Review of Nao’s new album For All We Know
London is obviously back on its pedestal in the heights of global music, largely helped by grime and in particular a South London vibe setting both the UK and the world alight. However, Nao, is from a different part of the smoke and she is flying the flag for East London.
The 28 year old former music teacher and jazz music student has had some of the most talked about singles in music critic circles and has raised supporters on the likes of Radio One and 1Xtra. The best example of Nao’s quality is on the huge single Bad Blood. An shows off her stunning, yet understated vocal prowess and matches it with a massive beat that feels nothing short of stunning. Other single Girlfriend shows a slightly different side to Nao and offers softer vocals that still deliver a punch.
If you haven’t been touched by Nao through her singles, then firstly, where have you been? But secondly the album is worth exploring just for those alone. However, the album is more than just the two singles and Nao exposes why she is our current leader in the “future RnB” sector.
The album has a good mix of experimental sounds, thick beats and lovely vocals from Nao. Each track seems to show a slightly different nuance to her ability as a performer and yes, whilst some tracks are stronger than others, each serves a purpose and there are definitely no stinkers.
If you like your RnB filled with electronica or prefer a more synthesised EDM style a la Ellie Goulding that seems to have shaped female vocalists over the past few years this isn’t for you. There are more nods to 90s RnB through the likes of Adore You. There are experimental and slightly electronic sounds in The Jungle co-produced Get To Know Ya which utilises a great distort effect on a filthy beat.
The brightest element of For All We Know in my opinion (unless I missed it), is the complete absence of auto-tuning. An prefers to strip it right back and let you judge her on her vocal and then decide if you like the production, a genuine artists.
For All We Know is a great debut album from Nao and offers fans of her singles a great opportunity to hear what she is all about. For new fans there is a large enough variety and bangers alike to make this a great introduction to Nao, who could be quite a big deal across the globe.