Yes, it is about that time, maybe even past due, for a Tinashe review. Her debut studio album Aquarius was released October 7th of this year, and the R&B singer has introduced herself on this debut as an artist to look out for.
The first track, the title track, begins with what sounds like an audience gathering into their seats, about to watch or hear a performance. It’s the perfect intro to her as an artist, playing on the traits of those born under the sign of Aquarius: Independence, inventiveness and originality. She has in fact been in the entertainment industry since she was 3 years old. The second track “Bet” is a bit reminiscent of the sound on her mixtapes, and features a pretty sweet guitar solo by Devonte Hynes.
On the third track “Cold Sweat”, I really began to understand her lyrics and song-writing ability. This is Tinashe’s favorite joint on the album, which is great because it’s mine as well. Hooked from the first listen. Tinashe is speaking on being out in the city (Los Angeles) and preferring her own honest solitude, as opposed to the
bullshit and fakeness that surrounds her. Production on this track is also very solid, her vocals on the hook with that bass behind her works so well. Even has a nice beat-flip during the third verse, thank you Boi-1da.
Aquarius only consists of about three features total, I personally think A$AP Rocky was the best one, on “Pretend”. I do not like Future on “How Many Times”. That is only because I have never understood bringing a rapper onto an R&B song, to just completely contradict the tone and sensuality of the track that the singer establishes, by just being filthy and overly sexual – I may be alone on this, that’s fine. I just can’t get into features like that, that lyrical and tonal shift bugs me. Then of course there is the “2 On” single everyone knows, with ScHoolboy Q.
Throughout the album Tinashe has some interludes in between certain tracks, they kind of help transition into the next song, I’d be lying if I said I’ve figured all of them out, but I do appreciate them. “Far Side Of The Moon” is another song I like a lot, the beat is great, thanks to Osinachi Nwaneri. Mike Will Made It on “Thug Cry”, need I say more? Solid production all around. Tinashe actually has a good ear for her production, she’s using a lot of unique instrumentation and soundscapes, incorporating a lot of influences from other genres of music, something she did with her previous mixtapes, helping them stand out from typical R&B albums.