SZA - Ctrl, 2017
Signed up the 08/06/2017
Genre: Alternative R&B, Neo Soul
The First Lady of TDE- she writes like she knows the secret thoughts of most women and she, out of all of us, is brave enough to put them on paper and belt them out loud in a studio. SZA, pronounced "Caesar", is probably one of the most authentic and soulful upcoming artists of our time with a haunting voice. Also the baddest.
Her debut album, CTRL has received numerous praises from her fellow artists and if you get yourself a copy, you'll understand why.
CTRL has 14 solid tracks. As I write this, I have my earphones on with my playlist on shuffle. What's playing? 'Ms 20 Something', the last track on the album which most women in their twenties like myself, will relate to. She says "How could it be, 20 something, all alone still? Nothing to my name..." which is a reflection of most 20 something women who take a look at their lives and feel that things are not falling into place fast enough. How could it be? We had plans growing up and probably thought we would be way further by now, more accomplished and in stable relationships- married with kids. Reality however, is that we don’t have it altogether. So we wake up every day despite the disappointments, put in the work, and "pray these 20somethings don't kill me (us)".
Love Galore ft. Travis Scott will easily be a favorite for women too, especially if you've ever been played around by a man who turned out to be in a stable relationship or played by a man who didn’t want you, used you and kept you up at night crying and stalking his social feeds. SZA asks these men, "Why you bothering me when you know you don’t want me? /Why you bothering me when you know you got a woman? /why you hit me when you know you know better?" Are we not meant to take it personal? It is personal. So in return, she writes off men and decides to play games too. Don’t take it personal.
Clearly, these “world niggas don’t deserve p****” and they don’t deserve women too. Doves in the Wind ft. Kendrick Lamar is raw and uncensored. Something I appreciate, not because of the casual use of the word p**** thrown around about every 10sec, but the comfortability of a woman writing about her p**** and clearly owning it and the word. In a world where the sexuality of women is so controlled by what men say is right or wrong, the emancipated millennial woman is refreshing.
It is this same sexual freedom and confidence that leads to the track, Drew Barrymore. A brilliant merger of thoughts on sexual pleasure, love and beauty. “I’m sorry I’m not more attractive/ I’m sorry I’m not more lady like/ I’m sorry I don’t shave my legs at night” because really, women are tired of the standards shoved in their faces on how to be women. It is everywhere and extremely normalized.
Tracks like Anything, Pretty Little Bird ft. Isaiah Rashad and Broken Clocks will easily be favorites too.
The rest of the album follows a similar theme, with solid well-balanced and beautifully executed tracks. We have all been baptized in the church of SZA, deep within our feels and loving it.
I give this one an 8/10, only because I desperately wish the album was a little longer!
CTRL definitely falls within the category album of the year if not best new comer. Worth the purchase!
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