By: Youeal Abera and Eva Zhu
Joyride by Tinashe
Tinashe is a rare artist. As her ability to produce music is self-taught, Tinashe has been able to make music that pushes the traditional outlines of R&B. With Joyride, she does just this.
The album opens with “Keep Your Eyes on the Road,” a track that asks her listeners to prepare for a unique auditory experience. As the album progresses, it subjects listeners to an array of sounds and narratives. For instance, on the Offset-assisted track “No Drama,” Tinashe shakes off the vexing confines her critics place on her music, ensuring for her listeners that her music is sonically controlled by her and her alone.
“Me So Bad,” featuring Ty Dolla Sign and French Montana, is an Afrocentric banger that shows Tinashe trying — and succeeding at — an island-inspired song fit for any summer playlist. Further, “Stuck With Me” (featuring the Swedish band, Little Dragon), provides a low-key, melodic earworm, mostly due to its infectious chorus.
Although Tinashe’s still residing in the beginning stages of her musical career, her catalogue shows that she possesses and prioritizes a strong sense of penmanship and distinctive artistry. As evidenced by Joyride, she seems to be on the right track. – YA
Tell Me How You Really Feel by Courtney Barnett
Courtney Barnett isn’t the hero we asked for, but she’s the hero we need. An incredible left-handed guitar player and vocalist, Barnett’s second solo studio album, Tell Me How You Really Feel, is a near-perfect blend of indie and alternative rock.
Compared to her last LP, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, Barnett seems to have figured out the formula to perfecting her craft. Each song transitions so effortlessly into the next for a head-bopping, chair-dancing listening experience. However, the punk track “I’m Not Your Mother, I’m Not Your Bitch” was out of place on such a mellow album; it felt like an unnecessary punch to the face.
Standouts that I would blast for an eternity are “Need A Little Time,” “Nameless,” “Faceless,” and “Walking On Eggshells.” Overall, if you’re ever bored, check out Barnett: you definitely won’t regret it. – EZ