SZA – Ctrl (2017)

Somewhere between R&B and indie rock, this debut album by SZA is memorable for all the right reasons: The lyrics are effective and poignant, the music is the type of slow-groove that only grows better after each repeat, and SZA herself is an engaging singer, with a remarkably dexterous range. The album itself sometimes feels like Fiona Apple’s 1996 classic “Tidal” by way of Rihanna and Nelly Furtado, with tracks like “Go Gina” and “Normal Girl” highlighting all of those references – as well as the album’s aforementioned strengths – in just a few minutes here. Highly recommended for fans of R&B, rock, groove and funk, all of which intersect across this understated masterpiece.

Rating: ★★★★★ (out of 5)

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