- CTRL

SZA - CTRL
CRITIC SCORE
84
Based on 13 reviews
2017 Rank: #15 / 399
USER SCORE
78
Based on
201 ratings

WHAT DO YOU THINK?
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CRITIC REVIEWS

91
A.V. Club

Ctrl is as tough as Damn is tender, and it knocks as hard as The Sun’s Tirade swoons. It’s weirder than any of them, and maybe funnier, too.

90
Exclaim!
SZA's knack for marrying her assorted tastes into an intriguing sound is her strong suit, and coupled with her distinct vocal and songwriting abilities, she comes across here as a consummate artist.
88
GIGsoup
SZA altered her direction in front of a world waiting on her words by discarding the guarded metaphors to evoke and examine darker realities, and ‘CTRL’ is all the better for it. It is a product that sets a new standard, raising the bar for herself and for other artists young and old.
84
Pitchfork
The long-awaited debut from the Jersey singer is an opulent, raw R&B album that constantly tests the borders of the genre. SZA’s deeply personal lens on modern romance gives these songs endless life.
83
Pretty Much Amazing

Rowe admits she’s no idea what she’s doing when it comes to being an artist, but CTRL doesn’t suggest this at all. Rather it shows someone with a novel prose and delivery who uses these tools to explore music in ways those before her were unable to do.

83
Consequence of Sound

With Ctrl, SZA proves that the cult following that ballooned with the release of her 2014 mixtape, Z, was not some flash in the pan, but a deserved wellspring of attention from an adoring fan base whose faith in what she had yet to produce helped to produce the project that could eventually stand as the best thing she has ever done.

80
Crack Magazine

On Ctrl, SZA’s debut retail album, she explores the full range of her voice over laidback hip-hop production that includes the textural variety of live instrumentation.

80
NME
Across 45 minutes, she breathlessly leaps between genres, and laments on tired and broken relationships in a stream-of-consciousness style that fans of Frank Ocean’s ‘Blonde’ will adore.
80
Clash
Featuring savage and often heartfelt, diary-like ruminations, ‘CTRL’ pushes against the borders of convention lyrically and sonically, placing it on the upper echelons of potential ‘Best Of ’17’ lists.
80
AllMusic
This is a marked improvement and an indication of more great work to come.
80
No Ripcord

Ctrl is a languid, cavernously soulful debut that is never anything but assured – a collection of delicious jams that are equal parts fragile, cozy and piercing.

78
Paste

As a twenty-something woman who’s been single in the age of social media, SZA’s confessional debut album CTRL is strikingly relatable. But what’s remarkable about it is that she has spun her personal experiences into a soulful, touching R&B record with broad appeal beyond her particular demographic.

Jun 10, 2017*
BruhMan
90
Bruh This shit is smooth as hell. Straight to the point & relaxing. The nice thing about SZA is that she's one of the best female R&B singers of this generation and still so down to earth, and so easy to relate to or understand. And production on point goes perfect with her voice. Intro track is a really nice start with a nice Pharrell beat. And the features complemnt the fuck out of this. Kendrick comes threw with his damn flow and even reminded me of Love. And always nice to hear ... read more
Jun 11, 2017
McKnightyxx
80
Don't listen to exception. This album is very good. Exception is too pretentious to enjoy anything thats not obscure or underground.
Jun 9, 2017
89
Flawless production along with the angelic voice of SZA makes this one of the strongest R&B releases of the year.
Jun 20, 2017
JustAReflektor
12
Beyonce side project. (crowd getting pissed off) what? what? I'm not even mad (crowd starts shouting and kicking about) oh, so now I"M the bad guy??
Jun 12, 2017
93
tl;dr—this feels for me much less basic than other's here are suggesting. i enjoy the shit out of this.

there are moments on this that remind me of Blond. Maybe not as lyrically dense as Frank's work, but still honest—about fucking a guy's bro on valentine's day for cheating on her, being self-conscious about not having a bangin' body...the album feels smooth all the way through and of a slightly higher quality than the other alt r&b stuff out now. some pop anthems in ... read more
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Track List
  1. Supermodel
  2. Love Galore (feat. Travis Scott)
  3. Doves In the Wind (feat. Kendrick Lamar)
  4. Drew Barrymore
  5. Prom
  6. The Weekend
  7. Go Gina
  8. Garden (Say It Like Dat)
  9. Broken Clocks
  10. Anything
  11. Wavy (Interlude) [feat. James Fauntleroy]
  12. Normal Girl
  13. Pretty Little Birds (feat. Isaiah Rashad)
  14. 20 Something


Added on: January 24, 2017