SZA - CTRL, 2017
Signed up the 30/03/2017
CTRL is SZA’s debut studio album (& technically her fourth musical offering after her three previous EP’s "See.SZA.Run", "S" & "Z") which was released in 2017.
For music lovers who have been following SZA’s career from when she release her very first ep back in 2012 will notice that her sound has evolved quite significantly in her latest album. In previous ep’s SZA would infuse chill wave beats & alternative sounds to give her brand of neo soul music a distinctive aura about her music. SZA would often sing about poetic & abstract concepts like existentialism & how it feels to be an outsider not being able to fit into contemporary society. With CTRL however we see a shift in terms of the sound & content as SZA chose to utilize the sound from a recently conceptualized subgenre of music known as trap soul that combines hip hop elements with RnB/Neo soul which gave SZA’s new album a more mainstream feel to it.
CTRL feels like a modernized 90’s black girl power album with numerous songs on the album focusing on the highs & lows of the life of a young black woman’s life particularly the tribulations of romance. The album goes into detail about various real life themes that affect your everyday black girl in society like calling out black men out on their bullsh*t, sexual liberation, the difficulty of finding true love, infidelity & the importance of self-love. For me as a guy it was quite an insightful experience being able to hear about the lived experiences of what most young black women go through on a daily basis & the issues they deal with.
CTRL is a beautiful mixed bag of songs which all serve to balance out the emotional spectrum of the album. We get songs like Love Galore, Garden, Broken Clocks & the Weekend which are all upbeat RnB turn up anthems (these tracks touch on a variety of bad ass topics like stealing other people’s boyfriends & being sexually liberated) as well as more conventional & somber ballads like 20something, Drew Barrymore, Supermodel & Normal Girl (these songs speak about emotional issues such as loneliness & dysfunctional romantic relationships).
SZA’s debut album CTRL is an essential anthem for every modern carefree black girl that not only celebrates black womanhood but also shows that emotional vulnerability is perfectly okay (plus every track is honestly a genuine delight to immerse your ears in).
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