpetrators."(Pitchfork)
Nao’s tone is filled with romantic defiance, even when, as on breakout single “Bad Blood” the lost love under her microscope is platonic. The chorus sounds tremendous. The video increases the "alien" atmosphere offered by Nao's vocals.
“Fool to Love”, a song about a doomed relationship, resonated a lot with myself. She sings with the weight of lessons learned: “I’m wise and I’m older”.
Nao's angelic voice oscillates between euphoria and self-examination. “In the Morning” strikes harder as she acts the part of a lover too polite to say it’s over. “Buried all my feelings, I’m withholding,” she sings, uneasily. “I tried to leave him signs ... Are they hard to recognize?”.
Other songs that I listen on repeat from this album are "Inhale Exhale", "Get to Know Ya" and "We Don't Give A" - admiring the contrast between abrasive beats and silky seductive vocals.
“Get to Know Ya” opens the album with funk guitars and melismatic melodies, before “Inhale Exhale” bounces it up a notch with a lusty bass strut that melts away as melodies zipwire across octaves.
The album contains 18-tracks; the songs can impress with their "breadth: “Blue Wine” a moment of cosmic relief, winds down to slow-jam tempo, but blossoms into something exquisitely languid and sprawling. Again on “Blue Wine” the music feels emotionally descriptive without the need for disclosure—“broken emotions” are the narrator’s ailment, we’re told. But when vagueness is a catalyst, rather than a stand-in for passion, its evasive profundity teaches you to look for what’s missing."(Pitchfork)
If you liked my review, be sure to check out some of my previous ones below:
Until next time enjoy the snow! :)