Heavy album of the year vibes here. SZA hails from New Jersey (born in St. Louis, Missouri), and after 2012's self-released See.SZA.Run, she inked a deal with Top Dawg Entertainment, arguably the most influential label in music right now. Ctrl is her debut LP, and it's full of raw, blunt confessionals: sexuality, love, abandonment, betrayal, and femininity are some of the themes she boldly confronts. On the music side, SZA constantly toys with the outer edges of r&b and pop, and her powerful voice (it's actually also laced with vulnerability, not sure how she pulls that off) effortlessly glides on top of abstract instrumentals informed by hip-hop, electronic music, and and indie rock. Hands down one of the strongest releases of 2017, the LP includes features from Travis Scott, Kendrick Lamar, Isaiah Rashad, James Fauntleroy and more,. Check out the tone-setting "Supermodel" or the chilled-out trap cadences of "Love Galore." "Doves In The Wind" is another highlight from the 14-tracker that's really slim on fillers, and the indie-meets-r&b gem that is "Drew Barrymore" also stands out. "The Weekend," brims with warm chords that complement SZA sharp, honest perspective on foolish games men play, and "Broken Clocks," which samples River Tiber & Daniel Caesar's "West," is also a scorcher. Recommended.
- green colored double vinyl pressing
- gatefold sleeve
- printed insert booklet
- digital download included
- music label: Top Dawg Entertainment 2017
reviewed by nakaveli 11/2017