Hearing a new SZA song in 2020 was the last thing I expected to hear. Since her debut album “CTRL” was released in 2017, SZA has only been periodically releasing new songs for soundtracks such as “Black Panther” and “Trolls World Tour.” She has also been nominated for nine Grammy awards since the release of “CTRL.” On her newest single,“Hit Different (feat. Ty Dolla Sign),” SZA goes over a relationship that is falling apart but is still alive because of the love she has for her man. After listening to this song, I was surprised by how good it was.
SZA’s vocals are electrifying on the song. She is able to echo the pain of being in a declining relationship while sounding romantic at the same time. Ty Dolla Sign does a great job at singing the chorus and providing a laid-back melody. His smooth vocals are perfect for singing about heartbreak and being lonely in a relationship, which is something he has been known for throughout his career.
SZA’s vocals are electrifying on the song. She is able to echo the pain of being in a declining relationship while sounding romantic at the same time.
Where “Hit Different” really shines is in the songwriting. Having The Neptunes and Rob Bisel co-write the track with SZA and Ty Dolla Sign makes the song feel more emotional. Lines like “Quicker than we started, evidence we misaligned” and “Man, I get more in love (More in love) with you each argument” showcase the song’s strong writing. SZA’s writing abilities have always been her biggest strength as an artist and it’s no different on this song.
Complementing the songwriting is a strong instrumental which can be described as soulful and moody. It matches the overall tone of the song without becoming melodramatic. Having The Neptunes produce the instrumental was an interesting choice, as they have not been mainstays in R&B since the 2000s. Despite their absence from the mainstream, The Neptunes are able to work with their own sound without disturbing the style of SZA.
In addition to having a solid song, the music video for “Hit Different,” directed by SZA, is also something to check out. It features SZA switching between various locations, including a farm and a car dump. Initially hearing that concept makes it sound like the video would be confusing and weird, but SZA’s direction makes the video a perfect match for the song as each shot feels warm and comfortable. The choreography is excellent and never overshadows the song.
Initially hearing that concept makes it sound like the video would be confusing and weird, but SZA’s direction makes the video a perfect match for the song as each shot feels warm and comfortable.
Compared to other songs from throughout her career, “Hit Different” is a solid entry in a loaded catalog. While it does not compare to songs like “ The Weekend” or “Love Galore,” in terms of songwriting or musical production, the song is still uniquely SZA. It is unknown if SZA will release her second album later this year or if she will release another single in 2020, but if “Hit Different” is any indication of what the future of SZA will sound like, there is hope to be had that the next album or project will be just as good, if not better, than “CTRL.” Rating: 4.5