Let's Go On A Little Joyride ★✩✮ The Tinashe Discography Rate - THE WINNER IS...

Each elimination continues to sting. Amazing that we are touching a 9 average. What a queen!

I had a look at my scores for the songs left: I've a 5, 2 songs with 8.5 and the rest are 10s plus my 11. Clearly the Top 10 will be a bloodbath for me.

Avg: 8.882
: 10x10!!! (me; @TRAVVV; @WarmBlood11; @ohdenny; @Mr Blonde; @Andy French; @phily693; @Touchofmyhand; @Serg.; @AshleyKerwin)

Lowest: 4x1 (@nikkysan wtf)

My Vote: 10

Worth It (feat. Iamsu) for: The meteoric holes I leave on the ground every time that chorus drops

We break a record right there! First song to get 10s in the double digits. Not every song has that! Yeah, let’s hold onto that because as high as #12 is it’s still not enough for this monumental opus.

Where to start? This is as aggressively sexy as Tinashe will get, and thank god for her mercy on us! This song inhabits the same seductive, kinda hollow sounding ground shared with Sacrifices. It reminds me also of Bet: I think the beat here is slightly better, but Bet is the better complete package. It doesn’t really matter anyway, because they’re both stellar 10/10s. Shout out also to the good sis Travis: all in all, he’s the best feature in her entire catalogue. Not that the competition is that fierce, but he really complements her well in this. He feels integral to the song, whereas the others feel just attached to the song.

Oh, and that first verse should be lesson #1 on how you do a build up. Fun fact #1: I first listened to this for @Petty Mayonnaise's 2010s R&B girls rate, and this is what I tragically had to say:
"Cute, but she has so many better tracks in this vein."
And the most tragic thing is that he didn't even drag me for that! I truly deserved to be to be quite honest. What the fuck was I thinking?

Fun fact #2: if you have downloaded the mixtape from DatPiff like I did, this was mysteriously tacked on at the end rather than being piste #2. Somehow, I think it works better that way: it’s just such a colossal moment and it feels right as a closer to her best mixtape. Yeah, I said it. Her best mixtape, now officially out. Ironically, the only one left is what I’d consider her worst. But, y’know, Ecstasy.

The commentary section is a hit parade of 10s, and constantino. I’ll let you all have your stage without interrupting because I feel so proud of all of you. Every single one.

First up, constantino (8): “As far as Travis Scott collabs go, it’s not quite Love Galore...but it’s pretty great.” Why is Travis collaborating with all these talented girls though I am wondering.

Next up, Touchofmyhand (10): “The 'don't stop looking at me' is so addictive. The mixtape peaks at this point”

It’s AshleyKerwin’s (10) turn: “A bona fide magnum opus.”

TRAVVV (10) takes now center stage: “Check out the Pomo Remix of this.” Hmmmmmm. Still much prefer the original.

And last, phily100 (10) who basically serves up an 11-worthy commentary: “This could not be more incredible. I remember the first time I heard this, she just screamed STAR. She just gets it! The "don't stop looking at me" hook is one of the best, most seductive and subtle hooks that we've had in pop in a while. It's like she's doing a victory lap saying "Watch me do better than you... effortlessly" to her contemporaries. Even Travis' rap goes off!” You. Are. So. Damn. Right.

Black Water deserves a well-reasoned write-up, which means it's coming tomorrow x​
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Avg: 8.917
: 10x7 (@TRAVVV; @WarmBlood11; @ohdenny; @nikkysan; @Andy French; @phily693; @AshleyKerwin)

Lowest: 7x1 (@2014)

My Vote: 8

Worth It (feat. Iamsu) for: “Welcome to my world”

The Demi Lovato award for Getting So Close To Top 10 goes to beloved debut album’s title track and opener Aquarius. And seeing the competition it was up against, deservedly so. I don’t have anything purely against it, just that, seeing the miles better tracks we left on our journey to the Top 10, this doesn’t really compare. It’s the epitome of “fine”, but unfortunately not much more. It’s incredibly sleek, I’ll gave that to her, but in a sea of jaw-droppingly gorgeous songs it gets a bit overshadowed.

Also, my first and foremost problem with it is I think it was a missed opportunity. “The government, the media they want us blind” is a hell of a political statement (albeit a bit verging into tin-foil hat territory), but then it is followed by… practically nothing. Apart from the sibylline “What is the truth if truth is subjective?” in a later interlude nothing on the album can be linked together to form a bigger political statement. I’m not saying Tinashe needed to release her own Lemonade, but that statement alone, isolated, kinda uncalled for, rings hollow. Like something your uncle would unexpectedly and uncomfortably utter at the yearly Thanksgiving reunion, rather than the thought-provoking opinion of a person from a marginalized community (which is rendered even more relevant in a post-2016 scenario). Maybe I’m just projecting too much.

Oh, and kudos to the Midnight Sun little cue. You better reference one of your own finest hours!

Of course you saw the word “Aquarius” and lost your minds. This sounds way more condescending than I wanted it to be ddd. C’mon TRAVVV (10) let’s get all astrological and stuff! “This, ladies and gentlemen, is how we open an album.” constantino (9) goes out of his way to tell us that he’s NOT here for Selena: “C’mon SEX. What a sultry, luscious and enticing opener. I’m not often one for breathless vocals but boy does she SELL every second.” Bad Liar and Fetish are lowkey two of my 2017 bawps oooooops. Posh Spears (8) dares coming for your perfect beautiful Linda Evangelista looking rate host: “The most talented sign.” But I’m a libra. Still, Air is the most iconic element and I’m not hearing anything else on that.

For AshleyKerwin (10) this is “a nice, sensual introduction to the album.” If you put it that way… I wouldn’t be shocked if phily696 (10) already used this in the bedroom: “This song encapsulates her and this album so well. It's sexy, seductive and dripping in melody. I wouldn't change a single thing about this song.” And to end, the nearest we were to an 11, nikkysan (10): “This song is flawless. If it weren't for another song, this woulda been my 11. It's up there as some of the best opening songs for an album ever if you ask me. "The government, the media, they wants us blind, blind" is my favourite lyrics off the track.” Don’t read the middle paragraph of this write-up ddd

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And now it's time to talk about this gorgeous little mixtape​


My 8.167 feels so small compared to the love I feel for Black Water. I entirely blame it on Stunt.

This is Tinashe's best mixtape by a countrymile. It's when she found her voice, both literally and metaphorically, and that's one of the main reasons. Don't get me wrong, In Case We Die and Reverie are not bad by any means, but they don't feel as realized as Black Water is. While the first two feel like there was a lot of potential left, this mixtape is brimming with the awareness of Tinashe finding her artistic lane. The manic experimentation and the all-encompassing drama of the first two releases are long gone, replaced by a more focused alt-R&B sound that both borrows and pays respect to its traditional roots.

But in a much narrower sense, Black Water is also the record where Tinashe finds her physical voice. While there are moments on mixtape 1 and 2 where her vocals sound juvenile, here she sounds impeccable from start to finish. And her voice shows a versatility never seen before: at times she whispers, at times she belts, at times she howls, at times she goes extra high, at times she goes super low. Even though its short running time may suggest otherwise, the mixtape is a compelling listen that perfectly showcases her writing abilities. Songs like Midnight Sun showcase a complexity and intricacy you'd have no business looking for in a mixtape by a 20 yo artist, but Tinashe doesn't seem to care.

This is getting more rambling than I intended. Anyway, my last point comes back to the Aquarius write-up. That government line is even the more frustrating because it comes right off of Black Water. Now, this is how you do subtly political music. Ok, you only need to look at the cover to get this isn't even that subtle: she's sporting a traditional Zimbabwean outfit after all. Definitely not something you see all the time on album covers. The message is obvious: she's showing she's proud of her heritage. And she doesn't stop at the cover: one of the most affecting numbers is interlude Video Tapes, a recording of her father singing in the traditional language of Zimbabwe. And that's an incredibly touching moment on a mixtape that, despite running for just over 30 minutes, is littered with an explosion of different vibes but still sounds cohesive enough. Because, in the end, it all sounds like Tinashe finally finding her way.​
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Staff member
2 On has got to win but I'm secretly rooting for Bated Breath and All My Friends too.
Am I really the lowest scorer for the second mixtape in a row? Yikes at me.
To be fair, I should specify that "Haterz" is all in jest considering
  • the spelling
  • the fact I single out the 5 highest and 5 lowest averages over a pretty reduced pool of 18 voters
  • and honestly, when will the lessers have a lowest score of 6.833?
But I absolutely live for the smallest of drama so I won't say anything.

Avg: 8.941
: 10x7 (yo; @TRAVVV; @ohdenny; @Mr Blonde; @2014; @phily693; @AshleyKerwin)

Lowest: 7x1 (@ohnostalgia)

My Vote: 10

Worth It (feat. Iamsu) for: I can’t nitpick a single moment in that chorus because it’s SO GOOD

Picture this: a 1 year younger @Kuhleezi, early August afternoon, cruising down the M11, headed to London, on a coach with two of his bestest friends (one isn’t anymore but I guess that happens). Pop radio on. First song is Rihanna’s Work. Then Ariana’s Into You. Then this. Then Fifth Harmony’s Work From Home.

Imagine my exposed scalp in that exact moment. I still had my hearing slightly fucked up by the flight so I couldn’t even hear all that much, but boy did I bop to that set as hard as I could. Part of that was because of hearing one of my favorite artists ever coming from a place that was not my headphones. Part of that was because of how immense this song sounded.

It still does. That chorus still soars all the way through the atmosphere and back. It’s simply unbelievable. In a way it feels like all the other elements of the song are aware of that, and take a side step to let it just be what it is: a stunner. The verses, the production, everything is scaled back, and that’s a huge plus, as it makes the song dynamic. I love love love it, and I’m happy for the cute success it found in the big ole You Kay. You’re not such a complete failure after all.

AshleyKerwin (10) clocks me a tiny little bit: “This is a great party song but with the self loathing vibe that us millennials seem to love. Why wasn’t it a smash hit?” I don’t know. I’m not a scientist. What’s up with my frenemy constantino (9)? She’s apparently throwing a girls night out party! “I still love this. It’s a perfect end-of-the-night chilled comedown anthem. It’s the soundtrack to me munching on a kebab/chips/oven pizza before crashing at a friend’s house.” Who me? Good girls don’t do that type of stuff! And last, the ever so relatable phily279 (10): “How this wasn't Number 1 everywhere for weeks I will never understand. It's anthemic, cool, chilled and was bang on trend. Also that middle 8 is heavenly.” We all know what happens when Tinashe straight up trend chases so maybe that’s a blessing in disguise. Let’s call it that.

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Avg: 9.059
: 10x7 (me; @TRAVVV; @WarmBlood11; @nikkysan; @ Mr Blonde; @phily693; @Posh Spears)

Lowest: 7x1 (@ThisIsRogue)

My Vote: 10

Worth It (feat. Iamsu) for: “I skrt off with my skirt on”

Just like that, we break the 9 ceiling. Yes, we were this close to an all 9+ Top 10. You can blame the later voters for this because there was a point around 10 voters where we had a 9.000 tie at #16! Down with objectivity! Also have to add this was definitely the underdog (RAH!) in the Top 10, I’d never imagine for it to do so well and I’m so glad for it. Thank yeeeeew.

I’ve made no mystery in the past of my undying love for Nightride, and Lucid Dreaming is one damn banging way to start things off. The one liners. The layers upon layers. The hooks. The ode to a struggling career opener tradition perfectly carried on. That dreamlike lecture sample in the bridge. You better psychoanalyse the hell out of those daddy issues fans novel Sigmund Freud! I’ve had a 10 hour day at uni does it show? The only answer is no because I’m usually no better and deep down I know that too.

I’m afraid purists would scorn the idea of calling it “rapping”, but I love what Tinashe does in the verses. She just OWNS it. She sounds so confident, she could tell me the most bs things in the world and I’d just be there 100% perched, listening in awe. The chorus is of course a beast but this deep into the rate nobody should ever doubt her mastery with choruses. Most of the times.

constantino (8) is reheating his Peppermint tea in the microwave: “Say Lou Lou are shaking (well, they certainly aren’t releasing new music ¯\_(ツ)_/¯).” Yeah, that was a forced pun on a song by some irrelevant currently inactive Scandipop group. Yeah. “Such a beautiful and ~dreamy~ opener.” On that line, lemonsqueezyy (9) tags along as well: “A proper follow-up to the heavenly “Dreams Are Real.”” And Aquarius. And Black Water. And Fear Not. phily369 (10) is out and proud, boldly claiming this is “easily one of her best, the production is incredible and so full. It puts you in such a state of dreaming. If this is the calibre of material she has put on a mixtape while we wait for Joyride, I wonder what she has lined up for us.” ddddddddd Nightride is NOT a mixtape. But sleigh for the rest. And we close with almost-11 nikkysan: “This was another song that I considered giving my 11 to. Man, her opening tracks are fucking brilliant aren't they? That "Enoughisenoughenoughisenoughenoughisenough" slays me every time.” I WANT IT ALL I WANT IT ALL! Queen dethroned.

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Avg: 9.088
: 10x9 (@TRAVVV; @WarmBlood11; @lemonsqueezyy; @Mr Blonde; @Andy French; @2014; @phily693; @Touchofmyhand; @constantino)

Lowest: 7x3 (@ohnostalgia; @AshleyKerwin; @Posh Spears)

My Vote: 9.5

Worth It (feat. Iamsu) for: “What’s a night, what’s a day, what’s a year without you bae?”

The lone survivor from the four mixtapes leaves us in the lower reaches of the Top 10. This was always going to be her highest non-iTunes song, even though it’s not an ultimate favorite of mine, but I’m quite let down by its performance. At first it was a dead cert for Top 5, even Top 3. At some point I was rooting for it to be my personal villain of the rate, always breathing down my fave’s neck. There was a perfect stream of 10s from @Mr Blonde to @constantino, but then the final ballots hindered its chances once and for all. Remember when I said every half point counted. I must have looked fucking orange because I was not joking!

Ecstasy is clearly the standout from Reverie. I’m probably saying this because the intro kind of reminds me of Diamonds, but I could see this one being a hit. And if a random PJ twink® says that, you know damn well there was no way in hell for it to be one. There’s something in the production that’s so vibrant, so crystal-clear. And her voice is as bewitching as ever. What stops me from awarding this the final .5 points is that I wish it went a bit harder. It doesn’t endear me as much as some of her other songs. It’s like we're in a bar together and it tries to tease me but never takes me to its car and drives me home. It showed me the keys with that bridge though. Absolutely stellar.

This is an obvious fan fave and I want to leave the stage to people who absolutely adore this. But first, AshleyKerwin (7): “This could’ve been a basic pop hit.” Stop trying to make Tinashe happen. She’s not going to happen. We have four 10s fighting for the final spot, as always I’ll be the one who decides in the end. And there’s nothing you can do about it. First up, Touchofmyhand (10) who gets an E for Effort: “'TALENTED BRILLIANT INCREDIBLE AMAZING SHOW STOPPING SPECTACULAR NEVER THE SAME TOTALLY UNIQUE COMPLETELY NOT DONE BEFORE UNAFRAID TO REFERENCE OR NOT REFERENCE PUT IT IN A BLENDER SHIT ON IT VOMIT ON IT EAT IT GIVE BIRTH TO IT.” Must have taken a lot to copy paste all that! Tell em how it is, king constantino (10): “Bop! Recent Tinashe WISHES she had a single this good.” What kind of foreshadowing from hell is this? “If only her profile was bigger when this dropp- oh who am I kidding? She still would’ve flopped.” But we love her for that too, don’t try to deny it. phily693 (10) has a future in marketing: “The chorus beautifully meanders and I live for the production.” “Beautifully meanders” is the new “doesn’t go off” isn’t it? And we end with lemonsqueezyy (10) as I couldn’t do otherwise: “Ethereal, glossy, and those throwing glitter sound effects make me want to throw it back nice and slow. Also the music video is probably in my top 3 of hers so far. Bravo.” And here it is! Enjoy once again!

See you next week tomorrow for another round of eliminations!​
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This is her best song, and NO ONE GAVE IT AN 11? T r a g i c .

The song is restrained in the best way possible. A current take on "That's the Way Love Goes." Hooks on top of hooks. The lush soundscape and layered vocals throughout the song are truly the some of the best work that she has done. I will admit that I'm a sucker for love songs, but this is honestly one of best. The song just overflows with sensuality in a way that no other song of hers does. Also that bridge? Ridiculously amazing. It's shocking to think that this is what she was making for her mixtape. Stunning.

Also lemme plug the remix that I made of this song.

Avg: 9.118
: 10x10 (@WarmBlood11; @ohdenny; @lemonsqueezyy; @Mr Blonde; @Andy French; @constantino; @ohnostalgia; @Serg.; @AshleyKerwin; @ThisIsRogue)

Lowest: 5x1 (@phily693)

My Vote: 8

Worth It (feat. Iamsu) for: glitchy game boy music realness 2.0 electric boogaloo (in the most positive way)

Is this Nightride’s lead? Is it a “buzz” single? Is it just a standalone track masterfully repurposed? I don’t know, what I know is that it’s a certified bop. Born from the hypothetical union of Player’s “playful” production and Party Favors’s hedonistic ways, I was one of this song's naysayers at first. I’ve learnt to come around to it at last, but there’s still something that makes me go a little “meh” about it. To start, there’s not enough variation. The chorus doesn’t stand out enough from the rest. The former version is especially guilty of this, the album one is luckily much better. The slowed down outro is a standout, it works so well in the context of the video as well.

Let’s talk about that video. Whew. She’s really the best at choreos isn’t she? She doesn’t need much, just a tight routine and she can turn it out. Every. Single. Time. I don’t even care how sloppy the “haha it’s only one shot I swear” transitions are because it’s so engaging. I don’t know a single dance move and I want to go up and give it my all with her. The solo split is the clear highlight.

Let’s start with the voice of reason, Touchofmyhand (9.5): “This grew on me SO MUCH. Well, it was pretty much a combination of the album version being much better and THAT video”. Love it when they tell it exactly the way you want it told, without having to ask. Or pay. An opinion I won’t support so much is phily947’s (5) tho: “I've never been a big fan of this, but the MUNA remix is incredible, it really highlights that there's a good song in there somewhere and more people need to hear it.” My general opinion on MUNA will prove… interesting for @constantino’s upcoming rate but it’s no time for negativity now. However, I get that impression from TRAVVV (7): “Definitely a grower”. No need to be rude.

Posh Spears (9.5) serves “take Touchofmyhand’s homework, tweak it up a little”: “It took a while for me to appreciate this but it's a stellar song. And that video… she's such a star”. EVEN DOWN TO THE SCORE. AshleyKerwin (10) probably has a different Nightride copy from mine: “I didn’t like the video game bits when it came out but it fit so well with the rest of the album. And that video? Whew, my wig is still in recovery mode!” Where’s this Nightride 8-bit version you speak of? Need it. And last, the one and only conSTANtino (10) (oh my god I can’t believe I never used that before): “SHOULD
Even though I haven’t watched the video in about two weeks (poor me), as I listen to the audio I can picture ever frame. A perfect visual, when will your lazy, chart-bothering faves? In fact, lemme chuck the good sis another stream.” I’m sorry, I would’ve changed those copy-pasted handclaps stills for the proper gif ones but, y’know, institutionalized lazy this-will-doness beats newfound love 1-0.
EDIT: ok so since Word is that fake bih that doesn't let me directly copy pics, I had to reopen constantino's PMs and just put the originals. I'm not deleting anything either way.