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.
|Spiderland [Box Set] - Slint|
|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|
|Miles at the Fillmore - Miles Davis 1970: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 3 - Miles Davis|
|From Parts Unknown - Every Time I Die|
|The Satanist - Behemoth|
|Home, Like Noplace Is There - The Hotelier|
|Goodbye Yellow Brick Road [40th Anniversary Edition] - Elton John|
|Illmatic XX [20th Anniversary Edition] - Nas|
|St. Vincent - St. Vincent|
|Rat Conspiracy [Box Set] - Unwound|
|Anthology [Box Set] - The Clean|
|Superunknown [Deluxe Edition] - Soundgarden|
|High Land, Hard Rain [30th Anniversary Edition] - Aztec Camera|
|To Be Kind - Swans|
|Rooms of the House - La Dispute|
|Colfax - The Delines|