NO THANK YOU is the fifth full-length album from London-based artist Little Simz. She has built a strong body of work over the past decade with four mixtapes and nine EPs alongside her studio albums. Her first two albums, A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons (2015) and Stillness in Wonderland (2016), are pretty great – still, it is especially her recent run, with GREY Area (2019), Sometimes I Might Be Introvert (our 2021 AOTY) and now NO THANK YOU, that is truly outstanding.
Where GREY Area was short and punchy and Sometimes I Might Be Introvert sprawling and grandiose, NO THANK YOU has Little Simz finding some kind of middle ground between the sounds of its predecessors. Without the orchestral grandiosity of Sometimes I Might Be Introvert, NO THANK YOU is a calm and mellow affair, with Inflo’s subtle production going in a neo-soul direction in places. The orchestral sounds of Introvert are still present but more subdued and in the background here, providing a relaxing atmosphere and great backdrops for Little Simz’s meaningful bars and charismatic flows.
Sometimes I Might Be Introvert is a generational masterpiece (the best album of the decade so far), so it was always going to be impossible to equal it, but NO THANK YOU is an exceptional album in its own right. The album does lose some steam towards the end (“Sideways” and “Who Even Cares” are the album’s weakest tracks for us), but the rest of the album’s content is strong.
“Angel” is a subtle album opener, and the second track “Gorilla” is one of the absolute highlights (using the bassline of J5’s “Concrete Schoolyard to great effect). NO THANK YOU stays on course from there, leading up to the album’s centerpiece: the seven-and-a-half epic “Broken” – one of the best songs you’ll hear this year. So, although NO THANK YOU isn’t the instant classic that Sometimes I Might Be Introvert was, it makes for a more than worthy successor.
NO THANK YOU is a confirmation: Little Simz is one of the leading artists of her generation.
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