Tink’s Thanks 4 Nothing

Tink is the prevailing mistress of Chicago R&B, a 28-year-old soprano whose Aaliyah-like head voice you could reasonably call angelic. Over the course of four albums and many online-only mixtapes, she has perfected a delicate balancing act: cherubic sweetness intermixed with saucy chutzpah. After she signed with megaproducer Timbaland’s Mosley Music Group in 2014 (the same year she graduated from high school), it looked like Tink was poised to break big. But the hype faded as the label repeatedly postponed a record release, and they parted ways four years later. Still, Tink’s latest album shows that her skill and heart have only grown. Released in February, Thanks 4 Nothing is a learned, impeccably confident piece of songcraft. There are googly-eyed hymns of devotion, but mostly the album is a cauldron of righteous girl-bossery. “I’m the Catch” is a frank assertion of independence, one of many on an album that surely wouldn’t have been possible in Tink’s damsel-like early days. Long may she reign.