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[Album Review] Tinashe – Joyride

Although with a few deep potholes, Tinashe eventually takes us on a Joyride after 4 years...

Joyride is an album that has been affected by numerous setbacks. The project was first announced in 2015, later being promised to appear in the balmy months of both 2016 and 2017, with nothing but scattered singles to show for it. It’s been 4 years since Tinashe’s debut album, but it still seems like she’s a new artist in the industry. With this album, she needed to satisfy impatient fans, and meet her high expectations.

The intro, ‘Keep Your Eyes On the Road’ prepares us for the “Joyride” with cinematic sound effects. There are so many elements that make Joyride interesting — her vocals, the chorus, her lyrics and the beat. Together, it’s like a cereal with every ingredient needed to make you want another bowl so bad. On ‘No Drama’, Offset’s ad-libs, Tinashe’s chorus, and the beat by Stargate are the secret (but not so secret) ingredients.

She hits really high notes on ‘He Don’t Want It’, but other than that, the other seconds are spent waiting for the song to end. Tinashe opened this album with three strong tracks, but the ride quickly went from impressive to mediocre as she failed to impress on ‘Ooh La La’. The beat of ‘Me So Bad’ is great, but Tinashe’s inability to deliver a correlating top-notch chorus is a disappointment. Ty Dolla $ign and French Montana presented verses that gave this song a little ray of hope, but the major problem with this song is the chorus. The featured artists are familiar with sounds like that, and that’s why they were able to approach the beat with solid flows.

The interlude, ‘Ain’t Good For Ya’ isn’t completely a waste of time as listeners have enough time to catch their breath from what seems to be more of a stress ride. ‘Stuck With Me’ is one of the best songs on this album. It presents an electronic sound that proves Tinashe can still deliver good choruses on this album.

‘Go Easy On Me’, is another interlude. It is soulful, poetic and brief. Everything about ‘Salt’ makes it an outstanding, soulful song with lyrics and instrumentation that hit the soul. Although, Future’s tempo doesn’t match the sound on ‘Faded love’,  Tinashe makes up for that with the chorus. The creativity in the production makes Tinashe’s vocals perfect for the beat. The pre-chorus of ‘No Contest’ sets the rhythm for the rest of the song. The change of the tempo at various times, shows a lot of creativity by Tinashe and the producer — Soundz. The last track, ‘Fire and Flames’ is a fusion of high-quality vocal dexterity and soft piano keys. The chorus on this track is absolutely captivating!

‘Joyride’ features some extraordinary elements. The synthesis of her vocals and the production is the most outstanding feature on this LP. Tinashe introduces different sounds and tries to blend them with the R&B sound that she brings to the table with mixed results. That risk created poor choruses, boring verses and a waste of some great beats. However that risk also created soulful, captivating and entertaining songs. Ultimately, this joyride is an uneven trip with some potholes in the road that keep it from being completely perfect.

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