Little Simz Album Reviews

Little Simz is a London-based rapper, singer, and actor with Nigerian heritage. She became a public figure in her mid-teens; in 2010 she appeared in the TV series Spirit Warriors and released her first mixtape Stratosphere. Her first full-length albums, released in her early twenties, received little attention. 2019’s Grey Area was produced by Sault‘s Inflo and transformed her into a critical darling. 2021’s Sometimes I Might Be Introvert is one of the most acclaimed records of the year.

Simz’s social conscience and double threat as a rapper and singer recall the neo-soul of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. As a teenager, Simz had posters of Lauryn Hill, Nas, and Jay-Z on her walls.

Little Simz Album Reviews

A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons | Stillness in Wonderland | Grey Area | Sometimes I Might Be Introvert

A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons

2015, not rated
After four mixtapes and five EPs, Little Simz’s debut album was released on her own record label. Little Simz was the executive producer.

Stillness in Wonderland

2016, not rated
As evident from the title, Little Simz’s sophomore album took inspiration from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. It was accompanied by a comic book.

Grey Area

2019, 8.5/10
Produced by Sault’s Inflo, Grey Area was a critical breakthrough for Little Simz. The larger budget allowed her to use live musicians, and her socially conscious hip hop is surprisingly eclectic – there’s a jazz inflection to some tracks, and a neo-soul feel to others. Although Grey Area was Simz’s first album produced by Inflo, they first collaborated in 2008.

Unlike Simz’s idol Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn HillGrey Area is too edgy for crossover mainstream success. Her vocal delivery is loaded with bite in the feminist anthem ‘Venom’ -“Never givin’ credit where it’s due ’cause you don’t like pussy in power/Venom.” The opening pair of tracks are also filled with bile – on ‘Boss’, Simz declares that she’s “a boss in a fucking dress”.

Grey Area visits neo-soul territory in the closing two tracks, and they add some nice diversity. ‘Sherbet Sunset’ is my favourite track; the keys and chorus give it a neo-soul feel, as do Michael Kiwanuka’s guest vocals on the closer ‘Flowers’.

A charismatic vocalist backed by great production – Grey Area is a terrific record.

Sometimes I Might Be Introvert

2021, 9.5/10
The title of Little Simz’s fourth album, Sometimes I Might Be Introvert, is an acronym of Simz’s given name Simbiatu. Inflo is back in the producer’s chair for SIMBI, but where Grey Area was abrasive and experimental, this is a glossier and more accessible record.

Right from the opening ‘Introvert’, the record oozes confidence. The opening orchestral fanfare could have opened a James Bond theme, while the dialogue comes from actor Emma Corrin. Despite Simz’s introversion, she’s often sharing personal themes with the world – ‘I Love You, I Hate You’ is about her difficult relationship with her father. Inflo’s productions have become more ambitious – along with the orchestration, ‘Protect My Energy’ could have come from Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

Inflo has produced a raft of great music over the past few years, but Sometimes I Might Be Introvert is the best record he’s produced yet.

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