Warming up to Tinashe through new album, “Joyride”

Christine Zhao, Editor-in-Chief Investigations

Tinashe’s music is known for being both suggestively sexy and characteristically groovy: her new album, “Joyride,” certainly lives up to that standard. After debuting her “Joyride” world tour in 2016, Tinashe brings us back to the basics with her tracklist stock full of rhythm and romance by releasing her latest album on Apr. 13.

I was initially attracted to Tinashe 2 years ago with the pop appeal of “Party Favors” and her collab with Chris Brown, “Player.” Her breathy and seductive voice has kept me hooked ever since. Tinashe’s music ranges from H&M playable tracks such as “Stuck with Me” to shower-ready songs like “Fire and Flames”; the versatility of her latest album ensured it topped the charts, hitting #8 in its first week.

Though my usual cycle of album obsession peaks at the 3 month mark, in the week that I’ve played “Joyride” on repeat, I’ve come to love every Tinashe song that flows through my ears. “Stuck with Me” in particular has, coincidentally, stuck with me throughout this entire week: the low guitar strum in the chorus screams of clothing store music and the post-chorus echoes of Beyonce’s “Partition” (Tinashe has spoken out about being compared to Beyonce in the past but I still think the comparison holds true). “No Contest,” in my eyes, is the single on the album that most closely resembles the singles that initially pulled me towards Tinashe: I love the confidence of “But I ain’t here for no contest, (uh) // When it comes to lovin’ you” and the short, staccato rhythm of the chorus. “Ooh La La” literally incorporates bed creaks as the underlying background music of the song: while just as catchy as the rest, it’s definitely guilty pleasure music that feels incredibly inappropriate to listen to in 4th period Lang. These gems shine brightly in sticking to Tinashe’s roots; her attempts to stylistically experiment with genre (such as with the album’s lead single “No Drama”) have definitely not been as successful as that of say Taylor Swift’s. Tinashe’s voice shines brightest within her comfort zone of dance lyrics and romantic playfulness.

Her lyrics themselves can be as indecipherable as those of the Weeknd (for example, in “Stuck with Me” the lyrics “But you’re shotgun // Get an air bag, get an ice pack for the weekend // ‘Cause he stuck with me, I can feel it” appear to make little sense), but when you combine the high range soprano of Tinashe with the music mixing genius of her RCA Records team, it seems like Tinashe can do no wrong. So Spotify, if you’re looking for a new album to headline your “Silk Sheets” playlist, you will have found the right one with “Joyride.” Her melodic, often elusive, lyrics allow for amazing background viability and her alluring voice sets the perfect mood for romance.