Wednesday, October 21st, 2020

SZA ft. Ty Dolla $ign – Hit Different

Wait, which key is Different?


[Video][Website]
[6.22]

Tobi Tella: Following up a project as massive and confessional as CTRL was always going to be a difficult task, and I have no problem with SZA dropping something light and smooth on us. A strong motif in the lyric is the always blurry line between how cool she’s posturing as versus how cool she actually is, which makes me want to like this even more. But Ty Dolla $ign gives a Rent-A-Chorus, and while the vibe is nice, ultimately I can’t get over the feeling that there’s not that much here.
[5]

William John: A title like “Hit Different” immediately raises expectations for something earth-shattering. SZA’s track isn’t quite that: more a reinforcement of her aesthetic and cultural heft than any kind of reinvention. With hook duties mostly delegated to Ty Dolla $ign, “Hit Different” is about as low-key a comeback as could be imagined, but there are ear-catching moments here and there, perhaps the most mesmerising being the section where she begins hooting harmonics right before the final pre-chorus. The Neptunes coat it all in a languid, untheatrical haze, recognising that SZA’s storytelling requires minimal embellishment.
[7]

Michael Hong: SZA doesn’t get the spotlight until after the track has finished. The beat softens, twinkling trills and background coos adorn her, and she sings more assuredly than she had during its main event. But the bulk of “Hit Different” is spent on a beat that overtakes rather than pushes, and is overshadowed by one of the strongest uses of Ty Dolla $ign as a hook in recent memory.
[5]

Alfred Soto: Whether with Kehlani or SZA, Ty Dolla works well with female duettists, and the languid if not lethargic “Hit Different” gives him and SZA the space to sort out the levels of attraction. A minute shorter and it’d be a keeper. 
[7]

Thomas Inskeep: I love the languid vibe the Neptunes have created here, along with SZA’s thoroughly contemporary take on R&B in 2020 — I actually prefer this to anything on CTRL. Even Ty is utilized well! This song is a vibe, one that nicely provides some summery energy as autumn (in the northern hemisphere) moves into full effect.
[8]

Juana Giaimo: While I’m writing this, one of the first hot days of the year is ending, and the sunset is coming through my window. The song becomes part of this Sunday scenario. SZA’s voice slides with comfort, creating unexpected melody changes as she always does. But I’m surprised and kind of disappointed by the sad lyrics, and I wish Ty Dolla $ign offered more than just a monotonous chorus.
[6]

Katherine St Asaph: It seems like there should be more SZA in the SZA comeback, even if that comeback is just “The Weekend” part 2.
[5]

Brad Shoup: Six months of tweets about bad cereal and shitty fast food hitting different, and this came along, where the thing that hits is a sort of suspension, negotiated in advance. The Neptunes shelve their modernist clip and pull out some serviceable bump. As usual, SZA has verses better for studying than remembering, but that drawn-out pre-chorus really, uh, lands a certain way. 
[7]

Joshua Minsoo Kim: Those Durutti Column guitars are a cool mist. It’s the sun cresting the horizon, shimmering rays bringing warmth after a night of unfounded angst; it’s the glimpses of joy I hold onto when speaking with friends; it’s the comfort in remaining close with my quarantine crush after breaking up. Without Dolla center stage, SZA sounds richer, every curling melody easier to trace. As her voice is gilded by the softest touch of a snare, I hear her croon, “Heavy on my empty mind shit.” That line lingers, reminding me of a much-needed truth: it’s okay to just vibe.
[6]

Reader average: [6.33] (3 votes)

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