Friday, August 25, 2017

SZA - "20 Something"

Singer-songwriter Solana Imani Rowe (known professionally as SZA) turns 27 in November. On the closing track from her debut album Ctrl, she sings about her time of life with a clarity that will make anyone older than her wince and sigh in recognition. Over a slow, lazy riff -- more like a little noodle, as if the guitarist was still trying to figure it out in the studio while the tape was rolling -- "20 Something" details the end of a relationship, which leaves SZA twisting in the wind while pondering her quarter-life crisis.

"Stuck in them twentysomethings, stuck in them twentysomethings," she sings, later declaring, "Hoping my twentysomethings won't end/Hoping to keep the rest of my friends/Praying the twentysomethings don't kill me/Don't kill me."

That's what that period of your life feels like. It goes on seemingly forever -- every joy and pain is amplified -- but someday it ends. She's not old enough to know that yet. But in the melancholy, worn-out groove of "20 Something," SZA sounds like she's starting to get an idea.