This isn’t rap

It’s a good Summer to be a quirky-female-singer-songwriter fan with the advent of the first album from Florence and the Machine (which can legitimately be called an offering after the new video for Rabbit Heart), new material from Regina, the arrival of school-disco-neon-nymph La Roux (whose music, like her makeup, can be described as a good idea in the dark), and (if that’s your thing) the electro-stomping Little Boots, who sounds like a pragmatic Goldfrapp with a sense of humility and cashflow problem. My latest discovery to add to the list of women defining the sound of Summer 2009 is London rapper Speech Debelle, whose single ‘Speech Therapy’ has been out since early June. In keeping with all but Florence mentioned above, expect large doses of earnestness and a complete turning out of the emotional pockets; lyrics about Facebook, Xboxes, and emotional conundrums of the ‘I love you, I hate you, I love you and I hate you’ variety, all set to a jauntily laid-back horn section, acoustic guitar, and (to the delectation of a certain blogger) cello. Or at least double bass. (whatever, it’s not like I work for the dictionary or anything.). Debelle is a flexible rapper, and the overall flow is smoother than Craig David’s face on a baby’s arse, but leaving much less nappy rash (yes, far less irritating). ‘Speech Therapy’ is even genuinely moving, hinting at a postmodern reflexiveness through the self-deprecatory chorus which seems to be de rigeur  for female singers at the moment, and featuring a combination of honey-hearted rap confessio and lachrymose strings that would quite frankly make the Streets’ ‘Dry Your Eyes’ look like a cynical jibe sung by a bastard after your lunch money. Top stuff.


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Filed under Tapes on Tuesday

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