Ctrl (Top Dawg/RCA)
Oh my god, you’re making me pick just one? You’re killing me, but ok, here we go. When I think of the album that makes me feel all the damn emotions in the book, I go to SZA’s debut studio album, Ctrl. Ctrl was released on June 9th, 2017 which happened to be my 17th birthday. I remember so vividly driving in my car on the day the record was released and feeling like I was floating on a cloud. Her passionate vocals dripped through the stereo into my soul. I instantly fell in love.
This R&B, neo-soul masterpiece proved to be my coming of age anthem and I still listen to songs off of the record everyday. There is not a single song from the album that disappoints, but the songs that really strike a chord in me are “Super Model,” “Prom,” and “Broken Clocks.” All three of these songs explore themes of trust, insecurity, and the complexity of figuring out what it is to be a young woman dealing with the trials and tribulations of love and sex. In “Super Model” when she sings, “I don’t see myself. Why I can’t stay alone just by myself? Wish I was comfortable with myself, but I need you,” it always makes me want to cry, then somehow I feel….better. PERIOD. SZA’s honesty and bluntness makes me feel understood. As a young woman in the music industry I look up to her and her ability to storytell so much.
Ctrl held so much meaning to me as a seventeen year old and now even more, three years later finding my footing in adulthood and the music world. I can only hope that my music impacts someone the way Ctrl affected me. “Blackout” is my debut single and hopefully brings some of the same empowerment to my fans….you be the judge!
CLO‘s “Blackout”is out now.