Speech Therapy

Speech Therapy

by Speech Debelle


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Speech Therapy

This album was about five years in the making -- that's how much time elapsed between the young Speech Debelle's first visit to London's Big Dada label and studio (home of underground hip-hop legend Roots Manuva) , where she quickly recorded the outline of "Searching," and the eventual release of Speech Therapy, which was largely recorded in Australia at the temporary studio of producer Wayne Lotek. It's interesting to consider how different the album would sound if it had been recorded in London rather than Melbourne; as it is, Speech Therapy is one of the most unique hip-hop albums you're likely to hear. There don't seem to be any samples or turntablism. Instead, the grooves are supplied mostly by acoustic instruments, and many of them are lightly, skitteringly jazzy -- notice in particular the soft, jazz-inflected accompaniment that adds an entirely new dimension to Debelle's nervous and unsettled rapping on "Searching" and "Better Days," and notice also the subtle but elegantly complex rhythmic displacements in the lyric to "The Key." On "Bad Boy," sweet strings and jungly drums push nicely against each other, and on the kiss-off rap "Go Then, Bye" a lushly beautiful acoustic guitar and small string ensemble accompany a startlingly angry and unsettled rap. There are, inevitably, a couple of clunkers: Debelle's flow is awkward on "Working Weak," and "Finish This Album" is a bit too literally self-referential. But those are minor missteps compared to the great strengths of this very fine debut.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/01/2009
Label: Big Dada Records
UPC: 5021392137827
catalogNumber: 137
Rank: 236234

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Speech Debelle   Primary Artist,Vocals
Martin Cruz Smith   Clarinet
Winston Blissett   Bass
Roots Manuva   Vocals
Realizm   Vocals
Timothy Bennett   Bass,Guitar
Becky Jacobs   Vocals
Wayne Bennett   Keyboards
Tom Butt   Double Bass
Mike Lindsay   Vocals,Track Performer
Aaron Boot   Guitar
Ciaran Fahy   Guitar,Piano,Strings,Drums
Connor Dalton   Bass,Guitar
David Goode   Piano
Mike Ensor   Drums
Dustin McLean   Organ,Piano
Liam O'Connell   Guitar
Katherine Quirk   Violin
Tamil Rogoen   Strings

Technical Credits

Rick Smith   Composer
A. Boot   Composer
Wayne Bennett   Programming,Producer,Engineer,drum programming
Bob Earland   Engineer,Vocal Engineer
Mike Lindsay   Producer,Engineer
Speech Debelle   Producer,Executive Producer
Ciaran Fahy   Programming,Producer,Engineer,Orchestral Arrangements
Lewis Kyle White   Direction

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