I’m writing this to let you know that SZA had the best album of the year.
If you don’t get that reference, you need to listen to the opening lyrics to Grammy nominated best R&B song “Supermodel” from the American singer and songwriter SZA’s debut album “CTRL.”
SZA, whose real name is Solána Imani Rowe grew up in Maplewood, New Jersey dropped her first album this past June, which, in a way, changed my life.
Her distinctive silvery voice and relatable song lyrics took me to a place very few artists have before. It was honest, less metaphorical than her previous bodies of work (“See.SZA.Run”, “S”, “Z.”).
The “CTRL” album resonates with me because of its vulnerability, honesty and its unapologetic way of saying, ‘I don’t know me yet, I don’t know what I’m doing,’ which is relatable to a lot of “20 something” year olds like me.
My favorite song off the album is “Garden (Say it like dat)” because it expresses the need of reassurance and being needy but being fine with that.
Time magazine declared that her album was the best of the year in an article proclaiming the top 10 albums of the year and putting “CTRL” in the number one spot.
“Her takes on hookup culture and the pursuit of an authentic life are vividly articulated,” said the Time article written about SZA and the “CTRL” album. “…Like all the best artists, her experience is so specific that it rises to the level of universality: She may be one of a kind, but she’s speaking the truth of a whole generation.”
With the 2018 Grammy nominations recently being released, the fact that “CTRL” wasn’t considered as the best album of the year broke my heart.
The nomination process for the Grammy’s is a bit straining, with submitted works going through several different stages until the final five nominations are chosen.
According to a Billboard article, the five nominees for album of the year include: Jay Z’s “4:44,” Kendrick Lamar’s “Damn,” Bruno Mars’s “24K magic,” Lorde’s “Melodrama,” and Childish Gambino’s “Awaken, My Love!”
“CTRL” should’ve been added to that highly talented list because it has not only received high honors by landing on the third spot on the Billboard 200, but the album is certified gold.
According to a different billboard article, the album shared the top two spots with the likes of one of the greatest rappers alive, Kendrick Lamar’s “Damn,” debuting as number two. To be in the same conversation as a great like Kendrick speaks volumes for such an upcoming artist.
Another article said her song “The weekend,” which wasn’t released as a single, went platinum, which is rare for non-promoted songs.
Although she didn’t get nominated for album of the year, she is still the most nominated female artist at the 2018 Grammy awards with nominations including: best new artist, best R&B performance, best rap/sung performance, best R&B song, and best urban contemporary album, according to a Fader article.
I tend to gravitate towards music with a message, music that puts me “in my feelings” and music that I find myself relating to the most and we got a lot of that this year.
We were spoiled with great music content with albums and extended plays (EP) like Daniel Caesars’s “Freudian,” Big Sean’s “I Decided,” Khalid’s “American Teen,” SiR’s “Her Too,” Demi Lovato’s “Tell Me You Love Me,” H.E.R.’s “H.E.R.,” Sam Smith’s “The Thrill Of It All,” and many more.
SZA’s album did what all those bodies of work did for me but much more. It’s an album I’m still listening to months after it was released and music that my friends and I blast, especially when our favorite part comes on.
For that reason, it is still relevant and should’ve been placed on that list for the best album of the year.