Hey everyone, it’s R.S. Noel here with another post! Today I’ll be reviewing one of the coolest albums that has been out for a while from a young R&B/Hip-Hop/Pop artist who mixes rap-ish sounds with throw-back pings. The artist I’ll be talking about is none other than Sza. Recently, she was featured on SNL, and for one reason or another, I actually decided to check out the video I stumbled upon on the front page of YouTube. I usually don’t like to view anything from the “mainstream”, but I felt inclined to check out who this Sza girl was.
Well I was certainly stunned to hear her vocal range, she’s definitely one to keep an eye out for in the R&B/Hip-Hop/Pop scene. I love the way she incorporates a sense of the universe, her place in it, and her genuine life experiences mixed with some small pieces of imaginative magic that really brings out each track’s true meaning. She has a way of harnessing her musical energy that just brings out a sense of self-professed honesty from Sza’s own personal life experiences. I almost feel as though the musical act that is Sza has taken a back seat to the woman who is behind this musical genius.
Either way, some of my favorite tracks from her (in no particular order) are: “20 Something”, “Broken Clocks”, “Doves in the Wind”, “The Weekend” and “Supermodel”. To be honest, I can listen to any of her tracks during a chill day where I just study or do some reading for my classes. There’s something reassuring about her blatant truth and the way in which she can naturally rhyme words and phrases together. She also undoubtedly blends her personal style of rap with a down-to-Earth ode to what it means to be a woman in the world.
“20 Something” has a very personal acoustic flow that perfectly defines this generation’s struggle with life. It also defines the struggle Sza faced as a woman in our “modern” day society, and how she doesn’t want to grow older. Being a young woman is certainly what society cherishes the most, and this song left me speechless and with a sense of awe as I began to appreciate the obstacles women must face on a daily basis. In one word, “20 Something” is like a very short autobiography filled with interesting quips.
“Broken Clocks” has a nice soft hip-hop flow that just gets you in the mood for laying back and closing your eyes as you begin to wonder more about Sza’s personal thoughts. She’s very clear in how she expresses herself in her music, and “Broken Clocks” is a testament of just how perfect her ability is to share her emotions as well. Without a doubt, “Broken Clocks” is something I relate to on such a profound level as I know very well I feel as though I hardly ever stop for a “break”. Nowadays, who does?
“Doves in the Wind” may initially come off as a pure tongue-and-check song about the female anatomy. But on further inspection, the song is really about how men are too easy to convince and will do anything for women without having any standards. It’s also about the fact that women aren’t challenged enough by men in today’s broken society, and how women have come to accept this truth. I enjoyed the song though for it’s dark urban-90’s hip-hop flow. “Doves in the Wind” is certainly a throwback track full of imagery, double-meanings, and sometimes straight-forward nature.
“The Weekend” opens with a sort of chill-pop sound, and transitions into a smooth R&B sound for the remainder of the song. This song is very blunt in that she is describing a time when she was with a man who was seeing another woman; even though Sza knew. But the track has an ironic twist of meaning, as you begin to realize that Sza really loves this man and isn’t afraid to win him over with her own love. In a way, the song left me with a thrilling sense of forbidden emotions. Of course, this is what it means to be a young woman in search of love. The social environment to find a mate has become more “open” and “accepting” to not having any ties or obligations when you’re young.
Finally, the track that I’ve become completely hypnotized with, is “Supermodel”. This song, though short and not overstaying it’s welcome, has a very stark reality and truth beneath the veil of acoustic vocals and guitar. Surprisingly, this track doesn’t have a lot of instruments in it, but Sza’s lyrics certainly cover-up for the purposely-small amount of instruments. I won’t spoil this song’s deeper meaning, but I will say this. Sza perfectly encapsulated what women deal with in their love-lives. Certainly, “Supermodel” should be 2017’s anthem for any woman who have been burned in a relationship and is shifting through thoughts and emotions.
Even though I just discovered her, Sza has been around on the scene for the better part of 5-6 years now. But like most artist, her rise to stardom was one fraught with opposition, difficulties, miscommunication, and errors. But she has learned greatly from those natural mistakes, and I’m actually glad that she is recently seeing such commercial success with America’s music scene. The reason I say this; is because she has allowed herself to mature into her “image” and accept the politics and nuisances of the industry. In essence, she was able to go through the rougher years of the music industry and come out a stronger woman who survived through tumultuous times. Those years cultivated her into quite an artist of renowned recognition.
I’m looking forward to her future as a musical artist, and I’m glad that she is able to maneuver through all the crap that comes with being in the industry. She’s let her own star shine and pays no mind to the distractions surrounding her. This woman certainly knows that she’s in-this-to-win-this; and she won’t let anyone, or anything, get in her way.
Forever in Your Debt,