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Freedom of Speech [Digipak]
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Album: Freedom of Speech [Digipak]
# Song Title   Time
1)    Studio Backpack Rap
2)    Live for the Message
3)    Blaze Up a Fire - (featuring Realism/Roots Manuva)
4)    Elephant in the Living Room
5)    X Marks the Spot
6)    Angel Wings
7)    Shawshank Redemption
8)    I'm With It
9)    Problem, The
10)    Collapse
11)    Eagle Eye - (featuring Realism)
12)    Sun Dog
 
Product Details
Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Speech Debelle (vocals); Bob Earland, Eg White, Realism, Dwayne Richards, Anaya Richards, Nick Trepka, Marika May, Laura Murray, Roots Manuva (vocals).
  • Audio Mixer: Nick Trepka.
  • Recording information: Alaska And Fortress Studios.
  • Arranger: Speech Debelle.
  • This is where she starts showing off. Two years after her startlingly original and borderline-brilliant debut album, Speech Debelle is now the most interesting and possibly the most exciting British MC on the scene. This is partly due to the fierce intelligence of her rhymes, and partly to the newly dark and insistent power of her beats, crafted in collaboration with Kwes. But it's mostly down to the jaw-dropping grace and nimbleness of her flow, which is pretty much peerless. Hip-hop that talks about hip-hop is usually tiresome, but on "Studio Backpack Rap" she plays with the beats so expertly and rhymes so slyly (matching "lesbian" with "thespian," for example) that you find yourself hanging on her every syllable. When she teams up with Roots Manuva and Realism on the rabble-rousing "Blaze Up a Fire," she eases up and cools out, offering a nice contrast to her guests' more nervous and rapid-fire delivery. But she really shines on "X Marks the Spot," a complex relationship song that perfectly showcases her greatest strengths: her flow is rock-solid but nimble and complex and apparently effortless despite the weird and shifting beats -- her performance evokes the mental image of someone hopping gracefully across a treacherous river on very small stones, never losing her footing. The album-closing "Sun Dog" finds her returning to the sound of her debut, delivering a hushed and hurried stream of words over languid strings and a minimal beat. ~ Rick Anderson
Professional Reviews
Uncut (p.98) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "On FREEDEOM OF SPEECH, she sounds rather more assured....The mellifluous, jazzy backing have toughened up..."
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