Freedom of Speech

Studio Album by released in 2012
Freedom of Speech's tracklist:
Studio Backpack Rap
Live for the Message
Blaze Up a Fire (feat. Roots Manuva & Realism)
Elephant In the Living Room
X Marks the Spot
Angel Wings
Shawshank Redemption
I'm With It
The Problem
Eagle Eye (feat. Realism)
Sun Dog

Freedom of Speech review

A bittersweet victory

What could be a better motivation for a young musician that gaining a prestigious award? After an achievement like that there must be a great urge to prove to oneself and everyone around that it was no coincidence and that it is going to be even better. Yet there are exceptions. The UK’s young rap lady Corynne Elliot, performing as Speech Debelle, won Mercury Prize with her debut long player Speech Therapy, which she welcomed not too warmly. Disenchanted with sales of her highly appraised record, she labeled the public as lacking taste, and accused her label of poor arrangement of her promo action. As a result, Corynne turned her back on listeners and had a bitter argument with the company, which put the future of the promising hip-hop project at stake. Luckily, Corynne decided to make another effort three years after the debut release, dropping album number two, Freedom Of Speech. The new CD offers us music of merely the same sort, but a much higher professional level from Speech Debelle.

Grim statements from Speech Debelle

On behalf of Speech Debelle, Corynne Elliot covered the distance between an anxious and confused teenager to an adult person with solid principles and a common sense in one album. Her inner conflicts and self-flagellation with painful memories, so colorfully illustrated on Speech Therapy, are reduced to minimum on the new record. With far more enthusiasm does she now speak on stigmas of social life. And the best example here is Blaze Up A Fire, a song about riots taking place in England last year. Collapse is a reproach from Speech Debelle to the global economy which is too dependent on oil. Three years ago, the singer used to complain and suffer, but today she is charging ferociously. Angel Wings shows her laying heavy blows on all of those who dared criticize her via Internet. Only on a couple of tracks, the rapper consents to talk about more personal issues. On X Marks The Spot, she is not very gentle as she recalls her ex and, at that, she judges harshly other men by his example. Yet in Shawshank Redemption she suddenly admits to have flaws of her own.

Not much to blame for, a lot to praise for

Bringing up irksome and unpleasant topics, Freedom Of Speech relies on well-tries musical means. Speech Debelle chooses not very polished arrangements reminding of the genre’s progenitors to make the album sounding raw, which is predetermined by the lyrics. Therefore it is easy to explain the selection of Studio Backpack Rap as the record opener. In a somewhat unserious manner, to pretty simple, even banal, beats, the singer describes her impressions from working in a semi-professional studio. Reasonable is the placement of the epic Sun Dog into the ending part of the album. This track provides excellent lines and decent accompaniment to match the text perfectly. At the same time, one would be surprised to discover on this darkish and serious album the single I’m With It. This danceable, devoid of big meanings, song is hardly a part of the record’s general concept. However, despite a couple of debatable ideas, we can say that Speech Debelle did a big job and she can be proud of the result. Freedom Of Speech is a good offer to all fans of the genre.

Alex Bartholomew (05.03.2012)
Rate review3.00
Total votes - 4

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