The journey to Joyride has been a long and bumpy road, but Tinashe gracefully rose above the BS like a phoenix and her sophomore album is finally here for our listening pleasure. On the opening track, Tinashe distressingly repeats the line "keep your eyes on the road." It's easy to envision that this is exactly what the 25-year-old has been doing over the past two years that she worked on this project. Despite the setbacks that stood in her way, the singer-songwriter had no time to waste on any distractions. The mission was crystal clear: Tinashe had to see this album through, and she managed to do just that.
"I know what I got and I like what I like/ Don't come around with nothing, and I'm whipping out of time," she confidently declares on the hook of "He Don't Want It." Say what you want about her, but Tinashe has always been outspoken about being a woman in control of her life. This lusty track is followed by "Ooh La La," which kickstarts with an effect that sounds like a squeaky mattress, a playful reminder that Tinashe isn't ditching her bedroom roots. Aside from the previously released singles featuring Offset ("No Drama"), Ty Dolla $ign and French Montana ("Me So Bad"), and Future ("Faded Love"), the only other collaboration on the record is with Little Dragon on a snappy song called "Stuck With Me." As a sucker for Tinashe's dark and moody ballads, I instantly had a soft spot for the bittersweet slow-burner "Salt." I was not expecting the closer "Fires And Flames" to be an intimate, piano-driven confessional where she shamelessly begs to stay the night with someone, but Tinashe snatched my breath on the first listen. She's not thirsty for attention—-she's hungry for love and affection.
If Aquarius didn't emphasize Tinashe's stance against being pigeonholed as an artist, Joyride drives that deep into your skull. There will always be a balance between the bops, ballads and bangers as Tinashe gives us genre-fluid hits that transcend categorization. While we'll never really know what the album was initially conceived as way back in 2016, the final product is something worth losing sleep over. Hopefully, next time we won't have to experience another rollercoaster ride in order to get it. Joyride is out now via RCA Records.