Ctrl

Ctrl

by SZA

CD

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Overview

Solana Rowe's proper debut album, due to its title, invites comparisons to Janet Jackson's 1986 personal and commercial breakout. It's an individual statement, however, one distinct from even the contemporary likes of Kehlani's SweetSexySavage. Placed beside only Z, its three-year-old prelude, Ctrl is the work of a considerably less-inhibited songwriter. Rowe likewise truly fronts these frank songs that wield power as they lament lonesomeness, insecurity, and inertia. She neither projects slight wisps nor obscures herself inside swirling synthesizers, yet she oversells not a single thought. On screen, a slight shrug from her would probably devastate an expectant admirer. In the slow-motion hip-hop soul of "Doves in the Wind," featuring a hectoring verse from fellow TDE artist Kendrick Lamar, Rowe schools inapt and inept male behavior, offering intimate counsel and acerbic derision in a uniquely offhanded style. As assured as she is in this mode, she's not too proud to test a partner ("Call me on my bullshit, lie to me and say my booty gettin' bigger even if it ain't"), express personal dissatisfaction ("All alone still, not a thing in my name"), or plainly grieve ("Do you even know I'm alive?"). The production crew here is almost completely different from the one involved on Z, with TDE regular Tyran Donaldson (aka Antydote and Scum) the lone holdover, present on seven tracks. For every overdone trap trick, there's a couple of sly wrinkles, like the thick, chiming groove in "Go Gina," where Rowe brilliantly illustrates a specific kind of fatigue ("Picking up a penny with a press-on is easier than holding you down") and the woozy, decayed synthesizer line in the Travis Scott-assisted single "Love Galore," ideal for a song about rekindling a dead-end affair. This is a marked improvement and an indication of more great work to come.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/09/2017
Label: Rca
UPC: 0889854491925
catalogNumber: 544919
Rank: 2898

Album Credits

Performance Credits

SZA   Primary Artist
Pharrell Williams   Vocals
Peter Cottontale   Bass
Macie Stewart   Strings
Stix   Drums

Technical Credits

Donna Summer   Composer
Giorgio Moroder   Composer
Pete Bellotte   Composer
Reggie Noble   Composer
Pharrell Williams   Composer
Dana Stinson   Composer
Tim Mosley   Composer
JT   Engineer
Justin Timberlake   Composer
Roberto Reyes   Graphic Design,Packaging
Anthony "TOPDAWG" Tiffith   Executive Producer
James Fauntleroy   Composer,Engineer
Josef Leimberg   Composer,Producer
Sage Adams   Visual Direction
James Hunt   Engineer
Frank Dukes   Additional Production
Nate Hills   Composer
Blake Harden   Engineer
Nick Breton   Vocal Engineer
Peter Wilkins   Composer
James Yancey   Composer
Kendrick Duckworth   Composer
Terrence Henderson   Composer
Daniel Tannenbaum   Composer
Craig Balmoris   Composer,Additional Production
John Bowman   Composer
Angela Simmons   Composer
Greg Landfair   Composer
Carter Lang   Composer,Producer,Additional Production
Adam Feeney   Composer
Vlad Sepetov   Graphic Design,Packaging
Jacques Webster   Composer
SZA   Visual Direction
Trevor Smith   Composer
Thomas Paxton-Beesley   Composer
Matt Schaeffer   Engineer
Macie Stewart   Composer
Cameron Osteen   Composer
Solana Rowe   Composer
Lukasz Plas   Composer,Engineer
Chris "Classick" Inumerable   Engineer
Tyran Donaldson   Composer
Cam O'Bi   Producer
Bekon   Producer,Engineer
Cyrus Taghipour   Engineer
Tyler Page   Engineer
Ray Charles Brown   Engineer
Isaiah McClain   Composer
Juan Corales   Engineer
Jared Gagarin   Engineer
Ivan Corpening   Engineer
Cody Fayne   Composer
Scum   Producer,Engineer
ThankGod4Cody   Producer
Donuts   Producer
Prophit   Producer,Engineer
Hector Castro   Engineer

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