Little Simz
A Curious Tale Of Trials + Persons


4.5
superb

Review

by RadicalEd USER (14 Reviews)
September 29th, 2015 | 227 replies


Release Date: 2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The throne is hers for the taking.

In 2015 hip-hop as a whole genre stands in the shadow of one album. Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp A Butterfly” has been such a towering success both critically and commercially, that it would be very easy to prematurely proclaim that it’s the best hip-hop album of the year and just be done with it. I beg to differ.
UK based rapper Little Simz (Simbi Ajikawo) has been generating some buzz over the last year with a series of EPs that didn't really garner a huge amount of attention but have definitely been noticed by folks who pay close attention to the scene. Even the current king of the genre, Kendrick Lamar, acknowledged that Little Simz “might be the illest doin right now”. She finally released her first full length LP a few weeks ago and it will certainly establish her as one of the brightest prospects in the whole genre.

“A Curious Tale Of Trials + Persons” starts out confidently with the opening track “Persons” which features an infectious groove and an MC that is coming out of the gate swinging. It only takes a minute for her to declare herself to be the King (not the Queen mind you) and the listener won't object. Once you’re reeled in, the album slows down a bit with the second song “Wings” featuring a more laid back production and some nice organic instrumentation that feels like a nod to Flying Lotus. Little Simz herself trades in the ferocious posturing for a more thoughtful and introspective approach, but manages to transfer the speedy and sharp flow of the more aggressive “Persons” into the more somber “Wings”. The production is remarkably well done and varied, not only on “Wings” but the entirety of the album, some tracks (“God Bless Mary”) feature crisp boom-bap beats and the slightly jazzy instrumentation that is so en vogue right now. Other tracks (“Dead Body”) are more grimey and disjointed but work just as well.

Lyrically the album is on point the entire running time, Little Simz is not only a superb rapper from a technical standpoint, but also has a way with words and knows how to slyly craft a narrative. Thematically the songs focus on her way to the top (which really has just begun) and the trials and tribulations that come with it. The album is mostly altering between stories of her past and struggling with the challenges that her new found success brings with it. While this is certainly not a new concept, she stands head and shoulders above most artists in the execution of this idea. On album highlight “Tainted” for example, she cleverly raps from the perspective of an artist who has sold-out and it’s clearly some kind of alter ego, a Little Simz that’s been tainted by success and fame. The framing of the entire song shows a level of self-awareness and an ability to tell a story that is rare.

The album is not without its flaws, on certain tracks most notably on “The Lights”, Little Simz seems to be rapping against the beat, rather than hopping onto it. Both the rapping as well as the instrumentals are fine, but they just don’t mesh. Instead Little Simz is wrestling with the instrumental for dominance, which is a shame because on some other tracks she intertwines her rapping so effortlessly with the beat. One could also criticize that the concept of the album is really narrow and focused on one theme. But while seeing her tackling different issues might have been interesting, it’s hard to fault her when every song is put together with so much intelligence and care.
In the end the album certainly has a few spots where it’s rough around the edges, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. It really feels like this is just the beginning for her and it is hard not be enthusiastic, because she’s certainly off to an impressive start. Just watch out for that throne of yours Kendrick.



Recent reviews by this author
A.A.L. (Against All Logic) 2012-2017Christian Loffler Mare
Faunts Ostalgia - Volume IU.S. Girls Half Free
Coldplay A Head Full of DreamsLucio Battisti Anima latina
user ratings (97)
3.6
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
RadicalEd
September 29th 2015


9546 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

4.3/5. Best hip-hop album I've heard this year (so far).

Not really thaaat happy with the review, never even reviewed a rap album before... Really happy with the album though, so I had to post it, just to raise awareness. Everybody check this out. It is really accessible and easy to get into as well.

RadicalEd
September 29th 2015


9546 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"I thought this was going to be a Pots review, but then I saw it was Ed, so I guess I can say my expectations have been realistically met."



Let's face it I'm just an alt account.



Thx for the feedback. Fixed the comma error (I have a hard time with commas) and changed the idiom (I also sometimes struggle with getting those right). As for the review not being assertive enough, I think that disconnects stems from you having a very high treshhold before dishing out a 4.5.



Also it's more of a 4.25 but you know... giving it a flat 4 felt like underselling it.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
September 29th 2015


32288 Comments


I feel like the idiomatic phrase is "a head of steam" but I have to double-check.


In what world is
UK based rapper Little Simz (Simbi Ajikawo) has been a head of steam over the last year
even remotely close to being a logical sentence?

Gathering some steam is a common idiomatic expression, like "when pigs fly" or "hold your tongue"

RadicalEd
September 29th 2015


9546 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah I don't think he wanted me to change the sentence into that, but just pointed out that gathering some steam is a akward expression. I changed it, so it's mute anyway.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
September 29th 2015


32288 Comments


Yeah I don't think he wanted me to change the sentence into that, but just pointed out that gathering some steam is a akward expression.


It's one of the most common expressions around

I thought it was, "gathering a head of steam," because a "head of steam" is what the trains used to use to get started waaaaay back when steam trains were popular.


You see any trains around here?

Keyblade
September 29th 2015


30678 Comments


i usually hear the phrase gathering a head of steam on football punditry lol. but they also say things like "in and around the box" so yeah

RadicalEd
September 29th 2015


9546 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

anyway guys. Album is real gud.

RadicalEd
September 29th 2015


9546 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I don't think this will be up your alley at all.

Jots
Emeritus
September 29th 2015


7563 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

you could listen to it and rate it a 2/5 or sum shiiit

RadicalEd
September 29th 2015


9546 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

it's not like tpab

Jots
Emeritus
September 29th 2015


7563 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

didn't u have TPAB rated 3.5 under your other acc

guitarded_chuck
September 29th 2015


18070 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

gif stream guise

JamieTwort
September 29th 2015


26988 Comments


The Sput hype is strong with this one.

Keep coming across this outside of Sput for some reason and it seems to have been getting a lukewarm reception at best from what I've seen.

guitarded_chuck
September 29th 2015


18070 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah i heard a few songs it was kind of meh but i duno ill listen to it



aoty in sept amirite tho Kappa

Jots
Emeritus
September 29th 2015


7563 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

the reviews i've seen that give this like 6/10 or whatever have been pretty shoddy and ill-argued tbh (and lo and behold, most of them namedrop Kendrick, and since this isn't Kendrick... ya know).



I don't believe it's hiphop aoty. Dead Body is a killer track though as are some others. the production sounds great and Simz is pretty savage beyond her years. great album, but something about it is losing me..

RadicalEd
September 29th 2015


9546 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"aoty in sept amirite tho Kappa"

Didn't call it aoty. it's my favorite hip hop album of this year so far so. Which would be a fine statement on the 2nd of january.



"The only reason it is getting mad sput hype is because of pots and his legions of followers tbh."

Seriously?

guitarded_chuck
September 29th 2015


18070 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

pots did



so no stream links guys?

Jots
Emeritus
September 29th 2015


7563 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

http://www.hotnewhiphop.com/stream-little-simzs-debut-album-a-curious-tale-of-trials-persons-news.17668.html

(it's on spotify)

RadicalEd
September 29th 2015


9546 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I couldn't find a stream. it's on spotify though. (thx johnny for being faster than me)



@ Sach: Well but there is nothing wrong with people checking out stuff that pots recommends.

Jots
Emeritus
September 29th 2015


7563 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

well of course they wouldn't. she has like zero presence here previous this this release, and it's a hip hop album that wasn't reviewed/promoted by pitchfork or whoever.

(edit: nvm they ended up reviewing it)

sput's hip hop game is generally terrible. you pretty much need to hype the fuck out of something for anyone to bother



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2023 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy