Album Review: SZA’s ‘SOS’ does it all


Though it is only the second album she has released, SZA’s “SOS” continues to be No. 1 on the Billboard chart for the sixth week in a row. With over 876,000 sales and 1.1 billion streams, it is no wonder that her songs are trending on all platforms. 

SZA guides the listener through a journey of self-reflection regarding intimate relationships after rejection. She places the listener in a vast gray area of opposing themes of revenge and passion. The album truly presents how much she has progressed as a songwriter since her last album “CTRL ” that has been certified as multiplatinum. Between then and now, SZA has earned significant recognition regarding her craft, from her collaboration with Kendrick Lamar on the “Black Panther” soundtrack to her feature on the Grammy-winning song “Kiss Me More” by Doja Cat. 

According to SZA, the album cover pays homage to a photograph of the late Princess Diana on Mohamed Al Fayed’s yacht a week before her passing. SZA wanted to depict the same sense of isolation presented within the image. 

The album breaks the boundaries of what is known as R&B, such as her song “F2F,” which varies a mixture of pop-punk and grunge as she grapples with filling an empty void from her previous lover. 

The collaborations on the album are also another aspect of note. With features from other groundbreaking artists such as Phoebe Bridgers in “Ghost in the Machine” and Travis Scott in “Open Arms,” it brings together fans from across multiple genres. 

From acts of revenge in “Kill Bill” and “Seek and Destroy” to bargaining for scraps of memories in songs like “Blind” and “Love Language,” to finally realizing one’s true value towards the end in “Far” and “Conceited,” the track tells a progression of heartbreak and acceptance. Even though this album has been a smashing success with listeners all over the world, it might be SZA’s end. The artist said in a 2020 interview with Flaunt that she was making the best album of her life as “it was going to be her last album.”