SZA gives a new meaning to SOS

The singer’s second album makes waves worldwide

Album cover for SZAs recent album, SOS look familiar? The photoshoot for the cover was actually inspired by Princess Dianas iconic diving board photoshoot.

Town & Country Magazine

Album cover for SZA’s recent album, “SOS” look familiar? The photoshoot for the cover was actually inspired by Princess Diana’s iconic diving board photoshoot.

Valerie Pioppi, Staff Reporter

Following the release of her first album, “ctrl,” as well as features on the Black Panther soundtrack, millions of SZA fans waited anxiously for her second album, released Dec. 9th, “SOS.” The album, holding 23 songs with a run-time of just over an hour, broke numerous records within minutes of its release.

Settling at #1 on the charts in over 50 countries, the new titleholder of most streamed R&B album in a day set some big expectations for itself, and as I clicked the play button on Friday night, I was nervous the album wouldn’t live up to the hype.

So let me, someone who’s never been a particularly invested SZA fan tell you first-hand: “SOS” far exceeded my expectations.

The album began with a quick, pleasant intro song. “SOS”, being SZA’s second studio, felt a lot more mature than her debut album; and the first song, which is also, fittingly, the title track, sets this tone nicely for the rest of the songs. 

SZA explores quite a few different genres throughout the album, with some songs leaning towards rap, some feeling more R&B, and one song, F2F, even leaning towards the punk rock genre. The Paramore-esq song is the first of its kind from SZA, and I surely hope it’s not the last. Her angelic vocals mixed with the heavy chorus of the song create an incredibly unique sound, unmatched by other artists in the genre.

Most of the features on the album made sense to me at first glance. Don Toliver, Travis Scott and Ol’ Dirty Bastard: all popular artists in the R&B and rap scenes. But one feature caught my eye. Phoebe Bridgers, featured on track 12, “Ghost in the machine.” An avid Phoebe Bridgers fan myself, I was thrilled yet confused as to why the alternative indie singer was collaborating with SZA. The result was a seamless fuse of Phoebe’s and SZA’s music. “Ghost in the machine” has some of my favorite lyricism in the album and is an overall phenomenally written and performed song.

My favorite number, without a doubt, is the 14th track, “Nobody gets me.” The heartbreakingly relatable ballad is one of the only acoustic songs on the album and puts the singer’s beautiful vocals on full display. Even if you don’t plan on listening to the entire album, “Nobody gets me” has absolutely earned your listen.

Overall, “SOS” has been the perfect way to close out an exciting year in music. If I could give it 10 stars, I would. With its ability to stay cohesive yet offer something for everyone, the album is one of the best I’ve ever listened to. Whether you’re an avid fan, never heard of her, or somewhere in between, you should add listening to “SOS” to your to-do list as soon as possible.