Tinashe – BB/ANG3L

3.5

Tinashe’s sixth studio album BB/ANG3L is here, and it’s scoring some hot points. Regardless of the fact that it’s her first under her new deal with the Nice Life Recording Company, the record sees Tinashe at her freest, and therefore her most experimental.

BB/ANG3L is the first of a two-part project that combines R&B, electronic, pop, and hip-hop for a fresh overall sound. Add all this to Tinashe’s ever-present ever-beautiful harmonies, and you get seven songs that tell their unique stories lyrically as well as sonically.

The album kicks off with “Treason,” a song that’s every bit filled with seductive vibes in its lyrics as its melodies. In terms of its lyrics, I’ll vote “Treason” as her most lyrically pleasing from the record, especially since I’m hooked on the part where she sings, “If I’m bein’ honest, I’m lyin’ / If they see the truth, I’ll deny it / I don’t need no help on my end / Voices in my head goin’ silent / Must be tragedy I desire / As I’m headed straight towards the fire.” “Treason” also serves as an introduction to an album that explores desire in all its beautiful and ugly lights.

The next track on the album, “Talk To Me Nice,” – the album’s lead single – is Tinashe experimenting with a dark and electronic vibe, with layers of R&B melodies and vocals. In terms of versatility, it’s the most un-Tinashe song on the album and it’s not really hard for anyone to see why she released it as her lead single. The single is Tinashe asking a lover to do right by her cause she’s got options and can jump ship at any time.

The third track “Needs” served as the follow-up single to “Talk To Me Nice,” and alongside its music video that saw Tinashe covered in meat cuts, went a mile further than her first single due to its catchy nature. “Hands on my knees / They ain’t never seen moves like these (Mm-mm) / Nice and clean / A1 body, but I talk real mean (So mean).” 

Another standout track on the album is “None of my Business,” a song that explores the less desirable parts 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,” she sings, before going on to say that despite all the things her lover has done, she still wants more. “Tried to quit you yesterday / Poison in my blood and veins / I know I deserve much more / Can’t see myself gettin’ sober,” she sings at another part, apparently moaning about her lack of self-control.

Speaking on the album’s concept, Tinashe said, “For BB/ANG3L, I was very inspired by the concept of identity. Exploring both how I self-identify and also challenging the perceptions of others. I believe how we identify in this world is ultimately our own personal choice; and I’ve enjoyed stripping back layers of aesthetic fluff, smoke & mirrors, and white noise to get down to the core of myself. Who we are at a core level, when we are alone – raw & unfiltered, is what I want this album to reflect.”

She promoted the album with cryptic phrases and symbols across her social media channels.