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by SZA

Released December 9, 2022 via Top Dawg Entertainment / RCA Records

Reviewed January 26, 2023

Top tracks (based on community voting)
Kill Bill (56%), Ghost in the Machine (33%), Good Days (33%)

In the five years since Ctrl released in 2017, it has since bloomed into beloved, “modern classic” status. SZA’s become etched in the most impactful memories of many fans, with an equally meteoric and incremental rise to superstardom. Suddenly, our “Normal Girl” is the face of Top Dawg Entertainment, and her tide has raised many ships along the way.

SOS closes SZA’s chapter of hiatus, and naturally aims to reflect on the experience of stepping away. The result is a proverbial shoebox of photos, love letters, and other mementos from these times in SZA’s life. Sonically and thematically, SOS is inspired by film, hip-hop lore, pop punk, and the relationships that have defined the dawn of her 20 somethings.

For being a hugely anticipated sophomore release, SZA bore the weight of these expectations well. SOS, while not as resonant and succinct as Ctrl, delivers an exciting progression of sounds from the debut. A few songs upstage and outshine the rest, but thankfully the highlights are exciting and fresh. With such a massive hype train now satiated, a refined return to the art pop and electronica from SZA’s Z mixtape era would be a compelling new chapter to start. – DeVán (7.5/10)

Victoria: 10/10 | Jacques: 9/10 | DeVán: 7.5/10 | Dominick: 7.5/10

Community Reviews:

The wait was worth it. Extremely solid tracklist despite the length. – @bigfishzo (8/10)

Very solid! Only wish a little bit of the filler was cut. Make it around 15 tracks and you have one of the best albums of the year. – Benji (7/10)


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