First Listen: Tinashe Delivers a Gem with “Amethyst” Mixtape

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There are times you just need to chill with a great vocalist and an undeniable groove propelling her forward.  With her free mixtape Amethyst, Tinashe delivers just what the doctor ordered for late-night listening.   

This is not the type of artist I usually recommend. I have an admitted bias against whomever the popular music press is proclaiming as the next “it” R&B/soul vocalist, especially when like Tinashe she is shaped in clay by one of the majors, with each track produced by a different hot producer, and the requisite guest rapper dropped onto the bridge of her singles to enhance the radio play potential and sales. But I regret my initial resistance to Tinashe and wish I had given her music an earlier listen. Her terrific lead single, “2 On,” from her 2014 debut album Aquarius, eventually pulled me in — notwithstanding the rap on the middle 8 which is decidedly “not safe for work” and bordering on offensive — and the full album has much to recommend it.  

Amethyst is a quieter, less produced effort that highlights in its simplicity Tinashe’s skilled ways with a soft, delicate vocal over a slow jam.  She is said to have largely recorded these tracks at home, and the project does have the relaxed feel and intimacy of someone working alone in her bedroom. “Wrong” is the standout track, so good it should have been released as a single, but the entire ride here is smooth and enjoyable.   Recommended for fans of Janet Jackson, Miguel and others who appreciate ethereal, sensual music ever so in the pocket. 

 

By Robb Patryk

 

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