Speech Debelle - 'Freedom Of Speech'
Three quarters of a great album
6 / 10
Lost amongst Speech Debelle’s Mercury Prize fandango was the fact that ‘Speech Therapy’ was actually an accomplished debut. On the follow-up, the chirpily spun, jazz-funk flows of ‘The Key’ and ‘Spinnin’’ have largely gone, to be replaced by a soundscape fashioned by Ghostpoet producer Kwes, evoking an urban city in flux. At its best, such as on ‘Elephant’ and ‘Live For The Message’, Speech’s flow teeters on the right side of sincerity, the music shadowing it with a subtle brooding. There are moments when her A-Level Debating Club earnestness gets the better of her, but there’s still three quarters of a great album here.
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