SZA, American singer and songwriter, has reeled fans and other celebrities back into her pop and RnB atmosphere with the recent release of her second studio album, SOS.
Just like many other SZA fans around the world, I have been listening to SOS on repeat since the album dropped on Dec. 9. I have even gone ahead and secured tickets to see SZA live in March – which of course, I am super excited about!
The album is composed of 23 songs, inspired by influences of hip-hop, pop, and RnB. The album has been described as “a varied palette,” and it also samples sound references from soul, gospel, jazz, and melodic rap.
Since her first studio album, CTRL, which was released back in 2017, SZA has continued to grow as both a singer and songwriter, collaborating with many new and familiar music artists, including Don Toliver, Travis Scott, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, and Phoebe Bridgers.
At the album’s core, SOS is an inner monologue for SZA herself that follows her along a path of heartbreak, reflection, revenge, and self-discovery. Fans have enjoyed listening to the album so far, especially due to SZA’s intimate and relatable lyrics. On Pitchfork, the overall album was rated an 8.7 out of 10.
SOS’s album cover depicts SZA sitting on a diving board surrounded by the deep blue ocean as her face points up to the sky. SZA has stated that she has been inspired by a 1997 photograph taken of Princess Diana on Mohamed Al Fayed’s yacht that was taken one week before her death. SZA had wanted to pay homage to the “isolation” that she believed the original photo conveyed.
While I love and relate to all the songs on SOS, there are a few that I believe have really spoken to me. My five favorites from the album so far have been “Low,” “Conceited,” “Kill Bill,” “Too Late,” and “Nobody Gets Me.” These songs have been on repeat for the past week – trust me.
In an interview with Rolling Stone Magazine, SZA revealed her main purpose for creating SOS, stating that this album was “partially inspired by love lost, but mostly inspired by (her) departure from attempting to be a nice girl.”
SZA continues on during the interview saying, “I’ve tried to be a nice girl for so long and it’s just not who I am, inherently. I think coming to terms with that and really expanding upon that and exploring that is kind of like this new chapter in my life.”
Throughout this album, SZA showcases how important it is to continue moving forward in life, even when the going gets rough. SZA is all about speaking about her own personal experiences throughout her songs and trust me, her experiences, unique persona, and musical style are on full display in SOS.
Make sure to listen to SOS if you haven’t yet – I promise you that it’ll be worth the listen.