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.
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