333, is an angel number. That symbolizes you are on the right path, despite your fears, anxieties, mislaid plans, or wrong turns. So to see world-renowned R&B/Soul and Pop singer and songwriter, Tinashe. Go through all the troubles she did for a little over six and a half years with her previous record label, RCA Records. Before leaving the label a couple of years ago. Was a sigh of relief. For I am sure not only, Tinashe. But many of her longstanding fans. That lead to her once again getting her creative freedom back, on her fourth solo album. The pretty critically-acclaimed, Songs for You. That, Tinashe, released later that year. As her first independently released album.
So it’s only right that Tinashe’s latest solo album, is quite aptly titled, 333. An album, that just like her last album. Continues to harken on the theme of, Tinashe. Attaining creative freedom with a newfound spirituality and daring personality, as well as spunk. That has, her releasing by far not only her most cohesive and complete album to date with, 333. But also an album that has, Tinashe, at the peak of her creativity. Both, mentally and spiritually. As well as physically. For the genre-defying utopia. That really lets, Tinashe, settle into her independence. Even more so than her last album, Songs for You, even did. Letting everyone know too. That even though most of her sound at its core. Like on the very beautifully trippy and freshly airy Kingston Callaway-produced opening record, Let Go. Is still mainly R&B/Soul. You also can’t just box her into one genre either. As you can tell from records like, Unconditional. A very brilliant KAYTRANADA-produced record. About the struggles of an unwavering love. That starts out with a more contemporary alternative R&B sound that Tinashe, Frank Ocean, The Weeknd, Jhené Aiko. As well as several others made popular in the early 2010s. While the second half transitions into a beautifully emotional 2000s sounding anthem. Anchored by guitar riffs. That shows an ability for Tinashe. To so easily not only transition from one genre to the next, but multiple styles as well. On one record. That she never really did so before. Tinashe’s father adding a nice touch by giving a spoken word about the romanticiasiation of struggle love and how people think it’s a badge of honor to have survived a turbulent relationship for a long time. When it really isn’t. There is a few other instances throughout the album where Tinashe’s father gives other spoken words. That gives a nice touch. To make the message on those records, hit and relatable even more too.
On, 333, Tinashe. Is also able to show throughout many tracks as well. A new found confidence in her body and sexuality. That she has been able to show before, but not in the way she does on this album. That has her showing a tang of raw raunchiness too. Whether it be her bragging about her, “Kitty in your mouth, got your tongue-tongue. You know I’m one of a kind, got that one of one.” As well as, “Finger in your face, tellin’ you to come get it. It’s levels to a bad b*%ch, you gotta come different. You used to the same, so I gotta show I’m different.” On the very futuristic trap-infused and psychedelic sounds of the Iiinfinite and sdtroy co-produced previously released single, I Can See the Future. Or even the playful lyrics of, “What you really talkin’ bout? I been sendin’ dirty pics. Hope they make it to the cloud. (Uh, oh-oh). Watch it bouncin’ on the ground. Got my edges sweatin’ out. Boun-bouncin’ on the ground. (Uh, oh-oh).” As part of the chorus for previously released very upbeat Summer and booty jam, Bouncin. That was produced by, Dwilly. Who also produced the very speedup, SHY GUY. That sounds like it could have been on a video game. Whether ironic, done purposely or not. With, Tinashe, herself being a big video games nerd of sorts herself.
Though the album throughout all 16 tracks. Is mostly, Tinashe, solo. The few features there are. Actually elevate the record and don’t take down the album, at all. Whether it be the undeniably great chemistry between, Tinashe and singer, Jeremih. Show on the Hitmaka, Chrishan and Mari Beatz co-produced, X. A very boastful R&B record about, x marking the spot. As you try to find the right spots with your significant other. For a freaky and sexy rendezvous. Both singer’s, who had problems with their previous labels. Hitting high notes, that are at times higher than the octave of the melody. As if they are trying to also showcase to their former labels the undeniably raw talent. They are now missing. Or it be the standout effort from rising R&B star, Kaash Paige, on the Nxghts, Neenyo, Momberger and Lee Major co-produced, Angels. That is not only easily the best record on the whole album, but one of the best of Tinashe’s already great career. The very unapologetic ballad about an emotional on-and-off situationship. That many can unfortunately relate to. Also shows how similarly sweet, soft and nimber in tone. That Paige’s is to Tinashe’s lower melodic tone. To the point that you almost can’t even distinguish the two from one another. That then perfectly segues into the very beautifully smooth and bone-chillingly great title track. That is both produced by and features rapper, Absolutely. Where, Tinashe, as the production builds up volume. Sings about feeling all the joy of reuniting with a lover and how much she wants to savour that moment. Though one can argue. It is really a metaphor for, Tinashe, to say how much her newfound love and joy, has become in her new music. As she is singing about really loving, saviour and enjoying it in the moment. Almost as if someone is going what most would consider an acid or some type of other drugs trip. The song towards the end goes kaleidoscopic. With, Absolutely, pulling everyone out of it with her very staccato and calming voice. As she raps her amazingly great guest verse. Right before, Tinashe’s chorus outro has her singing right over a booming bass that’s so beautifully calming. As the sound of rain also washes down the end of the track.
The second half of the album starts on a very high note with one of the album’s most standout tracks. In the Wax Motif-produced and featured, synth/dance pop anthem, Undo (Back to My Heart). That sounds like it could have fit not only in today’s futuristic age, but also as a 80’s dance pop anthem. During that time period. That record perfectly transitioning into the Sam Sparro-produced, Let Me Down Slowly. A record that like a lot of the rest of the album. Finds, Tinashe, singing about dealing with her love life. As she deals with miscommunication with a supposed lover, who can never seem to make time for her. Neither, Tinashe, or her now ex. Never seeming to make time for one another. So it turns into a very addictively upbeat record from, Tinashe. That is sure to be eaten up in clubs. Tinashe once again shows her very great versatility to go from one genre to the next. On the very emotionally beautiful next track, Last Call. That finds, Tinashe, over the very guitar strumming backdrop from the Tido production. Giving one of her most emotionally reflective and relatable records to date. As, Tinashe, so emotionally and beautifully sings about a previous relationship where her and said partner. Used to always sleep together when drunk. So she had to set boundaries for them to no longer do so. A very painful relationship that was also a harmful one, Tinashe, knew she can no longer deal with. A heartbreak anthem of sorts, we are always used to having one of on her album’s. That so many of us. Whether, good or bad, can relate to. You can really her the pain in Tinashe’s voice. Even more, as she hits those notes even higher towards the end of the track. That makes it hit home even more too.
By the time we hit the latter end part of the album. Tinashe, once again goes back to the her more somewhat Pop ways. With the electropop sounds of the Stargate-produced, The Chase. That sees, Tinashe, over the production of her frequent collaborator. Fully evoking her independence and confidence in being single, after ending a relationship she is no longer chasing. Nor ever plans on to ever again. That then goes into the very upbeat previously released lead single, Pasadena. A very feel-good and carefree, Summer ready jam. That sees, Tinashe, teaming with fellow Los Angeles native, Buddy. For the Todd Pritchard and Big Kidd co-produced record, which samples Outkast’s hit single, Hey Ya, and is named after the L.A. suburb that Tinashe grew up in. The record is one that will have you just as part of the chorus suggests. “Feelin’ right, feelin’ right, feelin’ right. Feelin’ free, feelin’ free, feelin’ right.”
Speaking of being carefree. That is one of Tinashe’s greatest weapons on, 333, too. As exhibited on tracks like, Pasadena or even the Kito, Karlsson and Christian Blue co-produced, Small Reminders. With the latter being a very brilliant track. That is by far one of the best tracks on the album and like, Unconditional, is broken into multiple genre’s on one track. Showing how limitless Tinashe’s talent really is. In the way, the composition finds her so easily sifting from an almost sultry R&B sound in the beginning. To a very funk-infused sound near the middle. That would make, Anderson .Paak, jealous. As, Tinashe, goes from singing over simplistic piano chords to rapping over a 70’s style guitar rift. As, Tinashe, gives the listener, small reminders about just how short life is and how much you should enjoy it. While not fretting the small stuff. Just when you think the track is over too. There is an instrumental break, before an infectious beat drops that finds Tinashe, getting surprisingly real. As she asks the listener questions about everything. From their aspirations to their mistakes and if they ever question those decisions with, peace or regret. Meanwhile, Bouncin’ Pt. 2, is a more subdued and laidback version of the original. That is more smooth, ethereal and angelic. Which, some may dig more than the very upbeat sound of the original. The album then so smoothly goes into the very smooth and bright closing Beat Billionaire and Da Boom Squad co-produced, It’s a Wrap. A cleverly brilliant title for a record to close out an album too. For the track that is a full on family affair, which also features both her brothers, Quiet Child and Kudzai. Who both sing and rap, about their frustrations with a love interest who tries to worm her way back into their lives. But they wouldn’t let do so. Standing firm on the breakup. A very chill and peaceful way. To end such a peacefully spiritual great album.
333, at its core, is one of those extremely experimental album’s. That makes it so brilliant and stand out from others. As well as some of the finest and most creatively great work. That finds the artist truly capturing a past, present and future. Which will be not only recognized as one of the best album’s here in 2021. But also be studied for years and generations to come. That later on, even if takes centuries or later generations to find. Will help, Tinashe, be recognized for being one of the more rawly and truly talented artists there is.