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Little Simz - GREY Area (Album Review)

Thursday, 07 March 2019 Written by Milly McMahon

On ‘GREY Area’, Little Simz delivers a powerful representation of her talents across a brilliant, fluid set of hip hop tracks. Where misogynistic rhymes and crass brags often replace intelligent wordplay and eloquence in the work of her male counterparts, she steps up, articulate and powerful.

The record is also an exercise in playing with genres and themes, from far eastern sounds underpinning 101 FM to a sombre piano solo serving as the backing for Simz’s bars on Pressure, a collab with Little Dragon. The exquisite Flowers pairs the rapper with the inimitable Michael Kiwanuka, infusing her aesthetic with soul.

Simz’s sound is ambidextrous, with the originality and authenticity in her tones delivering impactful sentiments effortlessly. She is speaking about true life, struggles, hardships. Her narratives connect with and ground her listeners.

On Therapy, Simz deliberates over her inner turmoil while pushing away from a structured response. “Only reason I come here is so I can get some clarity, and it didn't work,” she says before its seductive hook hits. “It was never worth it, a gift and a curse. Still an introvert, still my feelings hurt.”

Elsewhere, standout tracks like Wounds, feat. Chronixx, Venom, Selfish and Boss, are front-loaded, allowing listeners to immediately vibe with the introductory chapters of 'GREY Area'. And, while these dramatic, ready-made hits are infectious, what follows feels more intimate and understated. 

Simz has said before that she prefers her music to be experienced like the passage of time, from dawn till dusk, and that’s perfectly executed here. ‘GREY Area’ is a game-changer. The production, by Inflo, and writing is top tier. It’s sure to be included on every album on the year list.

Little Simz Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Wed October 23 2019 - BIRMINGHAM Mama Roux's
Thu October 24 2019 - GLASGOW Poetry Club
Fri October 25 2019 - MANCHESTER Deaf Institute
Sat October 26 2019 - MANCHESTER Deaf Institute
Mon October 28 2019 - BRISTOL Thekla
Tue October 29 2019 - LONDON EartH (Evolutionary Arts Hackney)

Click here to compare & buy Little Simz Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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