Album: Speech Debelle, Freedom of Speech (Big Dada)

 

Having ridden out the ignominy of being the only Mercury Award winner not to significantly profit from that success, Speech Debelle shows some welcome signs of maturity on this follow-up.

Where before things always seemed to be someone else's fault, here she's shouldering some of the responsibility herself: in "Shawshank", for instance, she regrets abandoning an old boyfriend because she thought she could do better ("I gave up sure for unsure") and in "Elephant", the disapproval she feels towards a boyfriend who called her a liar is trumped by the realisation that if she stays with him any longer, he'll be right: she will be a liar. She's less impressive away from the personal realm: her geopolitical analysis of Big Oil in "The Problem" is simplistic. But at least she's jettisoned the wearisome jazz-funk-lite arrangements.

DOWNLOAD THIS Shawshank; Elephant; Studio Backpack Rap

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