The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC REVIEWS -

SZA Ctrl ★★★★ Top Dawg/RCA Wel­come to a gritty, soul­ful and widescreen new R&B land­scape. SZA has pre­vi­ously flouted her cre­den­tials as a performer and song­writer, but this de­but al­bum is a much more strik­ing af­fair than ear­lier re­leases as the New Jer­sey singer shows both tough and vul­ner­a­ble sides with re­mark­able re­sults. First-per­son con­fes­sion­als and eye wit­ness ac­counts about love, fem­i­nism, con­trol and re­la­tion­ships in the age of so­cial me­dia, cou­pled with rich mu­si­cal tex­tures, en­sure that this an al­bum with many lay­ers to peel back and re­ward a deep lis­ten. She’s got a great ear for how lan­guage can soothe and sting, a qual­ity which makes her song­writ­ing really con­nect on

Nor­mal Girl and Love Ga­lore. She’s also strong enough not to be dom­i­nated by such A-list guests as Ken­drick La­mar or Travis Scott. It’s clear who’s in con­trol on this record. face­book.com/sza JIM CAR­ROLL

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