Yuna Nocturnal

Yuna Nocturnal
9
Yuna's sophomore album, Nocturnal, is one of the most honest and intoxicating albums of 2013. Blending Malaysian-inspired sounds with R&B, sparkly pop and an indie ease, her youthful sweetness has grown into a smoldering, assured sound that's magical. Fresh and glamorous, Nocturnal marks her Verve debut and you can sense a breeze flowing through each song. Taken as a whole, the album captures the international appeal Yuna effortlessly embodies; she confidently delves into love, illuminating its intricate, often vague and private joys and pains with great insight and the exploratory quality of a woman owning her desires and needs without apology. "Mountains" finds her wishing, with breathtaking candour, that, "I could stay as new as when you first saw me." Yuna has a penchant for writing songs tailor-made for Hollywood. "Rescue," while the least compelling of the 11 tracks, is a well-crafted pop anthem destined for a Julia Roberts flick, while "Colors" is a far more distinctive number that has Yuna asking, "Who are you to tell me what I don't deserve?" "I Want You Back," a slow groove, complete with handclaps, is a 2013 rendition of the Jackson Five song of the same name. "Lights and Camera" is striking R&B with a sexy, halting bounce; it's a private reminder to remain grounded as the world sweeps you off your feet. Yuna's irresistible charm is balanced with a good dose of frankness that prevents tracks (save "Come Back" and "I Wanna Go") from becoming syrupy cute. Nocturnal makes you long to fall in love and stay there. (Verve)