Healing takes center stage in SZA’s new album SOS

Healing takes center stage in SZAs new album SOS

Jasmin Allen, Reporter

SZA finally released her new album SOS on December 9th, 2022 after a 5 year long wait. The album consists of 22 tracks, and on it, SZA collaborated with 4 feature artists: Travis Scott, Don Tovlier, Phoebe Brigders and Ol’ Dirty Bastard. 

When I listened to this album, the layout of her track list immediately stood out. Artists tend to tell a story through the organization their tracks. SZA’s list feels intentionally random. It’s clear she’s trying to tell a story about the healing process, and she sets this up by jumping around. Just as emotions can veer quickly from one place to another, so too her songs zip around. 

I won’t review every song, but the first song that intrigued me is “Blind.” In this track,  she’s basically describing her relationship with various men. She’s basically saying how she’s blind to her own growth; she says,“It’s so embarrassing all of the things I need living inside of me I can’t see it. It’s so embarrassing all of the love I seek living inside of me I can’t see, I’m blind.”  SZA knows she deserves better. She sees what she needs to be better, but she’s been in these situations so long that she doesn’t want to see it. This was extremely relatable to me as a teenager navigating the romantic relationship world, and, of course, I have been in some bad ones, and being young, you’re aware but not rational. Sometimes you find yourself in the situation where you know what you need, but you choose what you want even if it’s bad for you. 

While I loved this album and almost all of the songs  I would’ve loved to see SZA step out of her comfort zone with this album lyrically. I feel as if she plays it safe and stays in the same lane from CTRL. This album captures her healing process, but as you get to the end, it feels incomplete, as if SZA herself remains undecided. During the middle of the album, she seems like she is moving on. As you reach the end though, she makes it sound as if she is backsliding on her healing journey. With songs like F2F, Nobody Gets Me, and Open Arms, she implies she’s getting pulled back into bad relationships.  While things like this happen in real life, I wanted to see SZA move on from CTRL.  Even though they are two completely different albums, they still focus on the same themes of pain, insecurity, and the danger of doing anything for the sake of a relationship.

Overall, I really enjoyed this album. It was definitely worth the wait in my opinion. Some of my favorite songs wereLove Language,” “Blind,” “Ghost in the Machine” ft. Phoebe Brigders, and “Seek and Destroy.” My least favorite songs were “Gone Girl,” “Notice Me,” and “Forgiveless.” I rate this album an 8.5/10. For this to be her last album (according to her), it was extremely good. I just expected more story-wise.