Ctrl by SZA
The debut album by the alternative R&B singer, Ctrl was a long-time coming. SZA’s debut was promised a release in 2015, and after a lot of drama with her label, it finally came out two years later to widespread critical acclaim. SZA noted that a lot of freestyling was used in the making of this album, which explains why it sounds so organic to her voice.
Melodrama by Lorde
After four years of waiting, Lorde fans finally got what they were looking for. The follow-up to the career-launching release Pure Heroine, the sophomore album by the New Zealand native explores a raw, mature, and confident side of the singer. It focuses on the whirlwind of emotions that came from the breakup of her long-term relationship, but to be clear, this is not an album about a man; it’s about what it means to be a woman.
4:44 by Jay-Z
The king of Brooklyn made a comeback with this album after a long hiatus from making music. Following the release of his wife Beyonce’s Lemonade, which not-very-subtly exposed Jay-Z for infidelity, 4:44 highlights Jay-Z’s redemption arc.