Album Review: Speech Debelle – ‘Freedom of Speech’

February 21, 2012 Updated: September 24, 2019

It would have been easy to see Speech Debelle as a one hit wonder. Although her Mercury-winning debut album wasn’t exactly a hit – it didn’t receive the sales hike normally associated with winners. Debelle was – and is – clearly talented, as this superb second album demonstrates. Her observant confessional lyrics remain, but here she expands her range to highly political meditations on the London riots and a possible global collapse. The production, as with her debut, is fantastically musical (if a little unsubtle), taking unusual turns throughout the record. As a whole it forms one of the finest hip hop albums since, well, Speech Therapy.

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