NO THANK YOU
NO THANK YOU—the follow-up to 2021’s Mercury Prize-winning Sometimes I Might Be Introvert—emphatically deepens Little Simz’s connection with producer Inflo, and provides further confirmation of the Islington rapper’s generational abilities. The initials of the title of her soul-searching fourth LP spelled out her first name, and the name of its surprise follow-up also hints at a purposeful double meaning. Perhaps a kindly expression of gratitude for the flowers given since SIMBI’s success? More likely an act of defiance. Either way, within this trademark ambiguity Simz gets her shine on across 10 sumptuous tracks. BRIT Awards Producer Of The Year 2022 Dean Josiah Cover—aka Inflo—taps into the rich, bluesy elements of his enigmatic Sault music for urgent dispatches from Simbi Ajikawo. It’s a rich sonic seam: A returning undercurrent of gospel-rooted R&B reinforces lines with spiritual resonance. From tone-setting opener “Angel” (dedicated to the model Harry Uzoka, who died in January 2018), soft choral flourishes and dreamy Cleo Sol vocals help Simz pick up where she left off in 2021. “Revoke access, I’m running it back, yes/Missing opportunities, I wish I was that pressed.” Building on a deep-rooted synergy, Simz and Inflo go the whole length on the gut feeling that has made their partnership so prolific. For Simz, an artist who’s always operated to her own set of standards, an equally clear-sighted collaborator (Inflo is also across the keys, chords, and strings) finds her at her most compassionate and precise, tackling family trauma and the emotional isolation of success. Within the streams of sharp, self-analyzing rhymes, scattered samples, and prolonged orchestral sections—“Sideways” and “Control”—lies the sound of a winning combo firmly in the groove. As Simz continues to soar, she’s evidently still clearing house. By facing down the dark reaches of the mind and the tests of her daily environment, emotional and soulful highs and lows are wonderfully bared across her tightest lyrical offering to date.