Tinashe: Aquarius

Rising club-pop star turns in a savvy, self-assured first LP

Credit: Jim Spellman/Getty

Tinashe's summer club hit "2 On" might have drawn on rote material – going out, turning up – but the way she delivered it was anything but. The 21-year-old singer-producer's ginger, breathy delivery made her sound like a cat slinking through the party, deftly avoiding any and all male buzzkills. Tinashe brings that same savvy to her debut album, using a Janet Jackson-esque minor key lilt to convey gravity and sensuality. (The echoes of Janet are no accident: "How Many Times" flips a sample of Jackson's "Funny How Time Flies" with a more explicitly sexual vibe.) Throughout, Tinashe's sweet soprano sets up a hazy mood that's easy to get lost in.