Thursday, December 1st, 2016

Davido ft. Tinashe – How Long

TSJ also offers night classes so you too can learn the language of sexy R&B.


Thomas Inskeep: Yoruba + English, Davido + Tinashe, but you know what’s an international language? Sexy R&B. 

Alfred Soto: Placid lounge reggae with piano accents and no sense that the vocalists have met in the room to bump against the piano, much less each other.

Iain Mew: The warp and whoosh of the production, grainy yet mostly weightless, sets the mood nicely. Vocally, Davido and Tinashe don’t do much more with it than settle in for the duration but that feels on-theme at least.

Adaora Ede: Not quite appreciative of the phoned-in Tinashe verses, complacently admiring her Yoruba pronunciation. Witnessing cross-cultural trade in the Black music industry should always be a win for the diaspora, but when it seems as if Tiwa Savage or Yemi Alade etc. could have easily been called in to understudy for Tinashe’s floaty ad libbing, it’s not a worthwhile feature in terms of blending the best of their separate musical affinities. Well, that’s outside the odd couple of 9ja signature Autotune and those lovely 90% air 10% technique vocals! Davido comes off as a little befuddled himself: “How Long” navigates through calmed highlife to what I can only think of as African style saxobeat — think a less obnoxious “Don’t Mind” to some cool housey stuff. Whew, making tropo pop not sound like tropo pop must be a trying task.

Ramzi Awn: Davido’s energy is commendable, and so is Tinashe’s commitment. But the line between slow jam and just slow wears thin.

Anthony Easton: I am fascinated by the line about the differences between pretty and sexy, like Davido is working through which strategy would be most effective in convincing this woman to stay, even before working on sleeping with her. You can hear it in the longing way Tinashe answers back. It becomes relational in a way, where the performance of the work is more interesting than what is being said. They work well together. 

Edward Okulicz: I’m into this. I love the interplay between Davido’s and Tinashe’s voices and the song’s both blinding sun and unresolved tension and lust. It feels playful and light not laboured, and smooth like a cocktail you drink by the pool unaware you’re already tipsy and fearlessly stroking your crush’s leg.

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