At only 28 years old, the superstardom of Tinashe has already lived a lifetime. Now, the prolific alt-R&B artist is back with 333, the latest installment in her ever-evolving oeuvre of work.
Released independently on August 6th, 333 is the fifth studio album from Tinashe—and the first to truly highlight her uncanny abilities to absorb, transform and inspire. From the drum and bass structure of "SHY GUY" to the poptronica echoes of "The Chase," the influences behind the project's 16 tracks are crystal clear.
Yet, it's how Tinashe has repackaged those references that's truly masterful. Remember: Tinashe came up as a DIY artist, and her talents span beyond songwriting and singing to include producing, mixing, mastering and everything in between. She's also been tapped for tracks by ZHU, Kaytranada, Snakehips, Cheat Codes and more, making her influence and knowledge anything but linear.
Reflecting this dominance is 333's titular track with Absolutely, which hits a sweet spot between sonically spiritual and lyrically tongue-in-cheek. "X" with Jeremih, on the other hand, plays a sharp and sexy contrast to the delicate introspection of album opener "Let Go."
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At once playful and profound, 333 also elevates a host of assisting electronic artists, whose musical insights are ingrained in the fabric of the nearly 50 minute-long opus. "Undo (Back To My Heart)" with Wax Motif, for one, is an innovative blend of sugary synthwave and anticipative club bass. Kaytranada also makes an appearance as a producer on the whirling and twirling "Unconditional," as does Kito on the transportive "Small Reminders."
On making 333, Tinashe told Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1 that it felt like an entirely new chapter for both herself and her artistry. This revelation is achingly evident throughout the project, shining through with seamless storytelling and potent lyricism. According to Tinashe, the change was sparked in part by a newfound dedication to following her instincts and returning to the "raw spirit, that raw energy" of her earliest creative self.
"Maybe along the way, along the course of my journey, there were definitely times where things or, I guess, events...would make me question that creative voice that kind of always just kind of spoke through me," Tinashe revealed. "Getting back to that now with this new music and everything, and just like, everything feeling so, like, in alignment...Everything falls into place. It’s so great.”