All the Best KissOffs Jokes and Wisdom on SZAs SOS
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All the Best Kiss-Offs, Jokes, and Wisdom on SZA’s SOS

After countless delays, SZA’s new album is finally here. In this episode of the Pitchfork Review podcast, our critics discuss the stickiest moments from SOS

Co-hosted by Editor-in-Chief Puja Patel and Reviews Editor Jeremy D. Larson, and featuring guest critics and contributors, our weekly podcast includes in-depth analysis of the new albums we find extraordinary, exciting, and just plain terrible. This week, Contributor Julianne Escobedo Shepherd, who reviewed SZA’s SOS last month, stops by to chat about how the album should strike fear in unworthy exes worldwide, and much more.

Listen to this week’s episode below, and follow The Pitchfork Review here. You can also check out an excerpt of the podcast’s transcript below. 

Puja Patel: Can we talk about SZA’s best writing about disowning an ex on the album? 

Jeremy D. Larson: Yeah, I got you. How about this. “I got your favorite rapper blocked, I heard your dick was wack/Your favorite athlete screaming, ‘Text me back.’”

Julianne Escobedo Shepherd: Yes. A-plus on that. ’Cause you always hear that rumor like, “Oh yeah, the dick was wack.” But you never tweet it. She tweeted it. 

Larson: She tweeted it, and then added some more spice on top. 

Patel: I feel like we have to talk about “Kill Bill.” It has the funniest hook on the entire record.

Shepherd: The whole thing builds up to her thinking about killing her ex, but knowing it would not be the, well, as she says, not the best idea. And then she does it. [laughs] It’s so funny to imagine killing someone and his new girl and then have a fleeting second thought about it. Like, “Maybe I shouldn’t have done that. Oh well!” [laughs]

Larson: Whoops!

Patel: But the kicker of that verse is so heart wrenching: “I’d rather be in jail than alone.”

Larson: That’s like a classic country song, right? Like a murder ballad. And it’s amazing. It’s fun old-school songwriting, and I don’t think SZA’s known for that. In fact, that’s what Ctrl basically wasn’t, and that’s why it was so fantastic. It’s almost corny, but not. It walks right up to that line. 

Patel: Oh, I think it’s like camp, you know?

Larson: Yes, exactly. 

Shepherd: I also think “Nobody Gets Me” is a great song. She has the best line, which is, “Hurry now, baby, stick it in/Before the memories get to kickin’ in.” And it’s like, “Oh yeah, like you’re having ex sex. You don’t want to think about all the drama.” Just fuck the pain away, basically. It’s such a beautiful and tragic scene. And then there’s “SOS” itself, where she says, “I’m horny, like, ‘Suck these’/So daring, like, ‘Touch me’/And all the petty shit aside, all the funny shit aside/I just want what’s mine.” That is the most succinct summation of this album you can get.