50 Best Albums of 2017 So Far

Including Kendrick Lamar, Lorde, Ed Sheeran, Drake, Harry Styles, Roger Waters and more

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SZA, 'Ctrl'

SZA, 'Ctrl'

The first major-label full-length from Top Dog Entertainment's SZA (you may remember her from Rihanna's "Consideration" and collaborations with Schoolboy Q and Jay Rock) is full of hiccuping beats and glitched-out synths. The presence at its center projects immense strength even (and perhaps especially) when she's expressing self-doubt, as on the sun-dappled "Drew Barrymore." SZA has a strong, clear alto that fuels the fire of songs like the stuttering move-along command "Broken Clocks," the filthy and feisty lady-power manifesto "Doves in the Wind" and the vitriolic kiss-off "Supermodel." It's no surprise that she more than holds her own amidst big-name guests like Kendrick Lamar and Travis Scott. Power can come from radical honesty, too. 

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