About a week ago, Tinashe teased that she would be dropping three new songs in the near future and, less than 48 hours later, she gave us the first of them. The track has some pluses and minuses, but the good outweighs the bad.
One major win for listeners is that this is much more a demonstration of Mixtape Tinashe and the quality of material that comes with that side of her. Even when she is having fun on a song like this, the lyrics are cohesive and she comes with a story to tell and solid imagery to make things stand out. The downside for her this time is that nothing she’s saying is particularly new so, unless you’re already a fan, this won’t make you one and doesn’t stick out against other trap tracks about money and finding the rider that won’t kill your vibe.
Another win is the production. We would be very surprised if this isn’t one of the beats that she made in her home studio. When her signature is on her own work, she tends to skew darker with for tracks that show her “boss” side. This is very much a trap track, but there are those alt-R&B elements that made her a darling of the indie scene with its still somewhat bright undertones and smoother than rap two-toned melody. The downside is that…this is a trap track; they’re a dime a dozen. This doesn’t really stand out in the musical landscape and, again, can escape your attention unless you’re already a fan.
Her vocals are good here. She comes with strength of tone and confidence; everything you need to make this song work. There really isn’t a downside here for Tinashe unless her voice just isn’t your cup of tea. We especially like some of her inflection points to emphasis certain words.
The addition of Offset is a draw. He brings a deeper tone to the track but his delivery and flow lack some energy against a surprisingly wild beat. He also brings Migos fans to listen…but loses some of the gay fans of Tinashe thanks to his own scandals. The lyrics aren’t anything special but they’re on-subject so they at least match the rest of the song.
Ultimately, the track by itself doesn’t win her too many new fans but it does keep the ones she has on the hook until the next track drops. That’s a win for someone in her position (more on that later).
The thing that really makes this song is the visual. While the song itself skews towards the not-quite-memorable end of the spectrum due to the reasons we mentioned, watching Tinashe go in on the choreo and look amazing in the costumes is a definite win for her.
The road to Joyride, Tinashe’s long-awaited second album, has been pretty erratic. The difference between songs like Party Favors, Flame, Superlove, and Ride Of Your Life is vast and smacks of not having a really direction and just throwing things at the wall to see what sticks. While we would normally blame the artist for this, Nightride proved that Tinashe is still who she has always been and has a core sound and style that RCA doesn’t seem to know how to harness/market. Her best work is still coming out of her bedroom (or, at least started there) and the desire to turn her into something “more marketable” is stagnating her. Let her loose artistically, RCA; the worst she can do is maintain the audience she came to you with.