After numerous delay’s Tinashe has tentatively come forward with her third studio album Joyride. As expected, the hold up threw a monkey wrench into the equation as the album’s narrative is disjointed and at times contradictory. That isn’t to say that a person isn’t allowed to evolve or change their point of view, but over the course of 12 songs, including two seemingly unnecessary interludes and a thin intro, the evolution of Tinashe reads as incoherent. Stylistically she’s either flirting with Rihanna or FKA Twigs, and in the end very little is revealed about the burgeoning superstar.

The production is equally as misguided as the content. There are moments where the beats sound like an Arca knock off (dark and brooding), and in other situations its bubbly pop, which creates a strange rift that Tinashe isn’t able to reconcile. The lack of continuity on both ends has her only grazing the possibilities. This deep into her career she’s still looking to pin down her style, and she should be further along in her development. There’s a wealth of potential, but at this juncture she needs to offer more in terms of creativity.

Keep Your Eyes on the Road (Intro)

Cars scream by like it were the Daytona 500, and there’s no turning back. She’s all in and it’s make or break. There’s a Blade Runner quality to it that gives way to a spastic, post-apocalyptic world where laws and morals are a thing of the past. A warm lather before the floodgates open: [LISTEN]


With the race in full swing, she hits the throttle with everything she’s got. The beat is hot on her back, and it’s propelling her forward with grit and determination. The sense of urgency is tempered by resounding jubilation; she’s enjoying every moment of her life because deep inside she knows that it could end at any moment. The thought lingers and transforms her into something more: [LISTEN]

No Drama

Now that she’s put some distance between her and her competitors, she’s able to hit cruise control and tell the world what’s weighing heavy on her mind. The message is fairly simple: she doesn’t want any drama in her life because it’ll only drag her down. She’s on cloud nine and isn’t about to slow down for anyone. With her crew by her side the party rages on, and the end is nowhere in sight: [LISTEN]

He Don’t Want It

The reason behind her angst is revealed. Her need to be free of the dramatics is inspired by a flaky dude who didn’t want what she had to offer. His childish mind games but her in a dark place, and the beat simulates the depth of her anxiety. She had to drag herself out of the trenches, and now that she’s finally turned a corner she’s letting the fella know exactly how she feels: [LISTEN]

Ooh La La

Playfully flirtatious, and a tease in every sense of the word. She’s letting her guard down and singing her sweet song of seduction. The sample of a squeaking bed is off putting and unnecessary in that it reads as cheap and gimmicky. Fortunately the sample of Nelly‘s “Dilemma” gets the beat back on track, which gives her enough energy to ask her lover to perform cunnilingus. Sexy and unfiltered: [LISTEN]

Me So Bad

A rudimentary beat has her taking a big bite out of Rihanna. It’s pure pop and a copycat move that is supposed to help her break through to a larger audience. Ty Dolla $ign and French Montana crash the party to help facilitate the process, and their presence adds a level of sheen that doesn’t necessarily elevate the creativity. Predictable and polished to the point that it loses personality: [LISTEN]

Ain’t Good For Ya (Interlude)

In a flash she plays the anti-hero. She’s not your cute princess who wants to snuggle by the fire. Instead she’s riding a different trend, the edgy lover who’s trying to steal you away from your basic girlfriend. It’s a quickie and she isn’t looking for anything other than a steamy romp: [LISTEN]

Stuck With Me

A simple, percussive beat keeps the mood light and airy. She’s telling her lover that for better or worse she’s going to be herself. She’s presenting all the negative aspects first, comparing herself to a gruesome train wreck, but later explaining that in the end it’ll all be worth it. Yukimi Nagano of Little Dragon lends a hand, and in the end pulls it off better than Tinashe: [LISTEN]

Go Easy On Me (Interlude)

Yet another interlude that offers a glimpse into her ever-evolving point of view. The beat is a nod to improvised jazz, and her spoken word delivery creates a poetic atmosphere. The world is suffering from a sickness, an absence of love that has given way to hate and anger: [LISTEN]


Her world has caved in and she’s asking her lover to not throw salt on the wound. It wasn’t supposed to last, but they tried to the very end. Love is still on her mind, and the memory of how it unfolded is haunting her. The emotions are building up, and the pain she’s feeling is telling her that she hasn’t gotten over it. Her lover may be long gone, but part of him still remains in her heart: [LISTEN]

Faded Love

The passion is setting her ablaze and instead of empty words she wants her lover to just follow her, no questions asked. It started as a steamy night out and turned into an intimate moment at home, and she’s looking to make the love last all night long. Future plays the love interest, and he’s just as adamant about the no strings attached conditions. Wildly carefree and full of desire: [LISTEN]

No Contest

The Timbaland-like beat creates a throwback atmosphere, a style of play that has her pulling from another late-great superstar Aaliyah. She’s so taken by her lover that the mere mention of his name sends her into a tizzy. He’s occupying her consciousness, and the inability to shake free is starting to take its toll. By submitting to the feeling she’s hoping that it’ll expedite the recovery: [LISTEN]

Fires and Flames

The gentle piano has her reeling over what once was. All the bravado at the beginning of the album was her way of striking a balance between vulnerability and confidence. Her lover’s silhouette is etched into her mind, a specter that has been haunting her since the day he left. She cared deeply for him and the scars are informing her current state of mind. A moment of deep reflection: [LISTEN]