SZA | Next Wave

Next Wave SZA

Having now become one of the biggest artists on the planet through her megahits, TikTok breakthroughs and mass critical acclaim, ‘Ctrl’ was the introduction of the conceptual superstar to come that showed SZA to be the R&B queen to watch.

The album is bursting with raw honesty and unfiltered emotion. Jealousy, heartbreak, loneliness, they’re all here without a filter in such a beautifully put way. There’s a range of complex emotions here with the dynamic between the need for intimacy and desire for pleasure all pulling and pushing against each other. Just hear ‘Love Galore’ or ‘Drew Barrymore’ to see how passionately she can wear her heart on her sleeve. Opener ‘Supermodel’ just bears it all from the get-go without any hesitation as SZA moves through her insecurities and failing relationship with grace but with so much clear disdain for her s/o.

That catharsis borne out of her unbridled honesty is what we'd say is what makes her so appealing. The heartbreaking closer ‘20 Something’ is also worth a mention as whilst it offers a moving ending to the album, it offers little in the way of emotional closure as SZA pours out the fear of losing youth and experiencing change. A weaker artist would stumble over these really hard emotions especially when they’re as hard and as sometimes taboo as SZA puts them, but she glides through this.

It’s stood the test of time impeccably over the last 7 years. It’s by far one of the most thoughtful and honest releases in the genre of all time. Off of the strength of ‘Ctrl’ alone, let alone forgetting the outstanding ‘SOS’, this places SZA in the league of artists like D’Angelo and Erykah Badu. ‘Ctrl’ is the benchmark for RnB in the 2010’s and now 2020’s. Essential listening.

‘Ctrl’ is available in the Store now.

#vinyl #sza #ctrl

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