Tuesday, 2 June 2009



With opening bars that sound like Tortoise when the first riddles of spit come from Speech Debelle’s mouth it is immediately evident that there is something fresh being delivered

Arriving as one of the freshest sounding albums of recent histories Speech Debelle conjures up a blissful and accurate description of modern life. Choosing to avoid such defeatist hard beat electronics in preference to a modern measured acoustic and jazz backing this is a contrary collection of delicate rhymes coupled with bleak content juxtaposed against a very laidback and appealing sound.

The appearance of Micachu on track “Better Days” sends the album through the stratosphere as modern day pressures display modern day techniques in an explicit outpouring of very tangible woes and stresses offering a new brand of method to deal with them. The Micachu backing coupled with strategic strings offer a haunting and melancholic demeanor, suggesting optimism even though at hard times it is hard to envisage.

“Spinnin’” is the money shot, the track with the wicked hook and immediately memorable chorus that emphasizes a positive energy and indulges in nothing, being crisp, swift and truly effective. The collective (the backing) almost make the song sound straight out of the playground and some kind of hopscotch celebration. It wins on every level.

Following “Go Then, Bye” is another crisp and explicit description of a universal moment sculpted in a manner I have rarely found so gorgeous or interesting. As strings rain over the track the pained scenario becomes extremely vivid and clear, realistic and never lost to sentimentality or hyperbole. It is genuinely gifted stuff.

When Roots Manuva turns up as ever he manages to make any work sound superior and majestic, adding a paternal and guardian vibe to proceedings with a contribution that was potentially telephoned in.

Spread over thirteen tracks this is a massively confident and accomplished debut. Within its construct it manages to tap into modern strain of life that many feel so deep and experience every day of their lives which is not dealt with churlishly or cheesily but music’s latest superhero Speech Debelle.

Thesaurus moment: unalloyed.

Speech Debelle
Big Dada

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