A distinct beat of silence between songs separates musicality to a sound collection of could-stand-alone tracks, but stacked as a whole, Tinashe presents: “Songs For You.” Through an emotional blend of alternative R&B, Tinashe pulls heartstrings of empaths with the heavy detail inclusion through each lyrical completion.
“Feelings” sets a bold tone for the record. As the artist sings of minding her business, beginning to lean into emotions, the bass readies listeners for the deep dive that is “Songs For You.” Tinashe flaunts her high vocal range, specifically in “Life’s Too Short,” and “Save Room for Us.” Not only does Tinashe sing, write, and dance. She also mixes, produces, edits, and engineers her music. The boundary breaking from a female artist only raises respect for her, and draws me into what could possibly be hidden in the threads of an artist’s creation. Spoiler alert: the proof is in the pudding of delicious detail.
Hopscotch’s introduction almost reminds me of the Skits in Kanye’s “Late Registration,” naturally carrying reminiscence. The detail in this creates a sound similar to the internal sensation of pop rocks consumption. An impressive attention to oracle details here has me convinced this is what the concrete hears when kids play hopscotch. The small additions continue with an electronic-like whistle laying through “Stormy Weather” mimicking a flightful bird. Or perhaps a falling bird, in pain with a few humming chirps left in him.
The clubbier song, “Die A Little Bit” (with Ms Banks), is set apart from other club songs with Tinashe’s addition of interrupting the song to sample a boy asking “You want more? Yeah!” Then closing it out with the boy announcing “I’m gonna show you what it’s like to dance. This is probably my favorite part, because you just get to be free.”
My preferred particulars lie in lyricism. Intimate moments that hold such familiarity are set apart through the addition of detail, like flying but into Boston, staying at the Ritz Carlton, or linking up, but pulling up in a Brinks Truck.
With the new decade just days away, I can’t help but think that the line, “Now that you’re gone I got 20/20 vision” (“Life’s Too Short”), holds an intentional double meaning. First being the obvious: cleared vision. Second being the sight towards a fresh beginning, a look towards the future, a vision for the year 2020. Whether this was intentional or not, the intricacy throughout “Songs for You” brings out listener curiosity.
Tinashe came through to deliver a solid artistic closing to her decade. The collection of “Songs For You” is an artful alternative R&B / Pop album, cherishing nostalgic vibrations as Tinashe channels a more intimate, poetic lyrical vault. We can only hope to get more of this energy in the coming decade.