‘CTRL,’ SZA’s long-awaited debut album under Top Dawg Entertainment, has finally arrived.

Did it ever feel like SZA’s album might never come? Surely I wasn’t the only one.

The TDE songbird logged feature after feature on her labelmates’ projects, with only two EPs and a few solid covers and singles to call her own over the years. In spite of label head Anthony Tiffith’s claim that the brand would drop six releases in 2015, nearly everyone BUT SZA dropped a project. But finally, a glimpse of light came when TDE’s unofficial “schedule” for 2017 found its way onto the internet. Then an album cover. Then finally, a release date. And now, here we are, on June 9th, and SZA’s first major label album ‘CTRL’ has arrived.

‘CTRL’ felt personal from its first few singles. Lead single “Drew Barrymore” and its follow-ups “Love Galore” and “Broken Clocks” all showed the singer deep in her feels, in the process sweeping up listeners in their own emotions. ‘CTRL’s’ intro cut “Supermodel” proves that vulnerability is the theme of SZA’s debut long-player, with the crooner singing while backed by an acoustic guitar, “wish I was comfortable just by myself/ But I need you, I need you,” before drums take over to close out the track.

Fellow TDE cronies Kendrick Lamar and Isaiah Rashad appear on ‘CTRL,’ as do Travis Scott (on the aforementioned “Love Galore”) and James Fauntleroy. But they don’t steal the shine – Fauntleroy does try his damnedest to on “(Wavy) Interlude” – they merely complement SZA on her 14-track journey through love, introspection, and evolution. And shine, SZA does. She flirts with being a present-day Soul Madonna on “Prom.” She insists that she can be the “good girl” while being the other woman on “The Weekend,” whose slow burn is book-ended by soap opera-esque flourishes. And she high-steps between funky trumpets and kickdrums on “Anything.”

Whether listeners are new to SZA or have followed the singer since her ‘S’ and ‘Z’ EP beginnings, they will find SOMETHING to take away from ‘CTRL.’ Even if it’s just the acceptance that you can’t “control” everything in life, but you CAN control what lessons you take away from it.

Stream SZA’s ‘CTRL’ LP for yourself down below by way of Apple Music and grab the album now on iTunes.

One Response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.