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SZA – CTRL (Album Review)

It’s been a long time coming for the R&B songstress, but SZA finally had her day to bless the world with her unique body of work. Just in case you haven’t heard of SZA before, she is this weird  hippie like awkward artist from St. Louis that has no problem being the oddball in an industry that looking cool is usually the end all be all. With this album, SZA tries to convince individuals that her style of music can also be enjoyable as the other s–t out, as she convinces us that there are no poster girls when it comes to making music.


TOP 5

 

5. BROKEN CLOCKS 

For a good majority of this album, SZA is fed up with men, but on this song she sounds like she’s bout to officially throw in the towel for good. On the other tracks on this album, SZA hints at being treated unfairly, but on this track she is pretty descriptive on why she has decided to move on from her beau. It seems like the words are coming out fluently, and I can actually hear the disappointment in her voice from line to line…. Matter of fact, I can see her taking breaks from the studio to have a shake your head break.

4. DOVES IN THE WIND

SZA continues the whole ‘girl around the way’ sound on this song, getting lost in the smooth vibe of the beat. Even though the song is smooth, she does have a little bit of edginess to her words, as she makes us studs feel guilty for being dogs.

Kendrick hops on the track one minute in, rapping with his ‘out of this universe’ sound. While I think his part is dope, he says the word p—y like 57 times (which gets hella annoying).

I don’t even think I am allowed to not put a Kendrick Lamar featured song in the top 5…. I feel like WordPress will ban my account if I did.

3. SUPERMODEL

‘Supermodel’ is the epitome of what SZA is all about, and that is this simple girl that you probably wouldn’t see in the magazines. The message in this song is pretty deep, as she talks about having that trust in her that she can be something special to you if you treat her right. The song is powerful, it is pure, and has some really deep words that people should hear.

2. DREW BARRYMORE

I know people are going to be so pissed off at me for this one, but I honestly and truthfully love this song by SZA! Don’t believe me? Lemme show you a screenshot of how many times I played it on my iTunes.

Lets be real with ourselves folks… SZA is weird as s–t on this song! Content-Wise, she’s opening up about her interesting style, asking us if she’s warm enough to accept; she already knows the answer, but she just wants to see how close-minded we are.

Doesn’t this song sound like the music you hear while you’re shopping at Ross? It’s Avril Lavenge ‘Complicated’ all over again! (I LOVED COMPLICATED THOUGH N—A!)

It’s cool if you’re not super womanly SZA, but GOTDAMNNIT YOU GOTTA SHAVE YOUR LEGS! If I want to cuddle with you, why should I have to bleed by getting cut by your sharp ass hair.

1. LOVE GALORE

This is a pretty normal sounding song by SZA, as she takes elements of your traditional R&B music to make this sensual sounding track. Her hoarse voice (which I freakin’ love btw) is challenged to do somethings she doesn’t normally do, and she succeeds to me.

Travis Scott is perfect for this song, even down to his ‘adlibbing. Initially, he uses this guilty sound on his verse, but then resorts to his ‘trick I said I’m sorry what you want me to do?’ voice. (I love when he uses this voice!)

This song has a good bop, it is dynamic, and has this universal sound.


SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN

1. SUPERMODEL (5/5)

2. LOVE GALORE (5/5)

3. DOVES IN THE WIND (4.9/5)

4. DREW BARRYMORE (5/5) 

5. PROM (4/5)

6. THE WEEKEND (4.1/5)

7. GARDEN (4.7/5)

8. BROKEN CLOCKS (4.8/5)

9. ANYTHING (4.1/5)

10. WAVY INTERLUDE (N/A)

11. NORMAL GIRL (4.7/5)

12. PRETTY LITTLE BIRDS (3.8/5)

13. 20 SOMETHING (4/5)


OVERALL RATING (8.1/10)

Is SZA the modern day Erykah Badu? I don’t know about that, but something in my body definitely made that connection when I heard her music. While I know many will disagree with that statement, don’t you at least get that feel that she took elements from some of her favorite artists to make this album? I think that is ok to do, especially when you know its coming from a genuine place.

My one beef with this album is that she is a bit too whiny for me on it (Something that surprised me given her care free style). A lot of times when you hear R&B artists projects, you hope they can deviate from talking about heart break, and she just isn’t able to do it here. If a song isn’t about heartbreak, it is about her being a different type of girl, something that I think gets old after she says it on 5 or 6 tracks.

Overall, the album is what i expected from her, and that is a truthful diary to her true fans. At times, she absolutely stuns with her voice, sounding like one of the best singers on the radio today – and at other times, she is extremely nonchalant, sounding like that one girl you know that doesn’t care about anything but her wine and Hulu account (I like the mix though). With that being said, I think the best way to enjoy this album is in a quiet setting, drinking some wine, and having the cell phone off for a bit.

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