Get Ready to Get 2 On with Tinashe at the TLA - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
Tinashe | Photo by Smallz & Rasking | photo courtesy of the artist

For someone who has always had a soft spot for icy, idiosyncratic R&B and the women who perfected it (RIP Aaliyah), Tinashe has been a breath of, if not exactly fresh, then certainly refreshed air on modern radio. Though upstarts like Frank Ocean and Miguel took the lion’s share of credit for revitalizing the genre with their respective breakthroughs channel ORANGE and Kaleidoscope Dream, Tinashe was right there with them back in 2012, unleashing a steady flow of masterful mixtapes that culminated in her own breakthrough album Aquarius nearly three years later. As confident and coherent a debut as any I’ve heard in recent memory, it echoed classic albums by Janet Jackson and contemporary artists like Cassie in equal measure. It boasted a wealth of producers and a cast of top notch guest collaborators (ASAP Rocky, Blood Orange, Schoolboy Q), yet remained clearly, completely her vision.

Fast forward five singles, three tours, and another mixtape later (last year’s solid Amethyst). The release of sophomore album Joyride is nigh. Teased since last September, we’ve already heard two singles. “Player” was marred by an unfortunate Chris Brown guest spot but the subsequent “Ride of Your Life” was every bit the extension of her past efforts we could expect. While we’re still waiting for further details on the rest of the album—including a release date—one can hope that we’ll get a least a small preview of what’s in store when she graces the Theatre of Living Arts tonight. As anyone who caught her during one of her plum opening gigs for Nicki Minaj and Katy Perry can attest, her music and moves on stage are more than on point. And even if we’re left wanting for elusive new tunes, she still has all of Aquarius, Amethyst, and her original mixtape trilogy in her set arsenal. The promise of selections from latter might be an even better reason to attend, just so you can catch up with people who saw something special coming from the get go.

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