Joyride (n.): 1) Hello, you fool, I love you; 2) the nauseating journey that Tinashe is being taken on by a label who clearly doesn’t give a fuck about her talent or indeed knows what to do with her.
And just like other female pop/R&B stars, Tinashe has to resort the good old mixtape to keep us – and we imagine her own creativity – satisfied until someone pulls their finger out and sorts shit out. Nightride is full of sensual R&B jams that feel somewhat deeper than a label would allow, but her career certainly seems all the better for it.
Make no mistake, the mood here is as dark as that title would suggest. Whether that’s born from frustration or just the anti-Player place her mind wants to wander in rebellion (“It’s my life, ain’t nobody gonna tell me how to live it” she sings on opener Lucid Dreaming), it certainly adds a new dimension while occasionally treading familiar ground. Arguably, Tinashe hasn’t done anything as resonant as a track like Sunburn, which dwells in the most shadowy recesses of modern R&B and pulls out something truly original.
A curse, then, on tracks like Sacrifices and Company – of which there are too many – that jump on to that tired old trap-beat vibe and relegate Tinashe to being an also-ran. Which, of course, she very much isn’t, but this mixtape certainly has enough evidence both for and against that fact.
When she gets it right, though, it’s a collection that sings: Spacetime is a flotation tank of joy, rippling with the deep soul that comes from a bare-all vocal performance. More of that and Touch Pass and we’re perfectly ready for the full-length; let’s just hope this mixtape has exorcised some of Tinashe’s darker desires for her now to let loose as the boss queen we know she can be.