Last week, Tinashe surprised us by finally releasing the long-awaited follow-up to her debut album, Aquarius. However, instead of the proposed Joyride we’ve been waiting to go on since last fall, we were instead given the surprise album Nightride. Joyride has been put on hold until 2017 apparently, but the singer has released this digital album to appease fans. The album is a return of sorts to Tinashe’s original sound before she became that “2 On” singer. While Tinashe became an It girl seemingly overnight with the summer banger, the actual album and the mixtapes she produced in her bedroom before signing a record deal were more experimental affairs filled with angst and brooding instead of poppy joie de vivre and club antics.
Heralding the release of the surprise digital album, Tinashe has released a six-minute clip also called “Nightride.” The clip starts with Tinashe basically telling us she’s not with the s**t. “I’m sick of appeasing people. Trying to make everybody… You’re right, you’re right… I’m wrong.”
From there, the clip goes to a home video of a young Tinashe singing, “Get me out of here! Get me out of here!,” with a puppet in her hand. We are then treated to a series of dark, avant garde images — a foggy, dying forest, an airplane, a snow-covered road — while the actress-turned-singer lays out her personal manifesto. Next, the song “Comfort You” starts and we’re treated to scenes of Tinashe stuck in a plastic garment bag, playing with a lighter and generally performing creepy and somewhat self-destructive activities. The clips ends with a video of a young Tinashe in diapers saying thank you.
While the video is very reminiscent of Lemonade, Tinashe’s use of dark imagery and poetic elements actually predates Beyoncé’s short film. Strangely, “Comfort You,” isn’t featured on the actual album. However, the video still works well as an introduction for “Era II" of Tinashe’s reign.
As far as the 15-track album goes, there are a number of songs that show Tinashe as a vulnerable young woman in her feelings, as well as tracks that are more universal and radio-friendly in scope. Stand outs include “C’est La Vie,” “Soul Glitch,” “Touch Pass” and “Ghetto Boy.” Of the singles released over the last year, only “Party Favors,” “Company” and “Ride Of Your Life” make the cut, with “Party Favors” missing its Young Thug cameo, which gave the song a bit of charisma and seemed like a natural pairing with Tinashe. Also noticeably absent is “Superlove,” which we’re guessing didn’t make the cut because it doesn’t quite fit with the vibe of the rest of the album. We’re sure it will turn up on Joyride when it drops sometime in 2017.