SZA commemorates 5th anniversary of ‘Ctrl’ album with deluxe re-release

The new version of 'Ctrl' features seven unreleased tracks from the album's sessions.

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SZA released a deluxe edition of her 2017 debut album, Ctrl. The singer is celebrating the album’s fifth anniversary with a re-release that includes seven additional unreleased tracks and alternative cover art.

All seven of the new tracks were recorded during the Ctrl sessions. It includes an alternative take of the album’s lead single, “Love Galore,” featuring Travis Scott. The songs find the Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE) songstress singing over eclectic, brooding, and sparse production, like “Awkward,” the tale of friendship lines getting blurred by sex.

SZA attends the 91st Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on February 24, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

Among the standouts is the track “Tread Carefully.” The song, driven by smoky keyboards and ominous trap drum programming, features SZA singing about the apprehension and regret of getting intimate with a toxic partner.

“Guard’s down f–-in’ with you/I’m making bad decisions how I’m livin’, and I like it,” SZA sings.

Five of the seven unreleased songs were produced by ThankGod4Cody, who produced four songs on the original album. This includes the singles “Love Galore,” “The Weekend,” and “Broken Clocks,” all of which were certified multi-platinum.

Ctrl was SZA’s first full-length release with TDE via RCA Records. Featuring a guest appearance from Scott, Kendrick Lamar, James Fauntleroy, and Isaiah Rashad, the album peaked at number three on the Billboard 200 album chart in 2017. The album earned SZA five Grammy Award nominations, including for best new artist and contemporary R&B album. It is currently a double platinum-certified album.

Since Ctrl, SZA has continued to rise in the music business. She achieved her first top 10 Billboard 100 single in 2020 with “Good Days” and did so again in 2021 with “I Hate U.” In April, SZA won her first Grammy Award, for best pop duo/group performance, for her appearance on Doja Cat’s “Kiss Me More.”

At the 2022 Grammy Awards, SZA confirmed her follow-up to Ctrl will come sooner rather than later. “I just actually finished it up in Hawaii recently, so I’m just turning it in,” she said.  “It’s probably my most unisex project yet. It’s definitely for everybody in a different way.”  

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