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Little Simz - No Thank You (Album Review)

Thursday, 15 December 2022 Written by Jack Terry

Following a breakout year, including a Mercury Prize win and the Best Album award at the MOBOs, both for the terrific ‘Sometimes I Might Be Introvert’, Little Simz is back with a surprise drop of new material in the form of ‘No Thank You’, a compact, confident and confrontational collection of 10 tracks.

Focusing the spotlight away from herself and onto the trials and tribulations that come with the critical acclaim and adoration she's garnered, it’s a bracing look at the gnarled brutality of the record industry.

For this album to come into the world with such little fanfare—little more than a couple of cryptic clues posted online—and so close to the end of the year suggests that ‘No Thank You’ is the sound of a woman with things to get off her chest, as opposed to one looking to build toward the next big award.

Lyrically, this may be the most blunt we've ever heard Little Simz, with lines like "Undervalued, underappreciated in the workplace," and "Why did I give you the keys to authorize shit on my behalf?" taking righteous potshots at the inner workings of the machine. 

From start to end, on tracks such as X, No Merci and Angel, she comes back to twist the blade a bit more, whether it's aimed at her ex-manager, record labels or the wider touring scene, which bit hard earlier in 2022 as she was forced to cancel US shows, noting the financial risks attached to such an undertaking for an independent musician.

At this point, Little Simz has claimed her position as an absolute gem of British music, making such a reality hard to stomach. ‘No Thank You’ only cements that standing. Fiery, frustrated and well informed, there's a vulnerability present here that feels depressingly necessary and serves as a stark reminder that no matter the plaudits and prizes, artists are still being taken for a ride.


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