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LHS Teachers Retiring
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An Exploration of Transcendental R&B; A Review of Tinashe’s ‘333’

Transcendental R&B or vapidly unique?

STOCKTON – On August 6, 2021, Tinashe Jorgensen Kachingwe, artistically known as Tinashe, released her fifth studio album and second album since becoming an independent artist, 333. The album’s title alludes to the angel numbers, 333, which are associated with the messages from the divine of protection, love, and destiny. The album itself transcends genres, flowing effortlessly between contemporary R&B, pop, and electronic soundscapes.


The album opens with, Let Go, a dreamy and atmospheric track that sets the tone for what’s to come. Tinashe’s eerily dissonant vocoded vocals glide effortlessly over the ethereal production, inviting listeners into the world this album takes place in. The song’s lyrics evoke a sense of surrender and release, urging the listener to let go of inhibition and embrace what is unknown to them, Kachingwe’s delivery is both soothing and commanding, as she encourages the listener’s own self-discovery and growth. It’ll be alright (Oh-oh, oh-oh)/When I let go (Oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh)/Then I let go (Go, go, go, oh-oh, oh-oh)/And I went back home (Go, go)” Kachingwe sings on Let Go.


The second song on the album, I Can See the Future, continues the atmospheric vibe of the opening track with the addition of a more upbeat tempo. Kachingwe’s vocals are sultry yet commanding as she sings about self-assuringly. One of the standout elements of the song is the infectious melody and groove that’s almost impossible to resist. Lyrically, the song explores themes of foresight and self-assurance, with Kachingwe declaring her ability to navigate life’s twists and turns with clarity and conviction. “I can see the future (Oh, I, oh, I)/I can see the future (Oh, I, oh, I, oh)/And it feels like paradise/And it feels like paradise, oh” Kachingwe sings with certainty on I Can See the Future.


Track 3, X featuring R&B veteran, Jeremih, brings a dose of sensuality to the album with its seductive lyrics and infectious beat, Jeremih’s feature adds another layer of smoothness to the track with his signature smooth vocal delivery. Kachingwe’s voice is sultry and commanding as she delivers lyrics that exude confidence and desire. Her vocals glide effortlessly over the pulsating beat, conveying a sense of empowerment and self-assurance, a constant theme within the album. Lyrically, X explores themes of temptation and desire, with Kachingwe and Jeremih trading verses about the thrill of forbidden love and the irresistible pull of attraction. “X marks the spot, now can you find it? (Find)” Kachingwe asks on the track, X.


On the fourth track, Shy Guy, a minute and six second interlude, Kachingwe explores a more experimental sound with glitchy beats and distorted vocals. The song feels like a sonic journey, pulling listeners in with its unique textures and rhythms. Kachingwe’s voice floats of the intricate and hypnotic produce, her delivery imbued with a sense of mystery and allure. Shy Guy delves into themes of desire and anticipation, with Kachingwe singing about the thrill of the chase and the excitement of discovering something new. “3:33 and I’m up watchin’ TV/So it isn’t as quiet in my house on my own/Fifteen miles ’til I’m up in your bed/But I been all in my head because I’m finally alone,” Kachingwe sings longingly on the haunting Shy Guy.


Bouncin, the fifth track on 333 is an electrifying anthem that exudes confidence, energy, and unapologetic self-expression. Right from the start, Bouncin captivates listeners with its pulsating bassline and energetic rhythm, setting the stage for Kachingwe’s dynamic vocals to take center stage. Lyrically, Bouncin is a declaration of self-assurance and independence with Kachingwe proudly proclaiming her worth and embracing her own unique identity. “Just like this/Got that magic touch, you can call me Midas/This is what it’s like when you’re on my list/Shoot don’t miss/Love it how it feels when we’re just vibin’/Don’t fight it” Kachingwe sings confidently on Bouncin.


Track 6, Unconditional is a poignant and emotionally resonant track that stands out for its raw vulnerability and heartfelt sincerity. The stripped-down production and haunting melody make for a perfect base for Kachingwe’s tender and emotive vocals which convey a sense of longing and introspection as she delves into themes of love, loyalty, and sacrifice. Lyrically, the song is a deeply personal exploration of the complexities of relationships, with Kachingwe grappling with the idea of unconditional love and the sacrifices it entails. Keep my hopes up every time

I don’t even know how we set the bar so low (Ooh-ooh-ooh)/I forgive you for whatever you’ve done to me/That’s how much I love you/That’s how much I f–k with you (That’s how much I f–k with you)” Kachingwe sings longingly on Unconditional.


The seven track on 333, Angels featuring R&B artist, Kaash Paige, is a haunting and atmospheric track that captivates listeners with its ethereal production and emotive vocals. From the moment the song begins, listeners are transported to a world of shimmering synths and haunting melodies. Kachingwe’s vocals are delicate yet powerful, conveying a sense of vulnerability and longing as she navigates the complexities of love, while Paige’s vocals sound rich with emotion and long, complimenting Kachingwe’s perfectly. Lyrically, Angels delves into themes of love and passion, with Kachingwe declaring the strength of her love for her lover and their love for her. “​​You and me always feel right/When we get close we ain’t never gotta force it/Woke up with you here on my mind/Picture us now drinking coffee on a Sunday” Kachingwe sings lovingly on Angels.


333, the album’s title track, featuring electronic singer and songwriter, Absolutely, encapsulates the essence of her artistic evolution and creative vision. As the centerpiece of the album, the song delivers a sonic journey that traverses diverse landscapes of emotion, sound, and introspection. 333 establishes a hypnotic atmosphere with its pulsating rhythm and ethereal production. Kachingwe’s vocals are both commanding and vulnerable, drawing listeners into a world of introspection and love. Lyrically, the song talks about the love Kachingwe feels for her lover but also her desire to discover herself on a different level. “Takin’ up a space in my mind, need a time out/Right now, somehow, you took me higher/Don’t wanna come down, up here’s much brighter/I feel much lighter, I feel on fire” Kachingwe sings dissonantly on 333.


Track 9, Undo (Back to My Heart), slows things down with its introspective lyrics and stripped-down production. Kachingwe’s vulnerability shines through as she sings about heartbreak and longing. Kachingwe’s vocals are raw and emotive, conveying a sense of longing and introspection as she grapples with the aftermath of a broken relationship. Lyrically, the song explores themes of regret, nostalgia, and the desire for closure. Kachingwe reflects on past mistakes and missed opportunities, yearning to turn back the hands of time and reclaim what was lost. “I’ve been fine on my own but I need someone/Pretend to be strong but you’re what I want (What I want, what I want)/We could try to undo what messed it up/So young and so dumb, it all fell apart (Apart)” Kachingwe sings rawly on Undo (Back to My Heart).


The tenth track, Let Me Down Slowly, is a sonic experience with electronic elements. Kachingwe opts to sing lower and more longingly in the songs which matches the themes of desire and dismissiveness. Lyrically, this song is about Kahcingwe’s desire to dismiss all of the bad that is happening in her relationship but also her acknowledgement of her and her partner’s clear desire to end it. “I won’t be lonely/Please just let me down slowly/My heart turns colder/Just can’t wait to gеt over” Kachingwe sings sadly on Let Me Down Slowly.


Last Call, the eleventh track on the album, is a hypnotic and infectious track driven by guitar riffs and soft percussion. Kachingwe’s vocals are delicate which aligns with the themes of heartbreak and longing. Lyrically, Last Call is about a one sided relationship where Kachingwe feels like she is putting in significantly more effort than her partner. “Can’t just be friends, it hurt way too much/Guess that’s just life, you left me with not enough/Pouring my heart into your cup/And every time I think you’re done, you come around” Kachingwe sings longingly on Last Call.


Track 12, The Chase, is a dynamic track that pulsates with energy and emotion. Kachingwe’s vocals are both commanding and vulnerable, conveying a sense of urgency as she navigates the complexities of desire and attraction. Lyrically, the song explores themes of growth and Kachingwe’s ability to leave someone who doesn’t treat her well even when she believes they are the best person for her. “But I won’t guarantee that I want you still, I am/Ayy, one in a million, made up my mind/I ain’t gonna chase nobody” Kachingwe declares on The Chase.


The thirteenth track, Pasadena featuring Compton Rapper, Buddy, is a vibrant and infectious track that exudes a sense of freedom. From the moment the song begins listeners are transported to a world of sun-soaked streets and carefree vibes. Kachingwe’s vocals are smooth and sultry, gliding effortlessly over the infectious beat and melody. Lyrically, Pasadena is a celebration of independence with Kachingwe declaring her autonomy and confidence, as well as how being in California makes her feel free. “The summer’s comin’ ’round the corner/And now I’m feelin’ like I don’t even know ya/I’m never leavin’ California/Now more than ever life is all what you make it” Kachingwe sings on Pasadena.


Small Reminders, the fourteenth track on 333, is a soulful and introspective track that resonates with growth and emotional depth. Kachingwe’s vocals are tender and emotive as she navigates a desire to live in the present. Lyrically, the song is about moving on from the past and not to let past mistakes and experiences dictate your life. “Love will find us/Don’t go chasing/Small reminders/Time is racing” Kachingwe says on Small Reminders.


The penultimate track, Bouncin Pt. 2 is a slowed down and more moody and atmospheric version of the original Bouncin.


The final track on the 333, It’s a Wrap featuring Quiet Child & Kudzai, both of Kachingwe’s brothers, is a captivating and atmospheric track that captivates listeners with its haunting production and almost stoic vocals from Kachingwe, while her brother’s vocals are raw and emotive, conveying a sense of vulnerability and longing as she grapples with the end of a relationship. Lyrically, the song explores themes of heartache and acceptance, with Kachingwe reflecting on the pain of letting go and moving on from a relationship. “You know it’s a wrap, oh, yeah, yeah, yeah/Couldn’t care less, no, it ain’t for me/You really a clown if you tell me come around/They’re so casually in your dreams” Kachingwe sings stoically on It’s a Wrap.


333 is a testament to the evolution of Kachingwe as an artist, showcasing her versatility, creativity, and emotional depth. Throughout the album Kachingwe explores themes of love, heartache, and resilience, and self-empowerment with honesty and vulnerability. Musically, 333 is a dynamic and immersive experience blending elements of R&B, pop, and electronic music to create a sound that is both contemporary and timeless. Overall, 333 is a standout album that solidifies Kachinwe’s place as one of today’s most exciting and innovative artists. It’s a bod and ambitious statement that pushes boundaries and defies expectations, leaving a lasting impression long after the music fades away. With 333, Kachingwe has not only crafted an album that resonates with listeners on a deep emotional level but also cement her status as a true force to be reckoned with in the music industry.


Favorite Song(s) – I Can See the Future, X, Shy Guy, Unconditional, Angels, Last Call, Pasadena, It’s a Wrap


Least Favorite Song(s) – 333


Album Rating – 8.3/10

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About the Contributor
Dennis Hopkins
Dennis Hopkins, Staff Writer
Dennis Hopkins is a senior at Lincoln High School and this is his second semester in the Journalism class. In his free time he enjoys creative/narrative writing and listening to music. He writes often about music and voices his opinions on the album.

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