sun 19/09/2021

Album: Little Simz - Sometimes I Might Be Introvert | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Little Simz - Sometimes I Might Be Introvert

Album: Little Simz - Sometimes I Might Be Introvert

The talented rapper takes things to another level in her masterful fourth album

Taking no prisoners – Little Simz is at the top of her game

From the first moment the military drums start pounding and the epic brass begins to build, you know you’re listening to the start of something exceptional. Something groundbreaking, important – a masterpiece.

Opening track “Sometimes I Might Be Introvert” demonstrates the confidence and skill of Little Simz – now 27 – and represents a huge step forward from her highly praised album, GREY Area.

It’s personal but not sentimental, angry but not full of hate, joyful and despairing all at the same time. Her delivery has developed – lightning-speed spitting is her forté – but here she shows further depth, using her voice in a multitude of guises. This gives the album an elevating change of pace. In some ways it’s reminiscent of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, although not quite as palatable for the masses. Nevertheless, it’s worthy of the comparison. Most of all, it is stereotype-busting – how empowering to hear a young woman blazing a serious trail, better still in a “London-born estate girl” accent.

There have already been hits. “Woman” is a joyous celebration of women of colour, gilded by Cleo Sol’s elysian vocal. In “I Love you, I Hate You”, she attempts to deal with her “Daddy issues”, pulling absolutely no punches – “never thought my parent would give me my first heartbreak”. Other highlights of the 19-track-strong album include “Speed” and “Standing Ovation”– full-on eviscerating boasting toasting, putting the men to shame. “Fear No Man” and “Point and Shoot” have a tribal overtone. Intimate, with her guard down, “I See You” is a deeply perceptive love song. “Rollin’ Stone” is super-grimy and hard not to bounce, bounce to, fully demonstrating her lyrical dexterity. The rap-free 1980s-fest that is “Protect My Energy” is a delight, not least for the potential feminist mantra, “Don’t call me/I don’t wanna speak/I got problems/But I’m not fucking weak”. There are no less than four interludes (very Lauryn Hill), two of which – “Never Make Promises” and “The Garden” – sound like they came from early Hollywood, all glittery, sweeping strings and choral flourishes. And there are a fair few spoken pieces by the Crown’s Emma Corrin, oddly.

Powerfully produced by long-time collaborator Inflo and supported by the industry’s go-to strings arranger, Rosie Danvers (Adele, JayZ, Michael Kiwanuka), the album is testament to the daring versatility of this rapper, poet and actor. If Little Simz is on the periphery of your awareness, she won’t be for much longer. In the epic opening track – an essay of the vicissitudes of internal and external life playing out against a world in conflict – she ponders, “At night I wonder if my tears will dry on their own/Hoping I will fulfil Amy’s purpose”. Here’s hoping she doesn’t achieve that kind of fame but does get that kind of recognition.

How empowering to hear a young woman blazing a serious trail

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

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