Speech Therapy has a lot going for it: it's a solid confessional debut about the singer's experiences as a black South Londoner, the backing tracks are inventive jazzy jams played by sympathetic musicians, and the upshot is an uncompromising suite of female-empowerment snapshots.
Fortunately, whether she's sifting through the anguish she's caused her mother and the trouble she's having finishing her album, or realizing that good sex can make for bad boyfriends and that even sucky jobs serve some cosmic purpose, she generally cuts through the crap without pretending to have easy answers.
The music on her debut, craftily produced in the main by Wayne Lotek, is acoustic, jazz-inspired and, on songs like Spinning, quite beautiful; not something that can be said too often about debut UK hip-hop albums. Consider Debelle's couplets for too long, however, and they can start to seem platitudinous.
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|Led Zeppelin III [Remastered] - Led Zeppelin|
|Led Zeppelin I [Remastered] - Led Zeppelin|
|Led Zeppelin II [Remastered] - Led Zeppelin|
|Definitely Maybe [Remastered] - Oasis|
|Nightclubbing [Deluxe Edition] - Grace Jones|
|Soul Mining (30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) [Box Set] - The The|
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|From Parts Unknown - Every Time I Die|
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|Illmatic XX [20th Anniversary Edition] - Nas|
|Rat Conspiracy [Box Set] - Unwound|
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|Anthology [Box Set] - The Clean|
|To Be Kind - Swans|
|Face the Music [Box Set] - Nils Lofgren|
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|Rooms of the House - La Dispute|
|CSNY 1974 [Box Set] - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young|
|Go Down in History [EP] - Four Year Strong|