Tinashe Joyride - Vinyl



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There was a point before the release of Joyride when the trajectory of Tinashe's music career appeared to be tracing that of Cassie. Tinashe had the platinum debut single with "2 On," a solid parent album, and waning momentum after relatively minor chart success with the follow-up singles. The situation worsened as the arrival of Joyride was delayed and a tour was consequently scrapped. By the time RCA matched Tinashe with labelmate Chris Brown for a non-album single in 2015 -- the year she planned to release Joyride -- it was evident that the singer and her label weren't on the same page. Two more years passed, during which Tinashe offered the stopgap commercial mixtape Nightride. A third and final version of Joyride was finally completed and released in April 2018. Remarkably, it bears no signs of a tough birth, even with the knowledge that the lead song -- the title track -- had been sold to Rihanna, unbeknown to Tinashe, who eventually bought it back. Sung in a lower register with a slightly devilish lilt, and further distinguished by Hit-Boy's slightly abrasive drums, "Joyride" simultaneously sounds like a fit for Rihanna and a striking way for Tinashe to begin her second proper album. The track ends with strings to neatly segue into the trap-styled "No Drama," where she takes a quick jab at those who have belittled her. It's one of two collaborations with Stargate, the lone full-track production holdovers from Aquarius. The other one, the bounding, bittersweet "Faded Love," features Future. Apart from the presence of those figures and some fleeting sourness, Tinashe keeps it moving with new studio support and another batch of compositions that cover romantic highs and lows. There are some missteps -- a tropical-flavored pop number that sounds a couple years late and easily forgettable, and the usage of grating bed-spring squeaks throughout the otherwise fine "Ooh La La." Nothing here is bound to pass "2 On" in terms of popularity, but the highlights are filled with rich details and seductive hooks, heard at full power on the slow jams "He Don't Want It" and "No Contest." The smoldering, slightly bluesy "Salt" and sweetly aching piano ballad "Fires and Flames" -- two additional highlights -- invalidate all claims that Tinashe is one-dimensional. ~ Andy Kellman

  • Format: Vinyl
  • Genre: R&B

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