Week Later Review: SZA -Ctrl
By Jakina Ado
Release date: Friday June 9, 2017
Record Label: Top Dawg Entertainment/RCA
Ctrl sounds like the movie version of my teen angst in quarter life crisis form. From the release of the lead single “Love Galore” I couldn’t anticipate the masterpiece that is SZA’s long anticipated debut album. Yes I said masterpiece. It’s not that I didn’t like the track, I do, its not like I wasn’t already a fan, I was, I just wasn’t expecting to get what I’ve been yearning for all at once. If I was expecting anything it was just to like some songs because I like her, but an album I can listen to in its entirety, I don’t know that I was prepared for that. Last year was back to back with amazing albums particularly from women I don’t even have to name but the instant impact of ctrl was melodramatic, it was like not wanting to miss a single beat, it was staying up late to be being able to sing the song word for word the next day, it’s influential. SZA summed up every “different” girl in 14 tracks and simultaneously told you why she’s so relatable, with songs like “ Normal Girl” and “Pretty Little Birds.”
SZA’s teasing tone is as much on display and her earnest writing. Her sultry rasp matches rap styles and oozes over hints of jazz to touch nostalgia. The blend is elevated and all encompassing from a 15 year old to a 35 year old, ctrl is a journey through self-discovery, acceptance and maturity. She didn’t make an album that has to followed up immediately, she made something to keep coming back to.
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