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  • Keyaira Boone

Jersey Girl SZA Completely Connects with CTRL

I was intrigued by SZA the moment my eyes connected with her voluminous hair & butter pecan skin but when I heard her croon in honor of the effervescent allure of an early aughts Drew Barrymore I knew I could fix her a plate at the proverbial cookout. The Maplewood, New Jersey native invites listeners to not only to see how she exerts CTRL in seeking connection but to understand why she needs it in her debut album.

Coming of age in an America ransacked of its invincibility SZA exists at the metaphorical intersection between millennial phone addictions and AOL away messages. As a result she doesn't tell aggrandized stories of young love. There's no saccharin.

In it’s place are the words of a young woman who speaks with the informality of a generation that has opted for mason jars over champagne flutes and flaunts its ability to stay romantically title free. On “Go Gina” she affirms “I belong to nobody/ I hope it don't bother you.”

Impressively the nuances of SZA’s experience don't isolate her sound. The listener is given the opportunity to really engage with her journey to self discovery through music that Power 105.1’s “The Breakfast Club” pointed out “doesn't sound like anything else out.”

Like many young women that self discovery has been catapulted by seeing herself reflected through her interactions with other people. Her mirrors become miniature masterpieces on her debut album. Her style is a welcome change from the lack of self-awareness shown by her some in the spotlight (and frankly some just on Snapchat).

She explores the vantage point of side chicks, the carelessness of cheaters, and the pressure of being a “20 Something” without a phone plan in their name in a way only she could.

CTRL like it's creator is subtle, specific, and clearly worth a second listen. Check out SZA's entire debut album here.

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