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The Student News Site of Van Nuys High School

The Mirror

The Student News Site of Van Nuys High School

The Mirror

S.O.S! SZA’s new album is sparking charts!

When the clock struck 12 a.m. on Friday December 9, many fans and fellow artists took to Instagram, Twitter and TikTok to post the emotions and fever that went through their heads as they streamed the album. 
SOSs+album+cover+drew+inspiration+from+an+image+of+Princess+Diana+sitting+on+a+diving+board+on+a+yacht%2C+at+sea.
DANIEL SANNWALD
SOS’s album cover drew inspiration from an image of Princess Diana sitting on a diving board on a yacht, at sea.

Fans have been anxious for R&B singer SZA to release a full-length album since her last one in 2017 “Ctrl”. Since then, she’s put out singles like “Shirt”, “Good Days”, and “I Hate U” (just to name a few) that have sparked charts. Even so, many fans, like myself,  have still been eagerly waiting for a full-length album to be delivered. 

On the singer’s first SNL appearance, she reveals that her new album “SOS” is set to drop on December 9 and since her announcement, fans have been counting down in anticipation for its release. Especially with features of Phoebe Bridgers, Don Toliver, and Travis Scott on the tracks, her followers can’t seem to contain their excitement. 

When the clock struck 12 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 9, many fans and fellow artists took to Instagram, Twitter and TikTok to post the emotions and fever that went through their heads as they streamed the album.

“I was listening to the whole album at night in my car and it was just a vibe,” senior AJ Escobar said. “The release of her singles “Good Days” and “Shirt” were good but the whole album just added another element.”

Like many fans and listeners expressed, “SOS” did exceed many expectations. On the day of the album’s release, “SOS” was already the No. 1 album on worldwide Apple Music and worldwide iTunes album charts. Many of the lyrics and hidden references are all the reasons why the tracks on the album are placed No. 1, 2, 3 back to back on Billboard Music charts.

Right from the start of the track “SOS” opens the album with SZA’s powerful and resilient vocals preaching on her wants and thoughts coming back to her fans. “Case all you hoes forgot. Know you been more than lost without me,” SZA vocalizes. “Coming back, I’m so greasy.” Opening the album with this song gave listeners the feeling that the singer truly made a comeback with tracks bigger and better than the rest. 

The album elevates its place in her discography when the second track “Kill Bill” plays. SZA speaks on her urge to put an end to her past relationship and their significant other. “If I can’t have you, no one will, oh. I might kill my ex,” Solana expressed. Her smooth runs and catchy lyrics place the song in many people’s “liked” lists, and fans on TikTok already took to making their own version. The top sound using SZA’s “Kill Bill” on the platform already has 63,300 posts. In these short videos, many fans share the relatability they have to the lyrics coupled with the melodies SZA curated. 

Not only were references snuck into SZA’s lyrics, but she references the iconic paparazzi photo of Princess Diana in her album cover. In a Hot 97 interview SZA expands on the photo saying, “I pulled the Diana reference because I just loved how isolated she felt, and that was what I wanted to convey the most.” Seeing the photo of Diana as she sits perched on a diving board expels that feeling of being alone and pressured in an environment full of critics and followers. Those emotions SZA hopes to express are evident in the art but the body language and position she sits in tells a different story. In the cover Solana looks out into the vast ocean, conveying emotional release and hope. 

In my personal favorite, SZA collaborates with hip-hop artist Don Toliver on the track “Used”. Both artists share moments being in an emotionally draining and detached relationship as Solana sings, “Talkin’ ‘bout my sanitys’ at a 6.7”. She runs back again singing, “And I’m out of patience, I burned it with you. Can’t lose myself to your ego,”

Through these lyrics the R&B singer expresses that she’s used to being in that state of insanity with another person. Toliver’s hypnotic vocals build on the deep lyrics SZA reveals in the song as he sings, “I’m out of touch, I need a level that’s a mile away.” Both artists’ lyrical genius coupled with their impressive vocals easily place this song in the top 3 on her album. 

To top it all off, SZA dropped the music video for her song “Kill Bill” on Jan. 10, and since the video’s release, it has reached 5.7 million views and is still on YouTube’s trending list for music. Just like the song’s title “Kill Bill”, the singer recreates iconic scenes from the movie starring Uma Thurman. Just like the actress in the movie, SZA dresses in the iconic suit Thurman wears in a red shade, as she fights off the assassins protecting the “ex” she plans to kill.  

There are so many hidden messages SZA preaches in her songs from dealing with the pain of heartbreak to seeking self-confidence in songs like “Smoking on My Ex Pack” and “Far”. In the track “Far,” Sza opens the song with a short recording between her and Sadhguru. The very influential and spiritual man he is gave Solana eye-opening advice saying, “Oh that’s great. If nobody wants you, you’re free.” When she asks the personal question many people can relate to, “How do I deal with rejection?”. These small memos and messages in the tracks keep her songs on repeat for me and many other fans who feel these intimate and unique lyrics. 

There is much more to the 23-track album than can be put into words. Artist Solana Rowe speaks on her life and experiences, Because the waves of emotions and messages are difficult to fit into one page, but it’s best to experience for yourself once you jump off the diving board and swim through the euphoria of melodies in SOS. 

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About the Contributor
Katrina Gomez
Katrina Gomez, Arts & Entertainment Editor
Katrina Gomez is the Arts and Entertainment Editor. She is a senior in her first year of journalism. In her free time, she enjoys going thrift shopping or grabbing boba with friends. She also really enjoys listening to R&B music and jazz. Some of her favorite artists are Steve Lacy, Laufey, SZA, and Ella Fitzgerald. She likes to hang out in cafes where she can study and read books to wind down. After high school, she plans going to a university or college to pursue a career in nursing.
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