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Album Review: Tinashe – BB/ANG3L

2 min read

Released by Nice Life Recording Studio, BB/ANG3L is Tinashe’s latest independent album. The record follows the 2021 release 333 and is her third album since splitting with major label RCA. Tinashe, who is currently touring in the US and Canada with UK artist Shygirl, demonstrates her artistry as a singer, songwriter, producer and engineer. The album is a far cry from Tinashe’s earlier, hyper-produced incarnations and perhaps her rawest, most intimate project yet.

Initial track Treason is co-produced by Machinedrum and features the album’s unfiltered electronic style. The track explores the protagonists conflicting emotions when entering a self-destructive relationship: Must be tragedy I desire / As I’m headed straight towards the firе / If I still got an angel on my side / I ain’t tryna take no advicе.

The lead single Talk to Me Nice is co-produced by Scoop DeVille and Nosaj Thing. The tracks layered vocals, haunting tones, and driving baseline are undeniably James Blake-esque. The artist describes herself feeling secure enough in a relationship to express her true feelings: This a feeling money can’t buy / Couldn’t be fake if I tried / Loyalty, what the money can’t buy. Analogously, the track’s low production style reveals the artist’s versatile vocal range.

Needs, the album’s biggest bop, is a club-ready tune exploring a familiar topic: I’m not easy, but I’m feenin’ / I’m just human we all got needs. The accompanying music video features Tinashe and crew twerking in a grocery store and the artist offering herself up as a buffet.

Gravity and None Of My Business blend nostalgic pop and R&B feels with the albums cleancore production style. Co-produced by Royce David and Platinum Libraries, None Of My Business explores the darker side of love and relationships: All you do is tell me lies / I can’t even really be surprised anymore / Poison drippin’ off your tongue / Poison me with all the things that you’ve done.

In earlier self-released mixtapes, such as Black Water, Tinashe experimented by combining her sweet-sounding voice with darker harmonies. Coming full circle, in BB/ANG3L, she again trusts her creative instincts, setting her voice against synths, claps, and trap drums. In the final track Tightrope, her ethereal voice interacts with droning synths and attacking drum beats making for a distinct, exciting track.

Since the artist’s departure from the mainstream, Tinashe has been on a mission to rediscover her voice and trust her guts. The artist is backed by a genre-defying catalog of work, but you’d be forgiven for mistaking BB/ANG3L as a second or third album. Given its tight execution, this might not be a bad thing.