Nao wraps her sumptuous voice around an ambitious concept. On her second album, the East Londoner sets her sights on the sixth planet from the sun. She seizes on the mythology that once Saturn achieves full orbit—roughly 27 to 29 years—you’re born again, a perfect time for a do-over. “Saturn is the planet of lessons,” Nao told Beats 1 host Ebro Darden. “It’s your teacher. It’s almost like you’re coming of age again.”
It’s this spirit of rebirth—a chance to let go of past regrets, relationships—that marks her latest offering. She ushers in a period of change on “Another Lifetime,” “Make It Out Alive,” and “If You Ever.” She searches for mindfulness (“Drive and Disconnect”) and connection (“Love Supreme,” “Curiosity”). With her helium-rich voice and global-forward sound that welcomes electronic and Afrobeat influences, Nao is a thinking person’s R&B singer who sounds like nobody else.