20 seconds into SOS – the new album by TDE signee SZA – the singer/songwriter finally emerges from the abyss. "All the petty shit aside/All the funny shit aside/I just want what’s mine," she implores at the tail end of the album's opener. Over the course of 23 tracks, SZA - born Solana Rowe - bravely and brilliantly grapples with this sentiment.
Emotional heft, piercingly astute lyrics and a versatile delivery mark a triumphant return that comes with lush production, some A-list guests and wild mood swings One of the more notable musical collectives of the 2010s was TDE (Top Dawg Entertainment), which for a while felt like the future of urban music. Fast-forward to 2022 and all they have is a departing Kendrick Lamar and a frustrated SZA, but that's showbusiness. The latter's second album comes with several bells and whistles but is grounded by the reassuring presence of Ctrl's creative team, while the subject matter centres around love and loss, particularly regarding her ex-fiancé.
The wait for SZA's sophomore effort is over. The drawn-out build-up to the release of 'SOS' – which comes six years after the hazy masterpiece 'CTRL ' – has been fraught with delays; label indignities over spilled into public domain , early iterations of tracks found their way online in acts of restless self-determination and fan service. SZA, real name Solána Rowe, has frequently tweeted her frustrations at having to meet deadlines, going as far to suggest this would be her last release.