Thomas Johnson is smooth, like dignified peanut butter
On Tinashe’s first single this year, she claims to be the highest person in the room. Considering she shares the track with Young Thug, that’s an accomplishment. It’s one of the rare times that Thugger doesn’t completely jack the limelight as a feature. His auto-tuned, closing sixteen is suitably outrageous but tame by his standards. His most ludicrous turn of phrase is delegated to his closer: “But I’m elephant tusking/ Real gangsta, bitch, I’m on my Russian.” It might be a subtle acknowledgment of the socio-political strife regarding Russia’s current Vladmir-run state of affairs. But it’s probably not. It’s probably just the codeine.
“Party Favors” is Tinashe’s show. Aquarius was a solid introduction to her tenacity and sensuality, even if it was occasionally led off course by the 61-minute runtime and muddled aim. The talent was there; it just needed a little curating. She’s gotten nicked a bit for not being the most powerful singer, but not everyone needs the oomph to shatter your rearview mirror. That’s why mankind invented bass. Instead the former Barbie back up dancer sticks to her falsetto, gently prodding you to take some narcotics, letting them hit, and subsequently playing for both teams. She barely raises her voice above a sharp whisper, tender enough to come off as innocent but forceful enough to make sure you can’t decline. She would ‘ooze’ sex appeal if ‘ooze’ were an even remotely attractive term.
Credit has to go to Allen Ritter, Boi1da, and Illangelo for transcending Toronto’s bane of teen soap stars and drug-addled, broccoli domed hedonists. Since they’ve branched out, their marque has become increasingly refined, the rattling throb of “Party Favors” being a prime example. The repeating warble gives the otherwise skeletal beat enough presence to keep interest, without treading too far into the open space Tinashe and Thugger make great use of.
“Party Favors” will find a home on Joyride, which is slated to drop in November. If it’s lead single is any indication, it should make the winter a little less cold.