• Record Label: RCA
  • Release Date: Dec 9, 2022
Metascore
90

Universal acclaim - based on 20 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
Buy Now
Buy on
  1. 100
    It’s an expansion of her wonderfully experimental R&B, with all the candour listeners expect from this masterful songwriter. ... SOS is well worth the wait.
  2. Dec 9, 2022
    100
    It is an absolute monster of a record that clocks in at just over 67 minutes with a staggering 23 tracks — and boy, was it worth the wait. If Ctrl was a near-perfect debut, S.O.S might be an inch closer to masterclass status.
  3. Dec 9, 2022
    100
    The drought may be over, but SZA left no crumbs.
  4. 100
    ‘SOS’ is just that – a phenomenal record that barely puts a foot wrong and raises the bar even higher than she set it before.
  5. Dec 15, 2022
    90
    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
  6. Dec 14, 2022
    90
    Although there are hummable potential singles that stick out, such as “Shirt,” and singularly contagious tracks such as “Conceited,” “SOS” is a record meant to be heard in its entirety. It would have been entrancing, surely, at double the length.
  7. Dec 13, 2022
    90
    Regardless of any minor hiccups, SOS is a spectacular sophomore effort from a star whose ceiling is high as can be. In an era where bloated albums built to inflate streams are increasingly frequent, SZA has delivered a 23-track masterwork on which nearly every song fits, each individual piece made with purpose and feeling.
  8. 90
    In its emotional sprawl — not to mention its diverse assortment of styles, from dusty soul to throbbing trap to trippy psychedelic rock — “SOS” evokes natural memories of “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” and “Beyoncé.”
  9. Dec 16, 2022
    88
    It may take a few years for SOS to ascend to the heights, but if 808s & Heartbreak was the breakup record of the 2000s and Blonde was the 2010s examination of loss and trauma, then SZA might have produced that emotional breaking point for the 2020s.
  10. Dec 8, 2022
    87
    SOS is a clear document of how extensively SZA has sharpened her songwriting since the exquisite CTRL, how she’s become an even more exacting lyricist and imaginative musician. While placing herself firmly in the tradition of R&B, she’s forcefully blasé about genre tropes.
  11. Dec 19, 2022
    80
    The peaks on SOS, (“Used,” “Smoking on my Ex Pack,” and “Forgiveless”) find SZA sounding refreshingly comfortable rapping over gritty, hazy, and grimy productions.
  12. Dec 15, 2022
    80
    If SZA needed to prove that she’s still at the top of R&B, she has succeeded with emotional heft, piercingly astute lyrics and a versatile delivery: with more than a few similarities to Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, SOS is perhaps the best break-up record since TDE’s last one.
  13. Dec 15, 2022
    80
    SOS is twenty-three tracks long and sonically it sprawls all over the hood. From low to high, clipped to soaring, SZA’s vocals are icily superb and her overwrought writing is vivid throughout. These progressive, ambitious melodies act like stitching to hold together the patchwork of an exceptionally diverse approach to genre and production.
  14. Dec 13, 2022
    80
    With 23 songs, “SOS” arrives as a long, nuanced argument SZA is having with her companions and with herself. ... The songs leap from personal beefs to universal quandaries, while SZA challenges herself as both musician and persona.
  15. Dec 12, 2022
    80
    SOS’s playful approach to genre-swapping carries a defined sense of artistic freedom across its varied tracklist. Not every experiment is a success—the wispy alternative elements of “Ghost in the Machine,” chiefly its indietronica instrumentation and unnecessary Pheobe Bridgers guest spot, never really cohere—but the album doesn’t linger on any one specific style or mood for too long.
  16. Dec 9, 2022
    80
    This is an album about growth, however messy and non-linear it may be.
  17. Dec 8, 2022
    80
    S.O.S., SZA’s long-awaited sophomore album, is even more enjoyable than her 2017 debut, CTRL. The songs are looser and more confident. And the worthy themes—retribution, nostalgia, ego—amount to the most intimate and juicy self-revelations since the Real World confessional booth.
  18. 80
    It’s something self-indulgent that few could get away with, but every song finds its place effortlessly. So, rather than feeling too self-indulgent, it feels far more like we’re the lucky ones SZA has chosen to share so much with.
  19. Dec 8, 2022
    80
    SOS is very long – 23 tracks, well over an hour. It suggests someone continually adding to and augmenting a project, or perhaps throwing everything they’ve got at it, fuelled by the feeling that they might not do this again. The results are hugely eclectic.
  20. Dec 12, 2022
    60
    It treads a fine line between swashbuckling versatility and a lack of cohesion. Versatility largely wins out.
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 312 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 25 out of 312
  1. Dec 9, 2022
    10
    This album is beautifully written and produced. Also there lies a message behind these songs that most of everyone can relate to, also herThis album is beautifully written and produced. Also there lies a message behind these songs that most of everyone can relate to, also her diversity of how she can rap and sing is just amazing. It was definitely worth the 5 year wait. Full Review »
  2. Dec 9, 2022
    9
    She ate here
    Favs: gone girl, kill bill, ghost in the machine, blind and Forgiveless
    Least favs: conceited and notice me
  3. Dec 9, 2022
    9
    Truly an amazing album SZA outdid herself one again i give 10s when 10s are due