Speech Therapy - Speech Debelle
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. As impressive as her gossamer-light voice layered over the strings and breakbeats on ‘Bad Boy’ is, Speech can do upbeat as well as down.
  2. With lyrics so accomplished, entertaining and labyrinthine as these to be matched with well-measured, anti-bravado beats and textural sensitivity it’s difficult not to see a bright future for Speech Debelle.
  3. 80
    Even in cliched moments the airy swooning music lends her breathy confessionals a vulnerable, charming intimacy. [Jul 2009, p.99]
  4. 80
    Musically, the live instrumentation and golden-era feel to the production make this record an enjoyable listen.
  5. Speech Therapy is a startlingly good debut album from a woman who could well be the biggest thing in UK hip-hop for many a long year.
  6. Speech Therapy sounds surprisingly intellectual and crisp.
  7. Even if Speech Therapy, for all its dour resignation, seems a rather surprising Mercury Prize winner, the gentle, pretty sounds behind the quivering sadness of Debelle’s voice remain true throughout.
  8. 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.
  9. Her debut is musically brilliant--if a bit samey.
  10. 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.
  11. Speech Therapy is an invigorating and deliberate as its final missive. [Fall 2009, p.75]
  12. For the majority of Speech Therapy, though, Debelle keeps you engrossed.
  13. It shows a poetic MVC pursuing catharsis for emotional scars, societal ills and mispent time. [Jul 2009, p.121]
  14. 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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