What a great relief! 25-year-old Tinashe after many difficult fights has finally managed to publish the album that had been announced for a very long time now. ‚Joyride’ drips with a large dose of decent and engaging r&b, placing a talented American among the most promising young representatives of the genre when it comes to her generation.
There is nothing to pretend – Tinashe’s path leading to the premiere of her next studio album certainly did not belong to the easiest ones. Before launching the current ‚Joyride’ album campaign, the 25-year-old released a few tracks that turned out to be a commercial flop, disregarding general taste of her fans. ‘Player’ recorded with Chris Brown, summer-vibed ‚Superlove’ and ultra-pop ‚Flame’ did not lead the singer to the big day of releasing a new longplay, moreover it have raised bunch of concerns about a coherence and direction of the forthcoming material – the successor of her well-received debut. You can breathe a sigh of relief, ‚Joyride’ is a consistent album and does not cause much doubts about its authenticity, which could easily be acquired after a bit banal sound of its recent predecessors.
The whole album opens with a quite interesting introduction in the form of a one minute ‚Keep Your Eyes on the Road’, in which Tinashe advises in a warning way to fasten belts before the start of new journey with the background of whizzing cars. And there is certainly something to be warned about, as already with the arrival of its title track – ‚Joyride’ – it becomes quite clear that the 25-year-old will not slow down the pace once imposed by the debutant ‚Aquarious’. The singer gave up the participation of Travis Scott, who could be heard in the first unofficial version of the song. And rightly so – Tinashe efficiently passes through the whole climatic composition, rather uncomplicated in its lyrical layer, but it pulls up thanks to the interesting structure, its melody and catchy ‚they are like la la la la la la’, which you can find here a lot.
Previous singles have been chosen almost unmistakably, the lead-single ‚No Drama’ (guest Offset) and his successor ‚Faded Love’ are obviously the tracks with the greatest hit potential. Fiery production and certainty pouring out of the first of them proves that Tinashe has gratuitously wandered between her two eras through the paths of commercial sound, vainly trying to please the larger public. Totally unnecessarily, as the sound of ‘No Drama’ and ‘Faded Love’ proves that sensual r&b marked by a fraction of juicy arrogance works the best for her. The 25-year-old also sounds good close to the Swedish group Little Dragon, which has been invited to cooperate with her on the addictive ‚Stuck with Me’ (‚I’m a trainwreck, I’m a carcrash / But you’re a shotgun, get an air bag, get a ice bag for the weekend / cause he can feel it.) Their collaboration penetrates your ears right after the first listening session, there is a well-conceived chemistry which makes it one of the strong est suits on ‚Joyride’.
There is also no lack of lazy and sensual r&b as it is what Tinashe offered us on her second album. In coquettish and seductive ‚He Do Not Want It’, dominated by whispers and high-registers, or the buzzing ‚Oh La La’, young star in an appetizing way focuses on the issues of male-female stuff („You know I belong right in my arms” starts the second one). Ephemeral nature of her vocals, gentle and subtle – yet intriguing melody – and uniformity of composition make it easy to tempt yourself for a moment of forgetfulness ride with Tinashe. The largest deck of sexuality was included in the exciting ‚Salt’, in which the 25-year-old perfectly dominates the minimalist and unsophisticated beat efficiently sewing the sensual r&b. However, it is not entirely understandable to intermit such a relatively short album with two interludes (‚Is Not Good for Ya’ and ‚Go Easy on Me’), it just seems to be a bit unnecessary on ‘Joyride’. We knew well that the world was sick and filled with ignorance long before Tinashe’s monologue contained in ‚Go Easy on Me’ was launched. The most pale – and it is quite a surprise here – falls out colored with the commercial and trendy beat ‚Me So Bad’ and well-balanced „No Contest” that unfortunately does not hit as much as its predecessors (‚I’m here for no contest, when it comes to loving you‚). The successful ending of the ‘Joyride’ adventure brings to the table a ballad called ‘Fires & Flames’ (previously titled ‘Stay the Night’), which, although simple as the construction of the cheapest PC, is a charming addition to the tracklist, this time around focused more on the haunting vocals.
Tinashe’s enthusiasts can breathe a huge sigh of relief. ‚Joyride’ is a successful and natural continuation of what could be found on the ‚Aquarious’. Of course, you could imagine that the 25-year-old will allow herself to go for a bit more experimental sound of r&b, discovers the new territory on its map and bring more pioneering approach to the subject. However, this is not a necessity at the moment when a good quality & classic sound at its best is served. Apart from ‚Me So Bad’, you will not find any forced sounds prepared as a response to the generic trends prevailing right now on the market. ‘Joyride’ is sexy but not vulgar; sensual but not trashy; calm but no boring. A romantic, sleek and well-groomed r&b with Tinashe’s good quality trademark all over.