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SOS Album Review


SZA SOS Album Cover (Photo: Consequence Sound)

The long awaited SZA album was finally released on Dec. 9, 2022, giving fans a lot of music from their favorite artist.

It was number one on the Billboard 200 chart for seven weeks, which attest to how much people around the world have been loving this album.

Coming in at an hour and eight minutes long with a surprising 23 song tracklist, we delve deeper into themes of self-love, rage, and regret.

Before we even go into the first song, she plays morse code that spells out the word SOS. S.O.S is an acronym that stands for Save Our Ship and is used by sailors out at sea when they need help. This code is often associated with lighthouses, which lines up with SZA’s album cover of her staring out into sea.

She has also said it was inspired by the famous picture of Princess Diana staring out into the sea, so just know we’re about to go on a ride full of being alone with your thoughts.

The beginning of the album starts off with SZA talking about her ex and recognizing that the thoughts she had about him are toxic.

The one song that appears to be everyone’s favorite as it has amassed popularity on TikTok is Kill Bill, which pays homage to the popular 2003 movie about a woman who wakes up from a coma trying to kill her ex.

In the lyrics of this song, SZA recognizes that she knows what she is thinking about doing is wrong. Match that up with the tension that song has, and you have a song that has you on the edge of your seat up until the last verse when it’s all revealed and she goes through with committing the act of murder.

It is important to note that the order of tracklist also plays a very important role in how you listen to it your first time, because right after Kill Bill almost feels like the next song, Seek & Destroy, has her reflecting back on the murder and puts the entire blame on her ex.

A lyric that really stuck to me that exemplified this was when she sang:

“You push me past my own capacity boy”

This was so impactful because sometimes you’ll have people in your life that push or influence you to do something that you never thought you were capable of, like SZA being pushed to the act of murder.

The next few songs have SZA reminiscing about communication in her relationship. Love Language and Snooze are two great examples of realizing that we can give our all to a person just to receive so little in return.

Continuing in the genre of alternative r&b, these songs will have you deep in thought about that certain person you used to be in a relationship with and think about what went wrong, and it works perfectly because I think that’s what SZA wanted us as listeners to do.

We have to recognize that who we were in that relationship and who we are outside of it can be two completely different people. One lyric from her song, Blind, even calls it out:

“All of the Love I seek living inside of me

I can’t see, I’m blind”

Switching from her usual alt r&b, we get a rock song, which completely fits into the album mid way through.

F2F sees SZA finally get angry and let out all of these harsh emotions towards her ex into this song that is guaranteed to be on repeat once you listen to it.

This makes sense, because the songs before have been SZA in her thoughts thinking about certain things, such as acts she committed, the communication in the relationship, and how that person treated her, wishing things ended differently or she had the courage to get out of the unhealthy relationship, because she needed them so bad that life without them just doesn’t make sense.

The song after F2F, Nobody Gets Me, enters us into a ballad about the instant regret she feels after moving on because she never really truly moved on from her ex and still loves them.Both of these songs are very unique to the album because of the genre SZA made them which slightly differs from the rest of the album.

This whole album feels as though SZA is experimenting with her sound, with a few rap, rock, and r&b ballads. It feels like we’re exploring her mind, because thoughts never stay the same and focusing on one thought leads us to another until we’re staring off into space, or in this case, the ocean.

Towards the end of the album, we reached the point where we don’t need that person, but you get the sense of emptiness.

Special by far is on my top 5 in the album, which probably isn’t a good thing. It makes listeners feel as though that their ex or whoever they’re thinking of has taken what makes them special away.

So it feels as though you have to rediscover who you are, which another track, Open Arms, describes:

“You're the only one holdin' me down”

The album ending with the rap song Forgiveless, makes the album feel complete because through the rollercoasters of emotion we have been feeling, we are finally able to move on from the situation, but as SZA says:

“I might forgive it, I won't forget it”

This whole album definitely accomplished its job of having us as listeners deep in their thoughts just like SZA was. This album feels more mature and talks about things that you might not have wanted, but needed to hear.

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