You would be hard-pressed to find an artist who blew up bigger in 2017 than SZA. She's had two of the biggest hits of the year, she was a headlining performer at the 2017 VMA's, and now she's headlining her sold-out tour to close out the year. And to think it all started with some 'CTRL.'
"That is my greatest fear, that if I lost control or did not have control... I would be fatal," are the opening words of the album from the track 'Supermodel.' 'Supermodel' is the perfect opener for this album because the song highlights the album's biggest themes: the hurt that comes from an unfaithful partner and dealing with the insecurities that come from this kind of pain.
The next song up is SZA's smash hit 'Love Galore.' "Done with these niggas, I don't love these niggas," SZA sings letting everybody know her current mood. As the song progresses, SZA continues to reminisce about her old fling, the regrets she has from it and the questions she still wants answers to. Travis Scott delivers a smooth verse of his own where he questions SZA, letting her know her own faults in this situationship.
One of the strongest cuts on the entire album follows next in "Doves In The Wind," the perfect song about every man's Achilles Heel, pussy. SZA sings a beautiful verse about being able to offer more than just pussy, but it's the TDE head honcho that steals the show. Kendrick Lamar pops in and absolutely rips his verse. Kendrick begins by rapping about the lengths men go for sex,"Niggas will lose they mind for it, wine for it, dine for it-pussy." But then he proceeds to explain why, "And good pussy is rather dangerous/ Pussy can be so facetious, the heavyweight champ/Pussy is so undefeated, let's amen to that." He finishes out his verse by explaining why men don't get the pussy, another masterful verse by King Kendrick.
Other standout tracks are 'The Weekend,' 'Garden(Say It Like Dat),' 'Go Gina,' 'Broken Clocks,' and '20 Something.'
'The Weekend' is the biggest song off the album and it's no surprise why. SZA made a relatable song that slaps, and it boomed. Every girl(or damn near) has experienced the role of a side chick, the content mixed with SZA's beautiful voice made for an instant classic. She has grown men singing their hearts out about being a side chick, that shows the reach of this song.
'Go Gina' is a reference to Gina from Martin. SZA compares her busy work-filled life to that of Gina's from the famous sitcom. SZA floats all over this super smooth track, once again showing off her vocal prowess on arguably the catchiest song on 'CTRL.'
'20 Something' is my favorite song on the album and also the perfect closure to it. SZA spills her soul on '20 Something', you hear her voice breaking throughout the song only proving how emotional of a song it was to make. This song is advice and a prayer for all us 20 somethings in the world; it's okay not to have your life figured all the way out yet, it's okay to lose friends, and it's okay if you haven't found love yet. Maybe my favorite SZA song ever and the perfect bookend to 'CTRL.'
Heartbreak and hurt have created some great albums, and 'CTRL' is another example. SZA channeled all of the hurt, pain, and memories into an excellent body of work that has catapulted her career. SZA's one of the biggest artists in the game now, and she will be for a while.
That's what happens when you have some 'CTRL' in your life.
For all my thoughts on 'CTRL', SZA, and everything music, follow WhyToby? on Twitter @_WhyToby