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SZA|SOS

SOS

SZA

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SZA's second album was such a long time coming that it was preceded by a fifth anniversary deluxe edition of her debut (the multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated Ctrl), and enough loose tracks, soundtrack cuts, and featured appearances to make an LP-length playlist. One of the intervening singles, "Hit Different," is vintage enough to be sampled -- slowed down to lend a spectral self-duet quality to "Love Language," among many songs on SOS that portrays romantic torment with conflicted emotions. SZA also draws "SOS" itself as a clip-emptying return, an opening scene soundtracked by muffled gospel soul, kicking down the door and staking claims with assaultive bars about her incontestible omnipotence and impostors hatched since she went supernova. Hour-plus length and stylistic variety likewise signal that SOS could be the overreaching kind of highly anticipated follow-up. Still, it's an advancement from Ctrl in every respect apart from cohesion, a feature purposefully disregarded by SZA and main songwriting/production collaborators Rob Bisel and Carter Lang. Take track two, "Kill Bill," a bleary/psychedelic pop-soul revenge fantasy with a performance of such nuance that escalating madness, delight, and shock can be sensed in SZA's confession to murder. "Gone Girl," yearning for comfort and intimate escape, is one of those sad stealth belters. The chaser is a cold-blooded if humor-laced rap broadside. Not far behind is a lonseome and spiteful country pop-punk rager and another number with some Nashville appeal, a codependent acoustic ballad. Fine as the classification-defying moments are, R&B soliloquies remain SZA's forte. The emotional and sonic complexity of SOS was teased by three such songs, pre-release singles placed toward the end that are crucial to the sequence. The brilliantly lean and scuffed Darkchild collaboration "Shirt" allows all the space needed for the singer to unleash some terse invective directed outward and inward. "I Hate U" is a striking depiction of intimate restlessness rendered as an inching slow jam that stings as much as it seduces. "Good Days" is both downcast and dazzling, covering exhaustion, regret, renewal, and progression in one spangled swoop. One of the latter ballad's finely wrought phrases, "a war in my mind," would have been just as suitable an album title as the distress signal.

© Andy Kellman /TiVo

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SOS

SZA

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1
SOS Explicit
00:01:57

Shawn Everett, Mixing Engineer - SZA, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Dale Becker, Mastering Engineer - Solana Rowe, Composer, Lyricist - Rob Bisel, Composer, Lyricist, Engineer, Mixing Engineer - Jay Versace, Producer - Carson Graham, Engineer - Jahlil Gunter, Composer, Lyricist - Katie Harvey, Assistant Engineer - Noah McCorkle, Assistant Engineer - Gabriel Samuel Hardeman, Composer, Lyricist

(P) 2022 Top Dawg Entertainment, under exclusive license to RCA Records

2
Kill Bill
00:02:33

SZA, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Dale Becker, Mastering Engineer - Solana Rowe, Composer, Lyricist - Carter Lang, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Choir, Guitar, Bass - Rob Bisel, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Choir, Engineer, Guitar, Mixing Engineer, Bass, Misc. Producer - Trey Pearce, Assistant Engineer - Robert N. Johnson, Assistant Engineer - Syd Tagle, Assistant Engineer - Katie Harvey, Assistant Engineer - Noah McCorkle, Assistant Engineer

(P) 2022 Top Dawg Entertainment, under exclusive license to RCA Records

3
Seek & Destroy Explicit
00:03:23

Jaycen Joshua, Mixing Engineer - Scum, Producer, Keyboards - SZA, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Dale Becker, Mastering Engineer - Solana Rowe, Composer, Lyricist - Carter Lang, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Keyboards - Tyran Donaldson, Composer, Lyricist - Rob Bisel, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Engineer, Keyboards, Vocal Engineer - thankgod4cody, Producer, Drums, Keyboards - Cody Fayne, Composer, Lyricist - Jacob Richards, Assistant Engineer - Mike Seaberg, Assistant Engineer - Rachel Blum, Assistant Engineer - DJ Riggins, Assistant Engineer - Hayden Duncan, Assistant Engineer - Katie Harvey, Assistant Engineer - Noah McCorkle, Assistant Engineer

(P) 2022 Top Dawg Entertainment, under exclusive license to RCA Records

4
Low Explicit
00:03:01

Travis Scott, Background Vocal - Aire Atlantica, Producer, Drums - Jon Castelli, Mixing Engineer - SZA, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Dale Becker, Mastering Engineer - Solana Rowe, Composer, Lyricist - Rob Bisel, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Engineer, Keyboards, Vocal - Alessandro Buccellati, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Accordion, Keyboards - Jocelyn A. Donald, Composer, Lyricist - Rashad Johnson, Composer, Lyricist - Josh Deguzman, Engineer - Joseph Pincus, Composer, Lyricist - Derek "206derek" Anderson, Engineer, Mixing Engineer - Robert N. Johnson, Assistant Engineer - Katie Harvey, Assistant Engineer - Noah McCorkle, Assistant Engineer

(P) 2022 Top Dawg Entertainment, under exclusive license to RCA Records

5
Love Language Explicit
00:03:03

Chad Hugo, Composer, Lyricist - Pharrell Williams, Composer, Lyricist - MANNY MARROQUIN, Mixing Engineer - Jon Sher, Assistant Engineer - SZA, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ben Sedano, Assistant Engineer - Dale Becker, Mastering Engineer - Solana Rowe, Composer, Lyricist - Carter Lang, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Tyrone Griffin, Jr., Composer, Lyricist - Jazzaé De Waal, Composer, Lyricist - Rob Bisel, Composer, Lyricist, Engineer, Vocal Producer - Jakob Rabitsch, Composer, Lyricist - thankgod4cody, Producer - Cody Fayne, Composer, Lyricist - Yakob, Producer - Hector Castro, Engineer - Anthony Clemons, Jr., Composer, Lyricist - Robert N. Johnson, Assistant Engineer - Carson Graham, Engineer - Zach Pereyra, Assistant Engineer - Anthony Vilchis, Assistant Engineer - Trey Station, Assistant Engineer - Katie Harvey, Assistant Engineer - Noah McCorkle, Assistant Engineer

(P) 2022 Top Dawg Entertainment, under exclusive license to RCA Records

6
Blind Explicit
00:02:30

Will Miller, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Keyboards - SZA, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Dale Becker, Mastering Engineer - Yuli, Producer, Viola - Solana Rowe, Composer, Lyricist - Carter Lang, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Keyboards - Rob Bisel, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Engineer, Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards, Mixing Engineer - Robert N. Johnson, Assistant Engineer - Carson Graham, Engineer - Katie Harvey, Assistant Engineer - Noah McCorkle, Assistant Engineer - Margaux Alexis Rosalena Whitney, Composer, Lyricist

(P) 2022 Top Dawg Entertainment, under exclusive license to RCA Records

7
Used
00:02:26

Ely Rise, Co-Producer - John Hill, Composer, Lyricist - Granny, Vocal - Dacoury Natche, Composer, Lyricist - Jon Castelli, Mixing Engineer - SZA, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ben Sedano, Assistant Engineer - Dale Becker, Mastering Engineer - Solana Rowe, Composer, Lyricist - Rob Bisel, Engineer, Vocal Producer - Danny McKinnon, Co-Producer - John Key, Co-Producer - Josh Deguzman, Engineer - Don Toliver, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Derek "206derek" Anderson, Mixing Engineer, Vocal Engineer - Ryan "Mellow" Venable, Vocal Engineer - Caleb Toliver, Composer, Lyricist - Dahi, Producer - Noah Hashimoto, Assistant Engineer - Katie Harvey, Assistant Engineer - Noah McCorkle, Assistant Engineer - SZA feat. Don Toliver, AssociatedPerformer - Kaushlesh Purohit, Assistant Engineer

(P) 2022 Top Dawg Entertainment, under exclusive license to RCA Records

8
Snooze Explicit
00:03:21

Leon Thomas, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Background Vocal - Babyface, Producer - Kenny B. Edmonds, Composer, Lyricist - BLK, Producer - Khris Riddick-Tynes, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - SZA, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Dale Becker, Mastering Engineer - Solana Rowe, Composer, Lyricist - Rob Bisel, Engineer, Vocal Producer, Mixing Engineer - Blair Ferguson, Composer, Lyricist - Syd Tagle, Assistant Engineer - Jonathan Lopez Garcia, Assistant Engineer - Katie Harvey, Assistant Engineer - Noah McCorkle, Assistant Engineer

(P) 2022 Top Dawg Entertainment, under exclusive license to RCA Records

9
Notice Me Explicit
00:02:40

Dana Nielsen, Mixing Engineer - Michael Uzowuru, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - SZA, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Dale Becker, Mastering Engineer - Solana Rowe, Composer, Lyricist - Carter Lang, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Rob Bisel, Engineer, AdditionalStudioProducer - Teo Halm, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - thankgod4cody, Producer - Cody Fayne, Composer, Lyricist - Hector Castro, Engineer - Trey Pearce, Assistant Engineer - Robert N. Johnson, Assistant Engineer - Carson Graham, Engineer - Katie Harvey, Assistant Engineer - Noah McCorkle, Assistant Engineer

(P) 2022 Top Dawg Entertainment, under exclusive license to RCA Records

10
Gone Girl Explicit
00:04:04

Charles Harmon, Choir - Emile Haynie, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Stix, Drums - Dana Nielsen, Mixing Engineer - Jeff Bhasker, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Anthony Johnson, Choir - SZA, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Dale Becker, Mastering Engineer - Solana Rowe, Composer, Lyricist - Carter Lang, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Rob Bisel, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Engineer - Chelsea Miller, Choir - thankgod4cody, Producer, Choir - Cody Fayne, Composer, Lyricist - Gregory Landfair, Jr., Composer, Lyricist - Dylan Neustadter, Choir, Engineer - Erik Brooks, Choir - Carson Graham, Engineer - Hayden Duncan, Assistant Engineer - Jewchelle Brown, Choir - Syd Tagle, Choir, Assistant Engineer - Roman Collins, Choir - Katie Harvey, Assistant Engineer - Noah McCorkle, Assistant Engineer - Faith Carey, Choir, Vocal - Joslynn James, Choir - Storm Chapman, Choir - Alexandria Arowora, Choir - Imani Carolyn, Choir

(P) 2022 Top Dawg Entertainment, under exclusive license to RCA Records

11
Smoking on my Ex Pack Explicit
00:01:23

SKIP SCARBOROUGH, Composer, Lyricist - Jon Castelli, Mixing Engineer - SZA, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Dale Becker, Mastering Engineer - Solana Rowe, Composer, Lyricist - Rob Bisel, Engineer - Raina Taylor, Composer, Lyricist - Josh Deguzman, Engineer - Dylan Neustadter, Engineer - Jay Versace, Producer - Jahlil Gunter, Composer, Lyricist - Syd Tagle, Assistant Engineer - Katie Harvey, Assistant Engineer - Noah McCorkle, Assistant Engineer

(P) 2022 Top Dawg Entertainment, under exclusive license to RCA Records

12
Ghost in the Machine Explicit
00:03:38

Tony Berg, Vocal Producer - Ethan Gruska, Vocal Producer - Marshall Vore, Composer, Lyricist - SZA, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Dale Becker, Mastering Engineer - Phoebe Bridgers, Composer, Lyricist, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Solana Rowe, Composer, Lyricist - Carter Lang, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Choir, Drums, Keyboards, Piano - Rob Bisel, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Choir, Drums, Engineer, Keyboards, Piano, Mixing Engineer - Will Maclellan, Vocal Engineer - Sadhguru, Vocal - Matt Cohn, Composer, Lyricist, Drums, AdditionalStudioProducer - Robert N. Johnson, Assistant Engineer - Hayden Duncan, Assistant Engineer - Syd Tagle, Assistant Engineer - Katie Harvey, Assistant Engineer - Noah McCorkle, Assistant Engineer - SZA feat. Phoebe Bridgers, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2022 Top Dawg Entertainment, under exclusive license to RCA Records

13
F2F Explicit
00:03:05

Dana Nielsen, Mixing Engineer - SZA, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Dale Becker, Mastering Engineer - Lizzo, Background Vocal - Solana Rowe, Composer, Lyricist - Carter Lang, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Drums, Guitar, Keyboards, Bass - Rob Bisel, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Engineer, Guitar, Keyboards, Bass - Robert N. Johnson, Assistant Engineer - Noah Hashimoto, Assistant Engineer - Katie Harvey, Assistant Engineer - Noah McCorkle, Assistant Engineer

(P) 2022 Top Dawg Entertainment, under exclusive license to RCA Records

14
Nobody Gets Me Explicit
00:03:00

Benjamin Levin, Composer, Lyricist - Benny Blanco, Producer - Serban Ghenea, Mixing Engineer - Patrick Gardner, Assistant Engineer - SZA, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Background Vocal - Dale Becker, Mastering Engineer - Solana Rowe, Composer, Lyricist - Carter Lang, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Rob Bisel, Composer, Lyricist, Engineer, Background Vocal - Bryce Bordone, Engineer - Robert N. Johnson, Assistant Engineer - Jonathan Lopez Garcia, Assistant Engineer - Katie Harvey, Assistant Engineer - Noah McCorkle, Assistant Engineer

(P) 2022 Top Dawg Entertainment, under exclusive license to RCA Records

15
Conceited Explicit
00:02:31

Jon Castelli, Mixing Engineer - SZA, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Dale Becker, Mastering Engineer - Solana Rowe, Composer, Lyricist - Rob Bisel, Composer, Lyricist, Engineer - thankgod4cody, Producer - Cody Fayne, Composer, Lyricist - Josh Deguzman, Engineer - Hector Castro, Engineer - Robert N. Johnson, Assistant Engineer - Hayden Duncan, Assistant Engineer - Syd Tagle, Assistant Engineer - Katie Harvey, Assistant Engineer - Noah McCorkle, Assistant Engineer - Austin Christy, Assistant Engineer

(P) 2022 Top Dawg Entertainment, under exclusive license to RCA Records

16
Special Explicit
00:02:38

Shellback, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Programmer, Misc. Producer - Benjamin Levin, Composer, Lyricist - Benny Blanco, Producer, Keyboards, Programmer, Background Vocal, Misc. Producer - Serban Ghenea, Mixing Engineer - SZA, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Background Vocal - Dale Becker, Mastering Engineer - Solana Rowe, Composer, Lyricist - Rob Bisel, Composer, Lyricist, Engineer, Background Vocal - Omer Fedi, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Keyboards, Programmer, Misc. Producer - Blake Slatkin, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Programmer, Misc. Producer - Bryce Bordone, Engineer - Hayden Duncan, Assistant Engineer - Syd Tagle, Assistant Engineer - Katie Harvey, Assistant Engineer - Noah McCorkle, Assistant Engineer - Jeremy Dilli, Assistant Engineer

(P) 2022 Top Dawg Entertainment, under exclusive license to RCA Records

17
Too Late
00:02:44

Jaycen Joshua, Mixing Engineer - SZA, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Dale Becker, Mastering Engineer - Solana Rowe, Composer, Lyricist - Carter Lang, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Keyboards, Bass - Rob Bisel, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Engineer, Keyboards, Bass, Vocal Engineer - thankgod4cody, Producer, Drums - Cody Fayne, Composer, Lyricist - Sammy Witte, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Guitar - Jacob Richards, Assistant Engineer - Mike Seaberg, Assistant Engineer - Rachel Blum, Assistant Engineer - Still Woozy, Producer, Guitar - DJ Riggins, Assistant Engineer - Trey Pearce, Assistant Engineer - Robert N. Johnson, Assistant Engineer - Sven Gamsky, Composer, Lyricist - Carson Graham, Engineer - Syd Tagle, Assistant Engineer - Katie Harvey, Assistant Engineer - Noah McCorkle, Assistant Engineer

(P) 2022 Top Dawg Entertainment, under exclusive license to RCA Records

18
Far Explicit
00:03:00

MANNY MARROQUIN, Mixing Engineer - Beat Butcha, Producer - Scum, Producer - Eliot Dubock, Composer, Lyricist - SZA, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Dale Becker, Mastering Engineer - Solana Rowe, Composer, Lyricist - Carter Lang, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Tyran Donaldson, Composer, Lyricist - Rob Bisel, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Engineer - Carlos "Loshendrix" Munoz, Composer, Lyricist - Los Hendrix, Producer - Sadhguru, Vocal - Robert N. Johnson, Assistant Engineer - Carson Graham, Engineer - Zach Pereyra, Assistant Engineer - Anthony Vilchis, Assistant Engineer - Trey Station, Assistant Engineer - Katie Harvey, Assistant Engineer - Noah McCorkle, Assistant Engineer - Jeremy Dilli, Assistant Engineer

(P) 2022 Top Dawg Entertainment, under exclusive license to RCA Records

19
Shirt Explicit
00:03:01

Rodney Jerkins, Composer, Lyricist - Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins, Producer - SZA, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ben Sedano, Assistant Engineer - Dale Becker, Mastering Engineer - Solana Rowe, Composer, Lyricist - Rob Bisel, Engineer, Mixing Engineer, Recording Engineer - Derek Keota, Engineer, Recording Engineer - Rob Gueringer, Composer, Lyricist - Hector Castro, Engineer, Recording Engineer - Freaky Rob, Producer - Robert N. Johnson, Assistant Engineer - Micah Petit, Engineer, Recording Engineer - Katie Harvey, Assistant Engineer - Noah McCorkle, Assistant Engineer

(P) 2022 Top Dawg Entertainment, under exclusive license to RCA Records

20
Open Arms
00:03:59

Travis Scott, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Granny, Vocal - Jacques Webster, Composer, Lyricist - Douglas Ford, Composer, Lyricist - Michael Uzowuru, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - SZA, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Background Vocal - Dale Becker, Mastering Engineer - Solana Rowe, Composer, Lyricist - Rob Bisel, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Engineer, Mixing Engineer, Background Vocal - SZA feat. Travis Scott, AssociatedPerformer - Teo Halm, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Drums, Guitar, Keyboards - Derek "206derek" Anderson, Engineer, Mixing Engineer - Robert N. Johnson, Assistant Engineer - Katie Harvey, Assistant Engineer - Noah McCorkle, Assistant Engineer - Shelby Epstine, Assistant Engineer

(P) 2022 Top Dawg Entertainment, under exclusive license to RCA Records

21
I Hate U Explicit
00:02:54

SZA, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Solana Rowe, Composer, Lyricist - Carter Lang, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Rob Bisel, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Engineer, Mastering Engineer, Mixing Engineer - thankgod4cody, Producer - Cody Fayne, Composer, Lyricist - Hector Castro, Engineer - Robert N. Johnson, Assistant Engineer - Dylan Patrice, Composer, Lyricist, Producer

(P) 2021 Top Dawg Entertainment, under exclusive license to RCA Records

22
Good Days Explicit
00:04:39

Shawn Everett, Mixing Engineer - Carlos Munoz, Composer, Lyricist - Joe Visciano, Vocal Engineer - SZA, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Dale Becker, Mastering Engineer - Solana Rowe, Composer, Lyricist - Carter Lang, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Jacob Collier, Composer, Lyricist - Rob Bisel, Vocal Producer, Recording Engineer - Loshendrix, Producer - Nascent, Producer - Christopher Ruelas, Composer, Lyricist - Katie Harvey, Assistant Engineer - Noah McCorkle, Assistant Engineer

(P) 2020 Top Dawg Entertainment, under exclusive license to RCA Records

23
Forgiveless Explicit
00:02:21

Ol' Dirty Bastard, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Rodney Jerkins, Composer, Lyricist - Guy Sigsworth, Composer, Lyricist - Mark Bell, Composer, Lyricist - Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins, Producer - Jaycen Joshua, Mixing Engineer - Russell Tyrone Jones, Composer, Lyricist - Björk Guðmundsdóttir, Composer, Lyricist - SZA, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Dale Becker, Mastering Engineer - Solana Rowe, Composer, Lyricist - Rob Bisel, Engineer - Derek Keota, Engineer - Jacob Richards, Assistant Engineer - Mike Seaberg, Assistant Engineer - Rachel Blum, Assistant Engineer - DJ Riggins, Assistant Engineer - Micah Petit, Engineer - Katie Harvey, Assistant Engineer - Noah McCorkle, Assistant Engineer - SZA feat. Ol' Dirty Bastard, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2022 Top Dawg Entertainment, under exclusive license to RCA Records

Album review

SZA's second album was such a long time coming that it was preceded by a fifth anniversary deluxe edition of her debut (the multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated Ctrl), and enough loose tracks, soundtrack cuts, and featured appearances to make an LP-length playlist. One of the intervening singles, "Hit Different," is vintage enough to be sampled -- slowed down to lend a spectral self-duet quality to "Love Language," among many songs on SOS that portrays romantic torment with conflicted emotions. SZA also draws "SOS" itself as a clip-emptying return, an opening scene soundtracked by muffled gospel soul, kicking down the door and staking claims with assaultive bars about her incontestible omnipotence and impostors hatched since she went supernova. Hour-plus length and stylistic variety likewise signal that SOS could be the overreaching kind of highly anticipated follow-up. Still, it's an advancement from Ctrl in every respect apart from cohesion, a feature purposefully disregarded by SZA and main songwriting/production collaborators Rob Bisel and Carter Lang. Take track two, "Kill Bill," a bleary/psychedelic pop-soul revenge fantasy with a performance of such nuance that escalating madness, delight, and shock can be sensed in SZA's confession to murder. "Gone Girl," yearning for comfort and intimate escape, is one of those sad stealth belters. The chaser is a cold-blooded if humor-laced rap broadside. Not far behind is a lonseome and spiteful country pop-punk rager and another number with some Nashville appeal, a codependent acoustic ballad. Fine as the classification-defying moments are, R&B soliloquies remain SZA's forte. The emotional and sonic complexity of SOS was teased by three such songs, pre-release singles placed toward the end that are crucial to the sequence. The brilliantly lean and scuffed Darkchild collaboration "Shirt" allows all the space needed for the singer to unleash some terse invective directed outward and inward. "I Hate U" is a striking depiction of intimate restlessness rendered as an inching slow jam that stings as much as it seduces. "Good Days" is both downcast and dazzling, covering exhaustion, regret, renewal, and progression in one spangled swoop. One of the latter ballad's finely wrought phrases, "a war in my mind," would have been just as suitable an album title as the distress signal.

© Andy Kellman /TiVo

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