• Record Label: Big Dada
  • Release Date: Aug 18, 2009

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Uncut
    Even in cliched moments the airy swooning music lends her breathy confessionals a vulnerable, charming intimacy. [Jul 2009, p.99]
  5. 80
    Musically, the live instrumentation and golden-era feel to the production make this record an enjoyable listen.
  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. For the majority of Speech Therapy, though, Debelle keeps you engrossed.
  12. Under The Radar
    Speech Therapy is an invigorating and deliberate as its final missive. [Fall 2009, p.75]

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