SZA Surprises Fans with ‘Ctrl (Deluxe)’

Mack Mendenhall

“My album’s finally ready to go, more than I’ve ever felt before. So this summer, it’ll be like a ‘SZA summer,’” the R&B singer told a reporter at the 2022 Met Gala in May.

 

“SZA summer” sounds about right.

After five years of promoting her debut album Ctrl, releasing hit singles such as “Good Days” and features on other artists’ songs, a new album from SZA is huge news. But what she didn’t reveal is that she’s not quite ready to leave the world of her iconic debut just yet. On June 9, SZA kicked off Summer 2022 – aka “SZA summer” – with a surprise re-release of Ctrl featuring seven bonus tracks. The deluxe album dropped exactly five years after its original release.

SZA’s popularity has skyrocketed since Ctrl first came out. From winning her first Grammy Award for her feature on Doja Cat’s “Kiss Me More” to releasing the number one SoundCloud track “I Hate U” after fans made it viral on Tik Tok, the 32-year-old New Jersey native continues to dominate the music industry. She’s known for many of her famous collaborations with artists like Kendrick Lamar (“All The Stars“), DJ Khaled (“Just Us“), Kali Uchis (“Fue Mejor“), and Summer Walker (“No Love“).

Previously unreleased songs featured on Ctrl (Deluxe) include the popular SoundCloud track “2AM,” which samples PARTYNEXTDOOR and Drake’s “Come and See Me,” and an alternate version of “Love Galore,” which omits Travis Scott’s rap and replaces it with an extra verse by SZA. The singer confirmed via Twitter that all the bonus tracks were recorded during the years of 2014-2017 and are not new material.

Undoubtedly, SZA has made huge waves in the music industry in her short career and represents a new generation of female R&B/hip hop artists. But one of her most impressive feats is the chart performance of Ctrl. Since its June 2017 release, the debut has remained on the Billboard 200 for 260 weeks – a record for an album by a Black female artist. A testament to SZA’s lasting relevance and influence, Ctrl is still yet to leave the chart after five years.

SZA’s sophomore album is highly anticipated given her recent success. But until it drops, fans and music critics can reflect on the impact and brilliance of Ctrl while eagerly awaiting the R&B icon’s next era.

Revisit my track-by-track album review of Ctrl.

 

Listen below to Ctrl (Deluxe).

 

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