SZA has brought us some new music, a small taste of what’s to come on her upcoming studio album, CTRL. And the lo-fi, soulful track, “Love Galore,” featuring Travis Scott, is definitely savory. Not a banger by any means but the overall smoothness of the song fits perfectly with SZA’s neosoul vibe, perhaps crossing over into alternative R&B territory a bit more than usual with the modern clipped quality of the beat.

Overall, this song reminded me of two former “acquaintances” at a party, surrounded by a room full of people but only having eyes for one other, circling around in slow motion, never close enough to speak. They communicate through meaningful glances under fluttering eyelashes, wondering if it’s worth all the pain and history to take that step closer, an argument with both themselves and each other. Musically, you can hear this playing out: the cautious and measured simmering of bottled emotions represented by the repetition of the low synth bass. Those meaningful, soulful, communicative glances summed up by the slightly eery sound of the lo-fi synth floating over top, sometimes catching on itself, not as smooth as either singer would like to pretend to be. The drums pattering about add some confidence and definition to the track as well, making it more playfully dangerous and modern.

SZA’s rough voice is beautiful and I love the turns her voice took with the melody, especially at the hook. You would think that repeating “Love” over and over again would convey little but the way her voice carries through the musical phrase matches perfectly with the sort of are-we-still-a-thing-or-nah-I-don’t-really-care-(I do)-but-what-about-you? tone of the song. There’s a lot of emotionality expressed through both SZA’s and Travis Scott’s vocal performances (despite the fact that the two differ greatly in presentation) which I especially liked because it clashes perfectly against the put-upon disinterest of the lyrics.

Although I especially enjoyed this song musically, I thought this song could use some improvement lyrically. There’s tons of great lines thrown around (“Why you bother me when you know you don’t want me?” so good) but the connection from one phrase to the next wasn’t clear. As if the song was filled with a bunch of one-liner ideas related to the complications of getting over a (maybe?) loveless past relationship. I wasn’t entirely sure if this song was about a current relationship, a past relationship, or a future relationship (perhaps all three??) and the lyrics did little to help.This relationship is complicated enough as it is without the added murkiness of lyrical meaning.

The outro was also a little odd musically. It didn’t mesh or sound as well as the rest of the song. I understand lyrically what purpose it served in the song but musically it sounded like an idea that hadn’t been fully brought to fruition and left sort of a bad impression at the end of a well-crafted song.

But overall, “Love Galore” is smooth and sexy and a solid track from SZA. It only makes me more excited for CTRL and I expectantly await its release.

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