Debelle, Speech / Speech Therapy
Album: Speech Therapy   Collection:General
Artist:Debelle, Speech   Added:Sep 2009
Label:Big Dada  

A-File Activity
Add Date: 2010-01-10 Pull Date: 2010-03-14
Week Ending: Feb 21 Feb 14 Jan 31 Jan 24
Airplays: 1 2 3 3

Recent Airplay
1. Nov 12, 2011: Music Casserole
The Key
4. Feb 09, 2010: The Rock Lobster
The Key
2. Feb 14, 2010: FLASHENTINES DAY
Finish This Album
5. Jan 28, 2010: Finest Featured
3. Feb 13, 2010: Music Casserole
Go Then, Bye
6. Jan 26, 2010: The Rock Lobster
The Key

Album Review
Reviewed 2010-01-04
British female rap with intricate jazzy beats. This album won the 2009 Mercury Prize, (the British equivalent of a Grammy). Almost alarmingly good, this album certainly has more than its fair share of superb lines, and a confident, catchy flow. Debelle tells us up front that she’s not a rapper, but a poet. And I can believe it. I would say she’s confident, but that just wouldn’t do it justice. Rather, she’s pissed off, but she channels her energy to make it more focused and driven. And boy does she have a lot to tell. Life isn’t fair, being raised by a single mom sucks, boyfriends are usually meatheads. Yeah, yeah, yeah, we’ve heard all this before, but the way she presents it is witty and charmingly intelligent. Debelle’s gritty description, peppered with metaphors, onomonopias, and British slang, paints an all-too real picture of the magnitude of poverty in the streets of South London. And she leaves no details out. Sure, there are the occasional clichés and lines that sound like they were lifted off inspirational posters and allergy medication advertisements, but overall, her clever syntax is beyond superb. The production is like Herbie Hancock and Buddy Rich had a kid and force-fed it a steady diet of José González and 9th wonder. Each beat is jazzy and tight, but still maintains an essential bit of free form to let Debelle’s cascading rhymes wander. Priceless oboes, semi acoustic guitars, and bassdrum bombs fill in the gaps and liven things up before any 4/4 drumming starts to sound tired. Excellent stuff. There’s a reason why this was chosen as the best album of 2009.

FCC: 3, 7 TRY: 2, 5, 4, 12, 6,

1. Depressing, but optimistic track with gentle guitars and gentle drumming. Midtempo.
2. The lead single. Very upbeat feel, excellent jazzy background—arguably the best on the album. Lots of oboes and clarinets and a guest appearance by an upright bass. Makes several not-so-subtle stabs at Ex-“President” Bush. Remember him?
3. FCC (shit) Slower tempo with grim but beautiful soul samples and background chorus. A winner.
4. Super-optimistic song lots of xylophone and even some violin(!) Blistering-fast rap. Gentle background vocals on the chorus.
5. Beautiful acoustic guitar background coupled with genuine, moving lyrics about relationship troubles. For such a cliché topic it’s surprisingly intellectual and crisp.
6. Very touching, introspective rap about Speech Debelle’s father—who abandoned her at a young age. In his absence she used this lack of guidance as motivation. Smooth, cool background with lots of tinkle piano, varied percussion and a strong bassline.
7. FCC (shit) Slow, sad tale of a burnout druggie. Pretty minimal production, but lots of staccato percussion.
8. Gentle piano-backed rap which slowly gains momentum throughout its duration. Male-voiced chorus.
9. Warmer, gentle syrupy background with spiky angry rapping.
10. Slow, dragging rap about the harsh reality of minimum wage and the brutalities of daily life in the lower classes.
11. Big band background sound. Very sharp, crisp drumming. Lyrics about a falling in love with a friend.
12. Deep smooth legato string background (lots of cellos with occasional piano).Lyrics about redemption, creating new resolutions and ultimately working towards realizing your dreams. Your daily dose of optimism.
13. 30-second acoustic guitar intro fades into a sad funeral violin track peppered with plucky guitar. Would make a proper soundtrack to drowning yourself in the shower. Lyrics akin to a listening to a crusty man in a gas station orating on the topic “I’ve made some mistakes in my life.” Except a lot more verbose and knowledgeable. And somewhat depressing.

Track Listing
1. Searching   7. Bad Boy
2. The Key   8. Wheels In Motion - Feat. Roots Manuva
3. Better Days - Feat. Macachu   9. Live & Learn
4. Spinnin'   10. Working Weak
5. Go Then, Bye   11. Buddy Love
6. Daddy's Little Girl   12. Finish This Album
  13. Speech Therapy