SZA’s Love Pours Out in “I Hate U”

The neo soul singer's stunning ambivalence leads the charge in this week's new music, also featuring Doja Cat, FKA twigs, and Mary J. Blige.

SZA’s Love Pours Out in “I Hate U”
Photo:Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for REVOLT (Getty Images)

I don’t hate it!: SZA, “I Hate U” – Another liminal delight from SZA, who tends to luxuriate in the feelings between love and hate. A relaxed tempo and veritable yacht-rock keyboard underscore lovelorn “fuck yous” and the overarching idea of hating someone because you love them so much. (Prince did something very similar on “Eye Hate U” from 1995’s I.) Despite the song’s title, it is not a kiss-off but a call back. And wow, when that nimble hook minces its way in, it’s enough to make even the most ardent hater fall in love. — Rich Juzwiak

Yuh: Doja Cat, “Woman” – I’m a little worried about Doja Cat. She’s been opening up about how much of a toll her career has had on her happiness and her free time, and she admitted that she is constantly committing to projects she doesn’t have the bandwidth for. It’s not surprising; she’s had a nonstop run of hit songs, inventive music videos, and viral live performances, and there’s no sign of her slowing down. I watched the new video for Doja’s song “Woman” simultaneously blown away by the visuals and worried that Doja was miserable in the making of it all. Doja can sing, she can rap, and she can dance her ass off. I just want her to be happy on top of all of that! Side note: Loved Teyana Taylor’s cameo! —Ashley Reese

Yes, gorgeous: Mary J. Blige, “Good Morning Gorgeous” – For someone who’s about to be 14 studio albums deep into her career, Mary J. Blige could be doing a lot worse than this. The title track of her just-announced album, Good Morning Gorgeous, has a concept fit for a legend: self-care via affirmation. Mary J. Blige is literally saying to herself, “Good morning, gorgeous,” reasoning, “No one else can make me feel this way.” The track, which Blige co-wrote with H.E.R., among collaborators, has a bluesy lurch and its video finds Blige at one point singing to her lingerie-clad self in the mirror. It’s all expertly dramatic—Blige is going for iconic here, and for once the adjective actually fits. — RJ

It’s cute: FKA twigs ft. Central Cee, “Measure of a Man” – I don’t have anything negative to say about this. Twigs is offbeat as usual, the visuals are ethereal but sharp, and I’m going to have twigs belting “mAAAAAAaaaaaaaAAANnnn” stuck in my head all weekend. It’s a little more run of the mill than her usual fare, and it doesn’t have the clawing climax of a song like “cellophane,” but I’m not holding that against her. Let twigs switch it up a little. —AR

Y: Khalid featuring Majid Jordan, “Open” – What could have been just another nice midtempo is elevated by hyper-syncopated 1/8 beats a la peak Timbaland (the extremely ‘90s acoustic guitars that wander in help complete the look). In terms of direct lines to draw, nothing strikes me so much as Jon B’s “They Don’t Know” (its radio remix in particular) an absolutely fantastic track to be reminded of. Thank you, Khalid and Majid Jordan. — RJ

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin