Solana Rowe’s music exists in a vacuum, and in the most literal sense of the word. On her new EP Z, sounds are sucked from her lyrics as they progress. Dripping, dragging, floating, whizzing by. Everything but standing still, graspable. SZA prefers it that way.
TDE’s lone estrogen hub doesn’t drift far from the ethereal nature of Z‘s predecessors, S and See.SZA.Run. Her longing warbles and bleats dance around cinematic production, seldom sticking to anything. Like her fellow galactic crooners Jhene Aiko and The Weeknd, tangible anchor points are few and far between within her catalogs.
A lack of enunciation gets this close to being a handicap, as work from producers Toro Y Moi, Mac Miller, Marvin Gaye and Emile Haynie nearly swallow her words. Think of it as an IMAX movie without the crystal clarity. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, though. What she lacks in concrete sound, she makes up for in effectiveness. SZA’s knack for sucking you into the confines of her mind trumps any lapse in audibility.