Song of the Week breaks down and talks about the song we just can’t get out of our heads every week. Find these songs and more in our Spotify Top Songs Playlist. Find our new favorite songs from up-and-coming artists in our Spotify New Sounds Playlist. This week, SZA cranks up the volume for their standout SOS song, “F2F.”
“SZA goes grunge” wasn’t a sentence I ever expected to write, but when the mastermind singer-songwriter announced her new album “SOS” a few weeks ago, she mentioned that besides her usual “surf rock and grunge.” ‘ thoughtful R&B sound. With “F2F,” an unexpected highlight in an otherwise flawless collection of songs, we see what she meant: “F2F” is a pop-punk jam through and through, and it’s a satisfying combination of SZA’s bright, silky-smooth voice with a good voice, portion of grit and drop-D guitars.
Like many of the songs on both SOS and their earlier work Ctrl, “F2F” – which also includes an author credit from Lizzo – is rooted in guitar, a powerful choice that often allows SZA to extract more intimacy and expressiveness from these songs . Here she uses a more muscular arrangement to create stronger contrasts. When she lands on “I hate me enough for the two of us” in the chorus, singing almost jubilantly above her with an anthemic high harmony, it’s a jagged line that sets the whole song in perspective.
SZA oscillates between longing and longing; She bemoans the games she plays with her ex, but still finds room to justify the same games. All along she stumbles upon vulnerable truths and ends up asking the central question: “Are you going to call me?/Are you going to hang me to dry?”
Striking an intriguing balance between the high enthusiasm of pop punk and the downcast fury of slacker rock, she brings a refreshing energy shift to SOS. But “F2F” is also proof that SZA can literally pick any style and genre and still make it sound drop dead gorgeous. It’s not entirely true to say that SZA is fearless on SOS — she frequently spells out her fears, insecurities, and the causes of her anxiety throughout her discography — but it’s certainly true that she’s becoming much more confident when it comes to sonic Make statements like “F2F.”
Oftentimes, SZA’s impressionistic sound connects listeners through isolation. You feel her rhythm shifting like intrusive thoughts, and by the time she gets to the next you’re already knee-deep in her tangled web of insecurities and understandable truths. But on “F2F” SZA employs a different tactic, shifting into something more active and anthemic. Her agony is visceral, the sex at the heart of the song is anything but romantic, and the emotional turmoil forces her to move outward before turning inward.
If she can still create an amazingly good pop-punk song while retaining the essence of what an SZA song can and should be, it suggests that SZA is in a truly untouchable position in music right now . In short, no one can do it like SZA. We are so lucky to have her.
– Paolo Ragusa