Ctrl (SZA album)

Ctrl (pronounced "control") is the debut studio album by American singer SZA. It was released on June 9, 2017, on Top Dawg Entertainment and RCA Records.[2] It features guest appearances from Travis Scott, Kendrick Lamar, James Fauntleroy, and Isaiah Rashad. Originally scheduled for release in late 2015, it was delayed by SZA's experience of "a kind of blinding paralysis brought on by anxiety." She reworked the album until her record company took away her hard drive in the spring of 2017.[3]

SZA sits on grass, facing the camera. Behind her are various computer monitors and keyboards in a pile.
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 9, 2017 (2017-06-09)
  • No Excuses
  • The Lake House in Michigan
  • EngineEars
  • Platinum Sounds
  • Top Dawg House of Pain
  • Josef Leimberg's studios
  • Windmark
  • 1500 or Nothin' Studios
  • Bēkon
  • Hector Castro
  • Cam O'bi
  • Carter Lang
  • Josef Leimberg
  • Scum
  • ThankGod4Cody
SZA chronology
Singles from Ctrl
  1. "Drew Barrymore"
    Released: January 13, 2017
  2. "Love Galore"
    Released: April 28, 2017
  3. "The Weekend"
    Released: September 26, 2017
  4. "Broken Clocks"
    Released: January 9, 2018
  5. "Garden (Say It Like Dat)"
    Released: June 19, 2018[1]

SZA wrote most of the album's lyrics and collaborated with producers including Craig Balmoris, Frank Dukes, Carter Lang, Scum and ThankGod4Cody to achieve its sound. The efforts resulted in a primarily neo-soul and R&B album, with elements of hip-hop, electronic, pop, indie and soul. Lyrically, the album has a confessional theme, which touch upon SZA's personal experiences and complexities of modern love; including desire, competition, jealousy, sexual politics, social media, and low self-esteem.

Ctrl was supported by five singles: "Drew Barrymore", "Love Galore", "The Weekend", "Broken Clocks", and "Garden (Say It Like Dat)". Upon release, it received widespread acclaim from music critics, many of whom praised its cohesiveness and production, as well as SZA's vocal delivery. The album debuted at number three on the US Billboard 200, moving 60,000 equivalent-album units in its first week. The album and its songs were nominated for four Grammy Awards, while SZA was nominated for Best New Artist. It was also included in several year-end best music lists by publications. In 2020, the album was ranked at 472 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list.[4]


After meeting members of Top Dawg Entertainment during the CMJ 2011, a friend attending the show with her foisted early SZA songs onto TDE president Terrence "Punch" Henderson, who liked the material and stayed in touch.[5] Two years later, in June 2013, Top Dawg Entertainment announced they were planning to sign two more artists.[6][7] On July 14, it was revealed Top Dawg had signed an upcoming female singer named SZA to the label; through this deal, SZA released Z (2014).[8] Following the release of Z, SZA began working on her debut album and writing for other musicians including Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj, and Anti's opening track "Consideration" for Rihanna, which she featured on. The debut album faced various setbacks, initially promised at the end of 2015, then at the start of 2016. In October 2016, she criticized her label for the delays and stated she would be quitting.[9]

SZA revealed that her debut would be similar to S (2013) and would include trap influences with more aggressive lyrics, she also announced that she began working with James Fauntleroy, Hit-Boy, and long time collaborator Felix Snow.[10] Speaking on the conception of the album, SZA stated that she had spent four years just doing music: "I've been burying friends, burying family members, burying weight, the way I feel about myself, the way I feel about God, the way I process information."[11] The album was also inspired by SZA's view of control in her life. Speaking on this she stated "Ctrl is a concept. I've lacked control my whole life and I think I've craved it my whole life."[11]

Writing and recordingEdit

The album's sessions began in 2014 and took place at the TDE Red Room in Carson, California. The album's recording process was described as being analog and featured the unplugging and re-plugging of wires in order to create the desired sound. During the album's studio sessions, SZA and the album's producers would go into the studio, and filter through the recorded songs and beats to decide if the songs were good or worth experimenting with in order to make better. SZA would search songs that were in the top forty charts during various years including the 1940s and 1980s, she would then listen to their style, beats and synths to gain some inspiration.[12] Throughout the album's recording process, record producer Rick Rubin helped SZA's creative process. "I had this mentality that 'more is more' -- more reverb, more background [vocals]," stating "I played him a bunch of songs, and he would tell me, 'The more you take away from any piece, the more room you create for everything else to be beautiful and grow.' I never felt that before, the editing urge. Once you strip everything down, you're forced to say something."[13]

In 2015, SZA was introduced to Carter Lang by Peter Cottontale in Chicago. After performing together at Lollapalooza that same year, SZA and Lang along with producer Tyron "Scum" Donaldson began to develop a rapport on the road to creating her debut album. The three held studio sessions across the country from Los Angeles to Chicago and even setting up shop in Carter's Michigan home in 2016, where they constructed the Travis Scott-assisted "Love Galore" in Lang's mom's office using studio equipment he brought there. Lang, Tyron Donaldson, ThankGod4Cody and other producers would challenge each other and send each other different music to work on. SZA would then listen the music and want to create from that. During the producers' competition of who could create the better song, they collectively created "Broken Clocks". "Drew Barrymore" was conceived at Lang's studio in Chicago in 2016. Lang ended up notching production credits on eight tracks from the album.[14]

The album was recorded in Carson, California.

SZA contributed heavily to the album's lyrics, co-writing all fourteen tracks. SZA would freestyle the songs in a hope to "let the moments happen in the studio."[15] Initially she tried to record phone notes and write down ideas in journals in order to help her write.[15] SZA's record label TDE confiscated her hard drive during the album's recording, because SZA could not decide on the songs she wanted on the finished album, from the 150 – 200 she recorded.[16] She also detailed how her anxiety issues affected her songwriting process: "I freestyle everything, all the way down. And I listen back and think, what’s shitty? And if something’s too shitty and I can’t put my finger on it, and I think, wow this sucks to me, then I get way frustrated, and usually scrap the song."[16]

When recording the album, SZA would record from drafts of paper, recording one draft all the way down, before listening back and rephrasing it. However, with the album's opening track "Supermodel", SZA took on a different approach, stating, "Normally if I hear a beat, I hear an idea unfold. I see where it could go. But when I heard “Supermodel,” I couldn’t even imagine what the song would sound like. I just wanted. I just wanted to sing. I wanted to think."[12]

SZA recorded "Drew Barrymore" after hearing a production that reminded her of the film Poison Ivy, noting the emotion Ivy felt in film was something SZA connected with, stating her character was "lashing out because she was lonely and pissed that her life was like this".[12]

"The Weekend" was produced by ThankGod4Cody who was given the idea to sample "Set the Mood (Prelude)/Until the End of Time" from a member of his team. After being handed the sample he added chords, a "glittery layer", and bass. After some experimentation with the vocals from the sample, the drums, and some additions in the reverb, he placed the song's snares and hi-hats, and rounded it all out with a cymbal, as he told Genius. The production was made with SZA in mind.[17] SZA said about the sample in an interview with Associated Press, "I didn't even think about anything I was saying. I was just happy to be singing over that Justin Timberlake sample... I was just like, ‘This is for fun. This is crazy."[18]


Ctrl is a fourteen track set that departs from traditional R&B leanings. Ctrl's songs are predominantly alternative R&B, R&B[19][20] and neo soul.[21][22] The album tests the borders of traditional R&B, drawing influences from trap and indie rock.[20][23][24] The album contains a precise sonic methodology, with a fluent production, containing influences from pop, hip-hop and electronic genres. These influences were compared to a mixture of different artists' work, including Sade, Lauryn Hill, Purity Ring, Yuki, Björk, Arca and Billie Holiday.[22] The production was characterised as predominantly hip-hop-influenced with hints of soul and pop.[22] The album has a confessional theme, which touch upon SZA's personal experiences of love. The album's lyrical content was seen as being "frank" and was noted as an insight into the complexities of modern love; of how desire, competition, jealousy, sexual politics, social media and low self-esteem can derail a relationship.[25] A reviewer from Pitchfork described the album's lyrics as being "honest" and "often comically blunt".[23] SZA's vocals were noted for containing echoes that were achieved by turning down the reverb; this was done to give the album an "intimate, confessional tone".[25]

The album opens with "Supermodel", which is built over an electric guitar riff, and reads as an "exposed diary entry" that lyrically talks about relationship betrayal and fallout. The song talks about SZA's ex-partner who left her on Valentine's Day.[22][23] "Love Galore" is a trap-ballad that features American rapper Travis Scott.[26] Speaking on their collaboration, SZA stated "I think he merges that super-fine line between melody and syncopation and pocket. And I love his pockets, and I love his note choice. He's just gnarly. He's perfect."[27] "Doves in the Wind" features rapper Kendrick Lamar and is built over a "woozy" production. The song's themes revolves around sexual freedom, yet still having a hunger for intimacy. "Doves in the Wind" makes a reference to Forrest Gump, describing the character as the kind of man who sees women as more than sexual objects.[23]

"Drew Barrymore" is a "sluggish" R&B song with introspective lyrics, whilst "Prom" is a pop song, that was noted for being built over muted guitars which were compared to those of the Police, whilst the lyrics discuss teen angst.[28] "The Weekend", features writing from Justin Timberlake, Timbaland, and Danja, who were credited as the song samples "Set the Mood (Prelude)/Until the End of Time" from the 2006 album FutureSex/LoveSounds.[17] "The Weekend" is an R&B[29] and neo soul[30] track. Although some publications call the song's narrator a "side chick", SZA sings from the perspective of a woman who only sees her partner on the weekend, while other girls have him during the week.[18] "Go Gina" is a reference to Tisha Campbell's role of Gina on the '90s sitcom Martin. Lyrically, the song reflects on an environment that dislikes determined women, the song goes on to discuss how people try to simplify her problems in a self-serving way.[31]

"Broken Clocks" enfolds SZA amid blurry keyboard tones and a watery sample of men's voices as she ponders memories of an old romance that still haunts her."[32] Joshua Espinoza of Complex regarded the song as "a mid-tempo cut about optimism and perseverance".[33]

Release and promotionEdit

SZA performing in Toronto, Canada on the Ctrl the Tour in August 2017.

SZA premiered "Drew Barrymore" on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. She also announced the title of her debut studio album, initially titled A, but was later renamed to Ctrl.[34] On April 28, 2017, SZA announced she had signed her first major-label recording contract with RCA Records.[35][36] Following the announcement of Ctrl, SZA releases a promotional video narrated by rapper RZA. RZA opened with a dialogue stating "I’m zoning in with my homegirl, SZA—Self Savior, Zig-Zag-Zig Allah." Followed by a short verse "Yeah, I think you can take that far, Mama. Ya know what I mean? Cut loose the drama, no melodrama. Rise to the top, claim ya karma. And it’s my honor to drop this lesson, it’s my honor to give this blessing."[37] On June 2, 2017, "Broken Clocks" was released as a promotional single, before being sent to urban contemporary radio in January 2018, serving as the album's fourth single.[38][39] On June 8, 2017, "Doves in the Wind" was released as a promotional single.[40][41]

On July 5, 2017, SZA announced an official North American headlining concert tour titled Ctrl the Tour to further promote the album. The tour began on August 20, 2017, in Providence, Rhode Island, at Fête Music Hall, and concluded on December 22, 2017, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at The Fillmore Philadelphia.[42] Despite there being no European leg of the tour, on July 10, 2017, American singer and rapper Bryson Tiller announced that SZA would be opening for the European portion of his Set It Off Tour in support of his studio album True to Self from October 17, 2017, to November 30, 2017, separate from Ctrl the Tour.[43] Due to tickets for Ctrl the Tour quickly selling out, this prompted additional dates to be added. Due to health problems, the first three dates of the tour were rescheduled, causing the tour to begin on August 20 instead of August 16 as originally scheduled.[44][45] On July 31, 2017, SZA released a music video for "Supermodel", exclusively on Apple Music.[46]

On December 9, 2017, SZA appeared on Saturday Night Live making her the third artist from her label to appear on the program following Lamar and Rock. The performance received critical acclaim for its power and a new verse she added to her song "Love Galore" in the absence of Travis Scott.[47]

Ctrl the Tour
Tour by SZA
Associated albumCtrl
Start dateAugust 20, 2017 (2017-08-20)
End dateJanuary 31, 2018 (2018-01-31)
No. of shows
  • 52 in North America
  • 1 in Oceania
  • 53 total

Set listEdit

This set list is representative of the show on August 20, 2017 in Providence, Rhode Island. It does not represent the set list from all of the shows. It consists of twelve tracks from Ctrl (2017) and three tracks from Z (2014).[48]

  1. "Supermodel"
  2. "Anything"
  3. "Broken Clocks"
  4. "Go Gina"
  5. "Drew Barrymore"
  6. "HiiiJack"
  7. "Child's Play"
  8. "Normal Girl"
  9. "Prom"
  10. "Garden (Say It Like Dat)"
  11. "Doves in the Wind"
  12. "Love Galore"
  13. "The Weekend"
  14. "Wavy (Interlude)"
  15. "Babylon"


List of concerts, showing date, city, country, venue, opening acts, tickets sold, and gross revenue.
Date City Country Venue Opening acts Attendance Revenue
North America
August 20, 2017 Providence United States Fête Music Hall Smino
Ravyn Lenae
930 / 930
August 21, 2017 Richmond The National 1,500 / 1,500
August 22, 2017 Montréal Canada Corona Theatre
August 23, 2017 Toronto REBEL
August 25, 2017 Boston United States Royale Nightclub 1,000 / 1,000
August 26, 2017[A] New York City Commodore Barry Park N/A N/A N/A
August 27, 2017 Philadelphia The Fillmore Philadelphia Smino
Ravyn Lenae
2,500 / 2,500
August 29, 2017 Grand Rapids The Intersection
August 30, 2017 Detroit The Fillmore Detroit 2,900 / 2,900
August 31, 2017 Chicago Concord Music Hall 1,600 / 1,600
September 1, 2017 Minneapolis First Avenue 1,500 / 1,500
September 3, 2017 Kansas City Uptown Theater 1,700 / 1,700
September 5, 2017 Lincoln Bourbon Theatre 750 / 750
September 6, 2017 Englewood Gothic Theatre 1,100 / 1,100
September 8, 2017 Paradise Vinyl Ravyn Lenae
September 9, 2017[B] Anaheim Angel Stadium N/A N/A N/A
September 10, 2017 Sacramento Ace of Spades Smino
Ravyn Lenae
September 12, 2017 Santa Cruz The Catalyst 800 / 800
September 13, 2017 Eugene W.O.W. Hall 400 / 400
September 14, 2017 Vancouver Canada Commodore Ballroom 990 / 990
September 16, 2017 Portland United States Roseland Theater 1,400 / 1,400
September 17, 2017 Seattle Neptune Theatre 2,800 / 2,800
September 19, 2017 San Francisco The Warfield Theatre 2,250 / 2,250
September 21, 2017 Tempe Marquee Theatre Ravyn Lenae
September 22, 2017 Tucson Rialto Theatre 1,200 / 1,200
September 25, 2017 Los Angeles The Novo Smino
Ravyn Lenae
2,300 / 2,300
September 28, 2017 New Orleans House of Blues New Orleans Ravyn Lenae 1,000 / 1,000
September 29, 2017 Dallas South Side Music Hall Smino
Ravyn Lenae
1,500 / 1,500
September 30, 2017 San Antonio Alamo City Music Hall 1,200 / 1,200
October 1, 2017 Austin Emo's 1,550 / 1,550 $31,012
October 3, 2017 Houston Warehouse Live 1,650 / 1,650
October 5, 2017[C] Nashville Memorial Gymnasium N/A N/A N/A
October 7, 2017 Miami The Ground Ravyn Lenae
October 8, 2017 Tampa The Orpheum Smino
Ravyn Lenae
720 / 720
October 9, 2017 Atlanta The Tabernacle 2,500 / 2,500
October 11, 2017 Greensboro Cone Denim Entertainment Center
October 12, 2017 Charlotte The Fillmore Charlotte
November 14, 2017 Los Angeles The Novo N/A 2,300 / 2,300
December 10, 2017 New York City Brooklyn Steel Ravyn Lenae
1,800 / 1,800 $45,070
December 11, 2017 Irving Plaza 1,025 / 1,025
December 13, 2017 Cleveland House of Blues Cleveland
December 15, 2017 Indianapolis Old National Centre
December 16, 2017 Louisville Mercury Ballroom
December 17, 2017 St. Louis The Ready Room
December 19, 2017
December 20, 2017 Chicago Concord Music Hall
January 13, 2018 Auckland New Zealand Spark Arena N/A
January 14, 2018 Sydney Australia Enmore Theatre N/A 2,500 / 2,500
North America
January 15, 2018 Honolulu United States The Republik N/A
January 18, 2018
January 31, 2018 Philadelphia The Fillmore Philadelphia 2,500 / 2,500

Postponed showsEdit

List of postponed shows, showing original date, city, country, venue, opening acts and reason for postpone.
Date City Country Venue Opening acts Reason
North America
August 17, 2017 Silver Spring United States The Fillmore Silver Spring Ravyn Lenae
Health problems
August 18, 2017 New Haven Toad's Place
December 8, 2017 Norfolk The NorVa Scheduling conflict
December 9, 2017 Baltimore Rams Head Live!


  • A ^ The show on August 26, 2017 in New York City is part of the 2017 Afropunk Festival.
  • B ^ The show on September 9, 2017 in Anaheim is part of the 2017 Day N Night Fest.
  • C ^ The show on October 5, 2017 in Nashville is part of the 2017 Commodore Quake concert with Migos.


On January 13, 2017, SZA released the album's lead single "Drew Barrymore".[49] It was produced by The Antydote and Carter Lang. On June 20, 2017, SZA released the music video for "Drew Barrymore", which featured a cameo by Drew Barrymore herself.[50] Commercially, the song did not fare well since it was not released to radio. On April 28, 2017, SZA released the album's second single "Love Galore".[51] It features American rapper Travis Scott and was produced by ThankGod4Cody, Carter Lang, Scum and Punch. The music video for the song, directed by Nabil, premiered on April 27, 2017.[52] It was uploaded to SZA's Vevo channel on April 28, 2017.[52] Commercially, the song fared well in North America, charting on Canadian charts and entering the top forty on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching number thirty, later becoming certified 4x platinum by the RIAA.

On September 26, 2017, "The Weekend" was sent to urban contemporary radio as the album's third single.[53] As of the chart dated January 3, 2018 it has peaked at number twenty-nine on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming her highest charting solo single in that region. A music video for the song directed by Solange Knowles was officially released on December 22, 2017. It has been certified 3x platinum by the RIAA.

"Broken Clocks" was sent to urban contemporary radio on January 9, 2018 as the album's fourth single after being previously released as a promotional single as a part of the album's pre-order.[39] As of October 2020, it has been certified 2x platinum by the RIAA.

"Garden (Say It Like Dat)" was released as the album's fifth and final single on June 19, 2018, and has been certified platinum by the RIAA.

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic     [57]
The A.V. ClubA−[58]
Consequence of SoundB+[59]
Financial Times     [60]
The Irish Times     [61]
The New Zealand Herald     [62]
NME     [28]
The Observer     [63]

Ctrl received widespread critical acclaim from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 86, based on 15 reviews, which indicates "universal acclaim".[56]The Observer's Tara Joshi said the songs are "delicious slow jams with delicate yet powerful vocals and intimate insights into femininity, self-esteem and youth".[63] Pitchfork's Claire Lobenfeld called the album "an opulent, raw R&B album that constantly tests the borders of the genre", and named "Prom" as one of the standout tracks.[23] Siena Yates of The New Zealand Herald described it as "a brutally honest, sonically rich leap down the rabbit hole."[62]

In his review of the album, The New York Times's Jon Pareles said of SZA: "But now, she fully commands the foreground of her songs. Her voice is upfront, recorded to sound natural and unaffected, with all its grain and conversational quirks."[64] Vibe's Jessica McKinny said the album "has definitely kick-started her journey in the right direction. It's raw, soulful, rhythmic and uplifting in all the right places and will surely be a summer gift for old and new fans." She also referred to the album as "stripped down perfection".[65] Gerrick D. Kennedy of Los Angeles Times called the album "equal parts aching, brazen and gorgeously honest" and said of the songs, "The records are tender, vulnerable and often defiant."[66]

Ryan B. Patrick of Exclaim! referred to SZA as "the full package in terms of artistry: killer singing and songwriting abilities with a distinct perspective on life, love and destiny". He went on to say that Ctrl "is craft in action, a uniquely excellent album from a uniquely excellent artist."[30] Paste's Nastia Voynovskaya called the album "strikingly relatable" and likened her vocals to that of Amy Winehouse and Billie Holiday.[67] Jamie Milton of NME said it "effortlessly winds between narratives and genres like it's child's play" and went on to say that the artist "isn't a star in the making, it's a fully-fledged talent who's practically showing off." They also named "Prom" as the standout song of the album.[28]


Year-end lists
Publication List Rank Ref.
Exclaim! Top 10 Soul & R&B Albums of 2017
New York Daily News The 25 Best Albums of 2017
Noisey The 100 Best Albums of 2017
Time The Top 10 Best Albums of 2017
Vice The 100 Best Albums of 2017
Billboard Billboard 50 Best Albums of 2017: Critics' Picks
Dazed The 20 Best Albums of 2017
The New York Times (by Jon Caramanica) The Best Albums of 2017
NPR The 50 Best Albums of 2017
Pitchfork The 50 Best Albums of 2017
The Skinny The Skinny's Top 50 Albums of 2017
Uproxx 50 Best Albums of 2017
Complex The Best Albums of 2017
Entertainment Weekly Best Albums of 2017: EW Picks 25 Greatest
The Irish Times Ticket Awards 2017; The best music of the year
Mashable 10 Favorite Albums of 2017
NOW The Top 10 Best Albums of 2017
Rap-Up Rap-Up's 20 Best Albums of 2017
Crack Magazine The Top Albums of 2017
FUSE The 20 Best Albums of 2017
The A.V. Club The A.V. Club's 20 Best Albums of 2017
The Independent The 30 Best Albums of 2017
Stereogum The 50 Best Albums of 2017
USA Today USA Today's 10 Favourite albums of 2017
The New Zealand Herald The Best Albums of 2017
The Sunday Times The 100 Best Albums of the Year
Atlantic Monthly The 10 Best Albums of 2017
Consequence of Sound The Top 50 Albums of 2017
NME NME's Albums of the Year 2017
Time Out 29 Albums of 2017 You Need to Know
The New York Times (by Jon Pareles) The Best Albums of 2017
Loud and Quiet The Loud and Quiet Top 40 Albums of 2017
People 10 Best Albums of 2017
The Stranger The Top 10 Albums of 2017
Slant The 25 Best Albums of 2017
Rolling Stone 50 Best Albums of 2017
Paste The 50 Best Albums of 2017
Q 50 Best Albums of 2017
Gorilla vs. Bear Gorilla vs Bear Albums of 2017
Drowned in Sound Favourite Albums in 2017
Uncut 75 Best Albums of 2017
Resident The Resident Annual 2017
The Quietus Albums of the Year 2017

SZA received five nominations at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards (2018) including Best New Artist, Best Urban Contemporary Album for Ctrl, Best R&B Performance for "The Weekend", Best R&B Song "Supermodel" and Best Rap/Sung Performance for "Love Galore" featuring Travis Scott.

Commercial performanceEdit

Ctrl debuted at number three on the US Billboard 200 chart, earning 60,000 album-equivalent units (including 20,000 copies as pure album sales) in its first week.[111] This became SZA's first US top-ten debut.[111] The album also accumulated 49.52 million streams for its songs that week.[111] In its second week, the album remained number 1 on the chart, earning an additional 130,000 units.[112] In its third week, the album remained number 1 on the chart, earning 128,000 more units.[113] In its fourth week, the album remained 1 on the chart, earning 125,000 units.[114] On July 31, 2020, the album was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for combined sales and album-equivalent units of over two million units in the United States.[115]

Track listingEdit

Credits adapted from liner notes.[116]

2."Love Galore" (featuring Travis Scott)
  • Henderson
  • ThankGod4Cody
  • Carter Lang
3."Doves in the Wind" (featuring Kendrick Lamar)4:26
4."Drew Barrymore"
  • Rowe
  • Macie Stewart
  • Henderson
  • Lang
  • Scum
  • Rowe
  • Donaldson
  • Scum
  • Lang[a]
6."The Weekend"
  • Rowe
7."Go Gina"
  • Rowe
8."Garden (Say It Like Dat)"
  • Rowe
9."Broken Clocks"
  • Feeney
  • ThankGod4Cody
  • Rowe
11."Wavy (Interlude)" (featuring James Fauntleroy)
  • Rowe
  • Fauntleroy
  • ThankGod4Cody
  • Lukasz Plas
  • Prophit
12."Normal Girl"
  • Rowe
  • Donaldson
  • Lang
  • Henderson
13."Pretty Little Birds" (featuring Isaiah Rashad)
  • Scum
  • Lang
  • Josef Leimberg
14."20 Something"
  • Rowe
  • Scum
  • Lang
Total length:49:01


Sample credits




Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[143] Gold 35,000 
Denmark (IFPI Danmark)[144] Gold 10,000 
United Kingdom (BPI)[145] Gold 100,000 
United States (RIAA)[146] 2× Platinum 2,000,000 

  Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Urban/UAC Future Releases - Mainstream Hit Songs Being Released and Their Release Dates". AllAccess Music Group. Archived from the original on June 10, 2018. Retrieved June 10, 2018.
  3. ^ Nicholson, Rebecca (July 29, 2017). "SZA: 'The record company took my hard drive from me'". The Guardian. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  4. ^ Rolling Stone (September 22, 2020). "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 22, 2020.
  5. ^ "SZA Talks 'Z' Album & Being the Only Girl In Top Dawg Entertainment". Billboard. Retrieved April 12, 2014.
  6. ^ Paine, Jake (June 3, 2013). "TDE Reportedly Signs Chattanooga, Tennessee Rapper Isaiah Rashad | Get The Latest Hip Hop News, Rap News & Hip Hop Album Sales". HipHop DX. Archived from the original on February 12, 2015. Retrieved April 12, 2014.
  7. ^ "Kendrick Lamar Confirms There's a New Artist Joining TDE". Complex. Retrieved April 12, 2014.
  8. ^ "Presenting TDE's New Songstress. Listen To SZA's New Song, "Teen Spirit"". TheSource. August 14, 2013. Retrieved April 12, 2014.
  9. ^ Nicholson, Rebecca (July 29, 2017). "SZA: 'The record company took my hard drive from me'" – via www.theguardian.com.
  10. ^ "Kendrick Lamar's Storytelling On New Album Is "On A Grander Scale," SZA Says". HipHopDX. September 11, 2014. Archived from the original on December 30, 2014. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
  11. ^ a b "SZA Talks 'Ctrl' Concept, TDE Support on 'The Breakfast Club'".
  12. ^ a b c "SZA: How the Breakout R&B Star Conquered Self-Doubt and Took 'Ctrl'". Rolling Stone.
  13. ^ "SZA Refuses to Get Played on 'Love Galore' Featuring Travis Scott". Billboard.
  14. ^ "Carter Lang Talks Crafting 'CTRL' With SZA, Working With Vic Mensa & Why Chicago Keeps Winning". billboard.com.
  15. ^ a b "SZA Talks Ctrl, Getting Corrected By Travis Scott, And The Psychology Of Nostalgia". MTV.
  16. ^ a b "SZA: Record Company "Took My Hard Drive From Me"". HNHH.
  17. ^ a b "The Making Of SZA's "The Weekend" With ThankGod4Cody". Genius. September 29, 2017.
  18. ^ a b Fekadu, Mesfin (December 20, 2017). "Outtakes: SZA on writing for Beyonce and sampling Timberlake". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on June 29, 2019. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
  19. ^ Chow, Kat (November 13, 2017). "Taking 'Ctrl': Why SZA's New Album Means So Much". NPR. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  20. ^ a b Voynovskaya, Nastia (June 13, 2017). "SZA: CTRL Review". Paste Magazine. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  21. ^ Rindner, Grant (July 20, 2017). "SZA: CTRL". PopMatters. Retrieved August 30, 2017.
  22. ^ a b c d Patrick, Ryan (June 13, 2017). "SZA – CTRL". Exclaim. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  23. ^ a b c d e f Lobenfeld, Claire (June 13, 2017). "SZA: CTRL". Pitchfork. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  24. ^ Rob, Huskell (June 16, 2017). "How SZA Gained Control By Losing It – and Made the Debut Album of the Year". Vogue. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
  25. ^ a b Savage, Mark (December 22, 2017). "The top 10 albums of 2017" – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  26. ^ "Watch SZA & Travis Scott Perform "Love Galore" on The Tonight Show". spin.com. July 21, 2017.
  27. ^ "SZA "Love Galore" Official Lyrics & Meaning - Verified". YouTube. June 15, 2017. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  28. ^ a b c Milton, Jamie (June 15, 2017). "SZA – 'CTRL' Review". NME. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  29. ^ "On 'Ctrl,' SZA Reveals Who She Really Is". Complex. June 13, 2017.
  30. ^ a b c Patrick, Ryan B. (June 13, 2017). "SZA: CTRL". Exclaim!. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  31. ^ "SZA Comes Into Her Power On Ctrl". mtv.com.
  32. ^ Jon Pareles (June 7, 2017). "SZA's Songs Face Desire in All Its Complications". New York Times. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  33. ^ Joshua Espinoza (June 2, 2017). "Listen to SZA's Latest Single, "Broken Clocks"". Complex. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  34. ^ "SZA Announces 'CTRL' Album, Drops 'Drew Barrymore' Single". Rap-Up. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
  35. ^ Cinnsealach, Somhairle. "SZA Signs To RCA Records". HipHopDX. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
  36. ^ "SZA Announces Deal With RCA". Hot New Hiphop. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
  37. ^ "RZA Helps SZA Announce CTRL Album Release Date – Pitchfork". pitchfork.com.
  38. ^ "Listen to SZA's Latest Single, "Broken Clocks"". Complex.
  39. ^ a b "Urban/UAC Future Releases". Archived from the original on January 4, 2018.
  40. ^ Craighead, Olivia (June 8, 2017). "Listen To SZA's "Doves In The Wind" Featuring Kendrick Lamar". The Fader. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  41. ^ Helman, Peter (June 8, 2017). "SZA – "Doves In The Wind" (Feat. Kendrick Lamar)". Stereogum. Eldridge Industries. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  42. ^ "SZA Announces Tour". Pitchfork. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  43. ^ "Bryson Tiller Announces European Tour With SZA".
  44. ^ "SZA's CTRL Tour Postponed Due to 'Unforeseen Circumstances'". Billboard.
  45. ^ SZA. "1. I didn't postpone the tour . I rescheduled 3 days outta like 100 ! lol my body tried to play me but I beat it's ass n im back n ready!https://twitter.com/lashleyn/status/898630379099140096 …".
  46. ^ "Watch SZA Get the Last Laugh in 'Supermodel' Video". Billboard. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  47. ^ https://pitchfork.com/news/watch-sza-perform-the-weekend-and-love-galore-on-snl/
  48. ^ "SZA Setlist at Fête Music Hall, Providence". setlist.fm.
  49. ^ [.apple.com/us/album/drew-barrymore-single/id1194815827 "Drew Barrymore – Single by SZA on Apple Music"]. iTunes. {{cite web}}: Check |url= value (help)
  50. ^ "Twitter". mobile.twitter.com.
  51. ^ "Love Galore (feat. Travis Scott) – Single by SZA on Apple Music". iTunes.
  52. ^ a b "SZA Shares A New Video For "Love Galore," Featuring Travis Scott". The Fader. April 27, 2017. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  53. ^ "Urban/UAC Future Releases". Archived from the original on September 24, 2017. Retrieved July 31, 2017.
  54. ^ "SZA, Ctrl". Album of the Year. Retrieved May 10, 2020.
  55. ^ "Ctrl by SZA reviews". AnyDecentMusic?. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  56. ^ a b "Reviews and Tracks for CTRL by SZA". Metacritic. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  57. ^ Kellman, Andy. "Ctrl – SZA". AllMusic. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  58. ^ Purdom, Clayton (June 16, 2017). "Thank god SZA finally released Ctrl". The A.V. Club. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  59. ^ Lamb, Karas (June 22, 2017). "SZA – Ctrl". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved August 30, 2017.
  60. ^ Hunter-Tilney, Ludovic (December 29, 2017). "SZA: Ctrl — 'mellow beats and jazzy textures'". Financial Times. Retrieved May 11, 2019.
  61. ^ Carroll, Jim (June 28, 2017). "SZA – Ctrl album review: Striking debut release from R&B star". The Irish Times. Retrieved August 30, 2017.
  62. ^ a b Yates, Siena (June 15, 2017). "Album review: SZA, CTRL". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  63. ^ a b Joshi, Tara (June 11, 2017). "SZA: Control review – dreamy and delicious insights into vulnerability". The Observer. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  64. ^ Pareles, Jon (June 7, 2017). "SZA's Songs Face Desire In All Its Complications". The New York Times. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  65. ^ McKinney, Jessica (June 12, 2017). "Phenomenal Woman: The Vulnerability, Self-Awareness & Freedom Of SZA's 'Ctrl'". Vibe. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  66. ^ "What to listen to now: SZA, Bleachers, Secret Sisters and more". Los Angeles Times. June 14, 2017. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  67. ^ Voynovskaya, Nastia (June 13, 2017). "SZA: CTRL Review". Paste. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  68. ^ Yasmine Shemesh (November 30, 2017). "Top 10 Soul and R&B Albums of 2017". Exclaim!. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  69. ^ Amy Rowe and Spencer Dukoff (November 30, 2017). "The 25 best albums of 2017". New York Daily News. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  70. ^ "The 100 Best Albums of 2017". Noisey. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  71. ^ Raisa Bruner (December 4, 2017). "The Top 10 Albums of 2017". Time. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  72. ^ "The 100 Best Albums of 2017". Vice. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  73. ^ "Billboard's 50 Best Albums of 2017: Critics' Picks". Billboard. December 12, 2017. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  74. ^ [=http://www.dazeddigital.com/music/article/38392/1/the-20-best-albums-of-2017 "The 20 best albums of 2017 | Dazed"]. Dazed. December 13, 2017. Retrieved December 15, 2017. {{cite web}}: Check |url= value (help)
  75. ^ Jon Caramanica and Jon Pareles (December 6, 2017). "The Best Albums of 2017". The New York Times. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  76. ^ "The 50 Best Albums of 2017: NPR". NPR. December 12, 2017.
  77. ^ "The 50 Best Albums of 2017". Pitchfork. December 12, 2017. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  78. ^ "The Skinny's Top 50 Albums of 2017". The Skinny. November 29, 2017. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  79. ^ "50 Best Albums Of 2017, Ranked". Uproxx. December 4, 2017. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  80. ^ "The Best Albums of 2017". Complex. December 6, 2017. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  81. ^ "Best Albums of 2017: EW Picks 25 Greatest". Entertainment Weekly. December 6, 2017. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  82. ^ Louise Bruton (December 2, 2017). "Ticket Awards 2017: The best music of the year". The Irish Times. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  83. ^ "Our 10 favorite albums of 2017". Mashable. December 8, 2017. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  84. ^ NOW Staff (December 12, 2017). "The 10 best albums of 2017". NOW. Retrieved December 15, 2017.
  85. ^ "Rap-Up's 20 Best Albums of 2017". Rap-Up. December 12, 2017. Retrieved December 15, 2017.
  86. ^ "The Top Albums of 2017". Crack Magazine. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  87. ^ Fuse Staff (December 8, 2017). "The Best 20 Albums of 2017". Fuse. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  88. ^ "The A.V. Club's 20 best albums of 2017". The A.V. Club. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  89. ^ Roisin O'Connor (November 27, 2017). "The 30 best albums of 2017". The Independent. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  90. ^ Stereogum Staff (December 5, 2017). "The 50 Best Albums of 2017". Stereogum. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
  91. ^ Maeve McDermott and Patrick Ryan (December 4, 2017). "USA TODAY's 10 favourite albums of 2017". USA Today. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  92. ^ NZ Herald Entertainment Staff (December 14, 2017). "Aldous Harding, Lorde and Kendrick Lamar: Here are the best albums of 2017". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved December 15, 2017.
  93. ^ "The 100 Best Albums of the Year". The Sunday Times Magazine. December 3, 2017. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  94. ^ Spencer Kornhaber (December 12, 2017). "The 10 Best Albums of 2017: Kendrick Lamar, SZA, Priests, and More". The Atlantic. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  95. ^ "Top 50 Albums of 2017". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
  96. ^ "NME's Albums of The Year 2017". NME. November 23, 2017. Retrieved November 25, 2017.
  97. ^ Time Out editors (December 12, 2017). "29 Best Albums of 2017 You Need to Know". Time Out. Retrieved December 13, 2017. {{cite web}}: |author= has generic name (help)
  98. ^ Jon Caramanica and Jon Pareles (December 6, 2017). "The Best Albums of 2017". The New York Times. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  99. ^ "The Loud and Quiet top 40 albums of 2017". Loud and Quiet. December 8, 2017. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  100. ^ Nelson, Jeff (December 8, 2017). "PEOPLE Picks the 10 Best Albums of 2017". People. Retrieved December 15, 2017.
  101. ^ Stranger Staff (November 22, 2017). "Top 10 Albums of 2017, Local and National". The Stranger. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  102. ^ Slant Staff (December 6, 2017). "The 25 Best Albums of 2017". Slant Magazine. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  103. ^ Rolling Stone Staff (November 27, 2017). "50 Best Albums of 2017". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
  104. ^ Paste Staff (November 27, 2017). "The 50 Best Albums of 2017". Paste. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  105. ^ "Q Magazine's 50 Best Albums of 2017". Q Magazine. Album of the Year. November 21, 2017. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  106. ^ Chris (December 3, 2017). "Gorilla vs. Bear's Albums of 2017". Gorilla vs. Bear. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  107. ^ Sam Adams (December 3, 2017). "Drowned in Sound's Favourite Albums of 2017". Drowned in Sound. Archived from the original on November 23, 2017. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  108. ^ "Uncut's 75 Best Albums of 2017". Uncut. November 16, 2017. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  109. ^ "The Resident Annual 2017". Resident. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  110. ^ "Quietus Albums Of The Year 2017, In Association With Norman Records". The Quietus. December 11, 2017. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  111. ^ a b c Caulfield, Keith (June 18, 2017). "Katy Perry Scores Third No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart With 'Witness'". Billboard. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
  112. ^ "Hip Hop Album Sales: 2 Chainz's "Pretty Girls Like Trap Music" Makes Its Billboard 200 Debut". HipHopDX. June 26, 2017. Retrieved July 29, 2017.
  113. ^ "Hip Hop Album Sales: DJ Khaled's Star-Studded Affair "Grateful" Nabs #1 Spot On Billboard 200". HipHopDX. July 3, 2017. Retrieved July 29, 2017.
  114. ^ "Hip Hop Album Sales: DJ Khaled's "Grateful" Still #1, Jay-Z's "4:44" Didn't Chart Despite Going Platinum". HipHopDX. July 10, 2017. Retrieved July 29, 2017.
  115. ^ "Gold & Platinum". RIAA. Retrieved November 23, 2020.
  116. ^ Ctrl (Media notes). SZA. RCA. 2017.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  117. ^ "ARIA Top 50 Albums Chart". Australian Recording Industry Association. January 18, 2021. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  118. ^ "ARIA Urban Albums Chart – Week Commencing 19th June 2017" (PDF). ARIA Charts (1425): 19. June 19, 2017. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 12, 2017. Retrieved July 10, 2017.
  119. ^ "Ultratop.be – SZA – Ctrl" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  120. ^ "SZA Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
  121. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – SZA – Ctrl" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved July 10, 2017.
  122. ^ "Le Top de la semaine : Top Albums – SNEP (Week 24, 2017)". Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  123. ^ "Official Irish Albums Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  124. ^ "Charts.nz – SZA – Ctrl". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  125. ^ "Swisscharts.com – SZA – Ctrl". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  126. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  127. ^ "Official R&B Albums Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 25, 2017.
  128. ^ "SZA Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
  129. ^ "SZA Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  130. ^ "ARIA End of Year Urban Albums 2017". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  131. ^ "Top Billboard 200 Albums – Year-End 2017". Billboard. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  132. ^ "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums – Year-End 2017". Billboard. Retrieved June 21, 2020.
  133. ^ "Top Selling Albums of 2018". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  134. ^ "Billboard 200 Albums – Year-End 2018". Billboard. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  135. ^ "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums – Year-End 2018". Billboard. Retrieved June 21, 2020.
  136. ^ "Billboard 200 Albums – Year-End 2019". Billboard. Retrieved December 6, 2019.
  137. ^ "Billboard 200 Albums – Year-End 2020". Billboard. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
  138. ^ "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums - Year-End". Billboard. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
  139. ^ "ARIA Top 100 Albums for 2021". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved January 13, 2022.
  140. ^ "Billboard 200 Albums – Year-End 2021". Billboard. Retrieved December 3, 2021.
  141. ^ "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums – Year-End 2021". Billboard. Retrieved December 3, 2021.
  142. ^ "Top Billboard 200 Albums – Decade-End". Billboard. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
  143. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2021 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved April 30, 2021. Album/DVD certifications are on separate sheets.
  144. ^ "Danish album certifications". IFPI Danmark. Retrieved July 7, 2021. Scroll through the page-list below until year 2021 to obtain certification.
  145. ^ "British album certifications – SZA – CTRL". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  146. ^ "American album certifications – SZA – CTRL". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved August 5, 2020.

External linksEdit