Little Simz – “NO THANK YOU” review

This is the 5th full-length album from London emcee, singer & actress Little Simz. Getting her start at the beginning of the previous decade, she would go on to drop 4 mixtapes & 9 EPs alongside her previous LPs. GREY Area showed some serious artistic evolution & S.I.M.B.I. (Sometimes I Might Be Introvert) wound up being my 2021 Album of the Year, even giving it a perfect 10. So considering that, anticipation going into No Thank You after Simz announced it early last week was definitely high.

“Angel” is a crooning opener with Simz rapping about praying for a sign & how good things aren’t granted to you whereas “Gorilla” has a bit of a boom bap quality to the instrumental she she can go ape shit lyrically after being fully charged & bared up. “Silhouette” has a more angelic approach sonically encouraging the listeners to look inside oneself & that what she sees in certain people now in contrast the light shining on them at one point, but then “No Merci” works in some orchestral influences talking about doing yourself a favor & not sell your soul to those undeserving of it.

However with “X”, we have Simz on top of a gospel-inspired beat admitting that she needs God & that her pain will be adored someday leading into the soulful yet symphonic “Heart on Fire” talking about her life being a blessing & being unable to take all the stresses that come with it. “Broken” weaves some strings & swooning background vocals throughout to discuss what it means to feel hopeless just before “Sideways” takes the chipmunk soul route talking about cautioning not to get attached to the version of her you see today & removing toxic people from her presence. The penultimate track “Who Even Cares?” has a more woozier groove to it talking about not being afraid of shit & “Control” is a piano-heavy closer asks her lover to promise not to let go of her hand because their love is all she has left.

Simz has already proven herself to be the most exciting hip hop artist in the UK today with GREY Area & especially S.I.M.B.I. (Sometimes I Might Be Introvert), so it really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that she goes for a 3-peat on NO THANK YOU here. She wonderfully details the point she’s at now without holding anything back & Inflo’s production still has the jazzy/neo-soul undertones of the predecessor with the exception of swapping out the orchestral influences of the last album with gospel.

Score: 4.5/5

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