When she dropped her first studio album as an independent artist with her 2019 release Songs For You, Tinashe had just left a ongoing battle with her previous label and was ready to go back to creative basics. Prior to her RCA Records debut Aquarius (2014), which spawned her most known hit “2 On,” the super talented artist was an “indie girl wonder” by self-releasing her first mixtape In Case We Die in 2012. Fast forward to 2021, ten projects later and recently signing to new management with Roc Nation, Tinashe is continuing her creative freedom with the release of her fifth studio album, 333.
Tinashe excitedly kicked off this new era with the Buddy-assisted lead single “Pasadena,” a feel good ode to her good times and the vibes in the California city. But it was her trampoline-choreography in the latest video for the album’s second single “Bouncin’” that got social media recognizing her talents as they do every other quarter. With that buzz, it helped propel the public’s anticipation for what the twenty-eight year old had up her sleeves with her latest project. 333 opens up with the dreamy, whimsical number “Let Go,” where Tinashe moves on from any past dramas and only looking forward. Things only look brighter moving on with the follow up number “I Can See The Future,” which is reminiscent of some of the more vibe-y records from her earlier discography.
One thing about Tinashe is that she finds the perfect collaborators to work with when it comes to her projects. On the Hitmaka-produced “X,” the singer-songwriter-producer talks her talk on the sassy track that features the on-point male side of things by Jeremih. Fun fact: Tinashe originally wanted to tap Ariana Grande for the track, who wasn’t able to at the time as she was getting ready for her pending nuptials. An instant standout track on the album is the Kaytranada-produced “Unconditional,” which switches from an upbeat groove to an acoustic guitar driven-futuristic vibe halfway through the track where Tinashe sings about the ups and downs of getting over a broken relationship yet still wanting that person.
The theme of love and heartbreak has been heavy in Tinashe’s music since the beginning. Her songs have a way of painting an image of the story she’s telling, which is no different on 333. The latter half of the album goes more somber and has the singer reclaiming her time from certain relationships while also wondering “what if?” “Undo (Back To My Heart)” produced by Australian DJ Wax Motif may be Top 40 radio-ready, but the song goes through the emotional roller coaster of letting go of love and wanting that person back to fix the damages done.
“Let me block you, I gotta be focused, let me quietly walk out of your life” sings Tinashe on the oh-so-relatable “Let Me Down Slowly” while pairing greatly with the kiss-off “Last Call” about finally ending a situation. That point is made clear as day on the Stargate-produced anthemic 80s power ballad “The Chase,” where Tinashe vows to keep the same energy her former love gives off.
As with every project she has released, Tinashe always takes the listener on a musical journey with her play on vocal textures and going against the rules with production. Her creativity yet again takes center stage on this album, where she brings glimpses of her previous projects into the current with a fresh twist. Ever since she released her debut LP in 2014, Tinashe has been on a quest to make a mark amongst mainstream audiences. But in fact, she has had a true ride-or-die fan base from her early beginnings dating back to 2011 that have stuck with her no matter the mainstream successes, high-profile collaborations with artists such as Britney Spears and Chance the Rapper, and the previous label drama with set backs. Tinashe has always been an underdog in this big pool of music, but her intent to stay true to herself and craft has made it possible to release such a true to form body of work with 333.
333 is now available via her own label Tinashe Music on digital music retailers and all major streaming platforms. Tinashe kicks off her 22-city trek 333 Tour on September 15th in Houston.