Updated: Apr 28
SOS Indeed: SZA has set the world on fire with her new album
SOS Album Cover (Photo: TDE Entertainment)
Once again SZA has triumphed.
Her latest studio album SOS, features 23 songs - perfect for that hot-girl, break up playlist - that really let ‘him’ have it.
The American singer-songwriter has perfectly combined raw heartbreak with breakup angst, reflected through her comedically blunt and honest lyrics. Which she pairs with her signature beats and catchy melodies. She’s like a 21st-century RnB Avril Lavigne.
For those yet to check their TikTok ‘for you’ page - Sza’s hit track Kill Bill has over 700 million streams on Spotify, and is the obsession of every TikToker.
From 15-second makeup transition videos to the classic ‘Get Ready with Me’ vlog, you will catch at least one person on your feed using SZA’s new sound - I know I have.
But Kill Bill isn’t the only sonic gold you will mine from SOS. There are many underrated gems in the album that deserve an honourable mention, with some even taking the cake from Kill Bill and her earlier hit single, I Hate U - in my opinion.
Let’s start with Used (feat. Don Toliver). This hit is a contemporary R&B rap song, about that familiar sense of being ‘used’ to a point where it no longer phases you. Beyond its music production quality, its deep lyrics really set it apart.
SZA has gone beyond the predictable rap song formula - the aggressive and vulgar ‘stupid ex’ dismissal. Instead SZA gives us her vulnerability, showcasing self-disappointment after trusting another with her heart. Hidden beneath her sass, she strategically explores her heart’s desolation.
Her decision to feature American rapper and singer Don Toliver was the perfect move. Toliver’s verses instantly give Used the classic punch every rap song needs, without quelling SZA’s sense of heartache.
Next on my favourites list is Nobody Gets Me. Hear the sound of your heart splitting in two while listening to this song - especially during its chorus. This track explores the helpless feeling of being left behind by the only person who understands you - them taking a part of you with them as they walk out of your life forever.
The lyrics are heart-wrenching, but SZA’s vocals perfectly encompass those feelings of pain. The verses start off calm as SZA recounts the memories she shared with her ex-partner.
The chorus hits, and SZA let’s loose, belting out:
How am I supposed to tell you?
I don’t wanna see you with anyone but me,
Nobody gets me like you.
Listeners are implored to hear her desperate yearning. Anyone who listens to this track properly (and by this, I mean alone with headphones on, and listening to absolutely every word), is bound to feel the hurt – even if you’re single.
Nobody Gets Me is a perfect showcase of SZA’s vocal talent. These days, modern R&B singers tend to stray away from belting high notes and opt for the ‘low and casual’ singing style. But SZA gives us the best of both worlds - her dynamic style and true artistry.
The SOS album brings a new flavour to contemporary R&B genre, fusing raw emotion, lyrical creativity, and vocal power all into one.
And the album cover is the icing on the cake. SZA revealed in an interview she was inspired by a similar photo of the late Princess of Wales, Diana Spencer. What a perfect way to encompass that feeling of isolation, with an R&B twist!
SZA revealed in an interview she was inspired by a similar photo of the late Princess of Wales, Diana Spencer (Photo: Daily Mail Australia)
I do, however, have a bone to pick with the album’s vulgarity. Of its 23 songs - only three are not ‘explicit’ - and it’s not particularly pleasing to hear ‘f*ck’ and ‘a*s’ in every song. Perhaps this language speaks to the album’s genre or is SZA’s best tool for self-expression - especially for an album harping ‘heartache’ and ‘breakup angst’.
Months after its release, SZA’s album still has me hooked. She’s with me at every ‘gym sesh’ and late night ‘hot-girl-walk’.