SZA’s sophomore album “SOS” was released on September 3, 2021, and it’s been making waves ever since. The album features 18 tracks and showcases SZA’s growth as an artist since her debut album “Ctrl” in 2017. The album’s title stands for “Save Our Souls,” and the themes of love, heartbreak, and self-discovery are prevalent throughout the record.
The album’s opening track, “Shirt,” sets the tone for the rest of the album with its moody and introspective sound. SZA’s vocals are delicate and vulnerable, which makes the listener feel as though they’re being let in on her innermost thoughts and emotions. The song’s lyrics are relatable, touching on the complexities of relationships and the feelings of insecurity that come with them.
One of the standout tracks on the album is “Good Days,” which was released as a single in December 2020. The song’s dreamy production and catchy hook make it a perfect summer anthem, but its lyrics delve deeper into the idea of self-love and finding happiness within oneself. SZA sings, “I’m good on any M.O.K., they mandate my wrist / Matter of fact, I’m good on any MLK, see ’em march, yeah, I’m with it.” The song’s powerful message resonated with fans and helped propel the album to the top of the charts.
Another highlight of the album is “I Hate You,” a breakup ballad that features a haunting guitar riff and SZA’s powerful vocals. The song’s chorus is catchy and emotional, and SZA’s raw delivery makes it clear that she’s singing from a place of deep pain and heartbreak. The song’s lyrics are relatable and honest, touching on the pain of letting go of someone you once loved.
“SOS” also features collaborations with a number of other artists, including Ty Dolla $ign, Doja Cat, and SZA’s fellow TDE labelmate Isaiah Rashad. Each collaboration brings something unique to the album and showcases SZA’s ability to work with other artists while maintaining her own distinct sound.
Overall, “SOS” is a powerful and emotional album that showcases SZA’s growth as an artist since her debut album “Ctrl.” The album’s production is top-notch, and SZA’s vocals are as raw and emotional as ever. The album’s themes of love, heartbreak, and self-discovery are relatable and honest, and SZA’s lyrics are some of her best yet. “SOS” is a must-listen for anyone who appreciates honest and emotional music that speaks to the complexities of the human experience.
However, some critics have pointed out that the album lacks the cohesion of “Ctrl,” which was known for its tight concept and sonic consistency. While “SOS” is certainly more experimental than its predecessor, it does lack some of the focus that made “Ctrl” such a standout album. Additionally, some of the album’s tracks, such as “The Anonymous Ones” and “Gone,” feel a bit underdeveloped and could have benefited from additional production or editing.
Despite these criticisms, “SOS” is still a standout album that showcases SZA’s incredible talent as a songwriter and vocalist. The album’s themes of love, heartbreak, and self-discovery are universal, and SZA’s honest and vulnerable lyrics make the listener feel as though they’re being let in on her innermost thoughts and emotions. “SOS” is a must-listen for anyone who appreciates powerful and emotional music that speaks to the complexities of the human experience.