Tinashe has been one of those artists I wished they become mega-stars because of their unprecedented talent but for one reason or another, something went wrong. For her, it had issues to do with her former label, RCA Records, and the unnecessary comparison between her and Beyonce. What did you guys expect when such a comparison was made? All of this saw her steady rise take a sudden halt and her music began to become so meh. There was some kind of disconnect to it.
She eventually left RCA and created her own label and is currently under her own management. And thus we have the release of her fourth studio album, Songs For You. This is her first project where she takes full control over the creative process and it does show how good she can be if you give her the opportunity. It’s so much better than Joyride. I don’t even know what that was.
Bold and Sweet
For the most part, this is an R&B album but you do get your dose of contemporary urban music. You know, those songs that usually have the nice trap beats with the 808s. Those songs usually bring out her alter ego, Nashe, who is cocky and unapologetic for who she is. Those songs (Feeling, Hopscotch, Cash Race, and Link Up) are quite enjoyable. I wouldn’t call them the best songs of the album but they are not too far off.
What about the rest of the 15-track album? It’s just Tinashe singing her heart out and it is good. You have to appreciate how much effort it takes to bring out the emotion in a song. The production has to be top-notch, the artist must be able to capture the audience’s attention with her (his) voice and the themes covered must be compelling. I do sound like a music teacher at this point but these are all important factors to consider.
Let’s focus on the themes for now. Other than her alter-ego showing us who’s the boss, the album brings out her vulnerability in the RnB songs. My favourite example of this is when she talks about missing her ex in the song Save Room for Us. She wants him to make room for the two of them to be a thing despite him being in another relationship.
How about her wanting to fix issues with her guy in the song Touch & Go. Songs like these make you have an emotional attachment with the album. Other times, it’s all about letting loose and having fun (Die a Little Bit).
Even if you’re not a fan of the emotional stuff or club hits, you have her alter-ego to the rescue. Long story short, there is a little something for everyone. (If you actually get the joke)
A common trend I noticed on the latter part of the album is how two songs are sandwiched into one. Cash Race, Know Better, and So Much Better are just but a few examples. Not that they ruin the experience or anything like that, I just wonder why they couldn’t stand alone as individual tracks. I mean, You only took six seconds and got its own track. Why couldn’t the others get the same treatment?
Perhaps Tinashe didn’t want the album to have too many tracks. I know for sure that I would be complaining about the track numbers but the album is still pretty long given that the timestamp is around 52 minutes.
By the time you get to the acoustic song Remember When you realize that she takes a back-to-basics approach. Just her, the instrument, and the music. That’s what it has always been about; making music. Songs For You proves that Tinashe is an amazing artist who can shine her own light if you give her the opportunity. Things are looking great for her so far and I can’t wait to see where her career goes from here. 8/10