Aquarius may have been Tinashe’s debut album, but she’s far from being a new face. The album followed in the footsteps of three album-length mixtapes, all of which were self-released before she joined RCA Records, and it shows in the quality of her music. All Hands On Deck acts as the third single from the album, but unlike the album version she’s got some help for the single.
The song itself is strong, taking elements of crunk and R&B, creating a heavy mid-tempo song. The production itself consists of the same beat, with the buzzing bass line and beeping back-up sounds lasting for the length of the song with an extra loop over the chorus to add some differentiation. The lyrics’ themes of keeping your confidence after a break-up are pretty standard, but together with the beat the writing flows. It’s not her strongest song, but it’s got enough attitude to carry it.
The major issue with the single version comes from the aforementioned help she’s got for the single version, which comes in the form of Iggy Azalea’s guest verse. While the flow of her rapping matches the song well, the contents of the rap don’t match the song and her voice is at odds with Tinashe’s, which creates a feeling of disconnection between her verse and the rest of the song. The song is better off without the added verse.
All Hands On Deck doesn’t really benefit from the single treatment. Iggy’s verse does more to ruin the song than help it, which is especially apparent if you listen to Tinashe’s solo album version. But it’s not enough to destroy the song. It’s one for the clubs, and it’s sure to have more impact there than when listening at home.