By Christian Maxey
I know I am a little late to the review party on this one, but I must talk about the amazing album SZA put out on Dec. 9 called “SOS.” SOS is SZA’s sophomore album after dropping her first album titled “Ctrl” five years ago. SZA’s sophomore album has been hit with critically acclaimed reviews and has been on US Top 10 Music Chart for over a month now with songs like Kill Bill, Shirt, Good Days and Special. Even though SOS’s love interests can often receive unrelentingly harsh treatment, many of these tales of failing relationships exhibit grace. SZA is giving it to you because she tried her hardest to make things better. The simmering “Love Language” opens with “Patience ain’t no virtue with you” before giving reasons why she should break things up and pleading for the song’s subject to become adept at communicating his thoughts. In “Notice Me” (“I can’t regret no times spent with you / And I still wonder if you notice me”) and “Gone Girl” (“Shift eyes, they tell me you lying / Don’t care, just lay here beside me”), the theme of putting aside her obvious reservations about a guy in order for him to comfort her for the night is a recurring one. These songs are about keeping someone who isn’t perfect around just to have someone around. SOS is driven by this oscillation of conflicting emotions, all of which are explored outside of the realm of R&B music. SZA doesn’t rely on any one genre for this album, eschewing the labels of R&B, rap, alternative music, and indie rock in favor of her own style, which is best characterized as airy emo meets R&B. Airy emo is a lush sound that is frequently propelled by gentle, laid-back beats. She not only overcomes the obstacles Black women face in the music industry by doing this, but she also explores her sadness in engaging ways that she hasn’t really done before. This album is great listen and has a lot of range. If you want to feel angry or sad or happy or in love, then this album would be perfect for you. SZA is known to be hard to understand so I found listening to the lyrics while she sings really helps me understand the song better.