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Boomkat Product Review:
The latest recruit to Big Dada's roll call of talented hip-hoppers, Speech Debelle has been acclaimed as a female counterpoint to Roots Manuva's brand of conscious rap. But that's probably where the comparison ends, as Debelle's intimately honest lyrics are set to a backing of folksy downbeats and melancholy soul set by a range of producers and collaborators including Lotek Hi-Fi, Plutonic Lab, Tunng and Michachu. Lead single 'Searching' is the ideal introduction to Speech's world, with a tale of life in a hostel set to acoustic guitar and syncopated to brushed jazz drums. Producer Plutonic provides a merrily upbeat Clarinet to the laidback double bass of 'The Key', while Michachu makes a beautifully contrasting appearance on the dramatic 'Better Days' and Mike Lindsay of Tunng gets involved with the bright pop of 'Spinnin'. The sharply incisive 'Daddy's Little Girl' is a clear highlight, featuring an emotionally wrought performance from Speech held up by heavy dub bass and a soul wrenching organ, and the Roots Manuva connection is made real with a collaboration on 'Wheels In Motion' juxtaposing Manuva's distinctive croon on an oddly melancholy chorus. There's a distinctively impassioned and authentically emotional delivery to Speech's debut that we reckon a lot of you will find both compelling and refreshing so if you're tired of Lily Allen whimpering pissy nothings, Speech is definitely the gal to rescue your faith in heartfelt hip-pop.