Monday, July 13th, 2009

Speech Debelle ft. Micachu – Better Days

Wednesday, for instance…


Martin Kavka: People will dismiss this as rapping Dido, but this is precisely the kind of song that leads to a Mercury Music Prize nomination. On the other hand, this is precisely the kind of song that leads people to wonder what the fuck the Mercury Music Prize judges are smoking.

Alex Wisgard: “Better Days” is a highlight of Speech Therapy but, taken in isolation, Speech’s bad-girl-gone-good lyrics don’t seem to fit the song’s pseudo-trip hop production, and no lines really stand out. Conseqeuntly, until Micachu masterfully mumbles her way through the chorus, the track just sounds kinda aimless.

Dave Moore: There’s an air of mystery to the whole thing, I guess, but the production and lyrics work at cross-purposes here, as the rap is fairly pedestrian — as best as I can tell it’s a one-note reflection on how it’d probably be better for her life and career if she didn’t drink so much. Kind of an “I Feel Like Dying” for pub crawlers.

Chuck Eddy: Wordy, but also shy and retiring, and with at least intermittent “Mind Playing Tricks On Me” paranoia arising out of its foggy emo atmosphere.

Anthony Miccio: This reminds me of the “serious” tracks on Jay-Z’s Kingdom Come, with their sotto voce pleading and hackneyed lyrics of personal struggle (“I’m dealing with the cards I’m dealt/but I’m dealing with different cards”). The only difference between this song and any livejournal post with a “contemplative” emoticon (“I’m trying to get in the gym amongst other things”) is the hushed melodrama of the music and the celebrity-aspiring ego behind “hopefully you can find these things inspiring.”

Anthony Easton: Surprisingly low energy, but pleasant.

Martin Skidmore: I guess this is probably looking for a smooth, jazzy, summery feel, but it ends up droney, and Micachu fits depressingly well with this, and is out of tune. Speech’s flow is unimpressive, but I like her thoughtful rhymes well enough. I’m not sure they’re good enough to overcome all the weaknesses on this single, but they are at least distinctly promising.

Alex Ostroff: Pleasantly drifts in and out of your consciousness without leaving much of an impression. Micachu is far more tolerable submerged under the murkiness. The bittersweet past embraces the tonal darkness of the genre, but the overall hopefulness of the song seems at odds with its texture.

Michaelangelo Matos: Sounds like something I’d catch on college radio, kind of like, and then forget all about.

7 Responses to “Speech Debelle ft. Micachu – Better Days”

  1. I was forgetting about this /as I was listening to it/, which is such an impressive level of sleepiness that it comes back through the other side of dull and becomes interesting again. Well, almost.

  2. listen folks…this song is banger! Im not one to go on about how good I think my music is because it should speak for itself and with all the good press etc i been gettin I shouldn’t really have to. On this occasion though I will. See if I wasn’t rapping on this song I would still like it, this producer Plutonic Lab is a genius I know this because I was in the studio with him. Theres not many producers that can programe drums on a hip hop beat and make it sound as live as the rest of my album. I would be the first to admit this isnt my strongest lyrical song but I dont care, it doesnt need to be. Its about changing your life and turning negative into postive. This song is for anyone who knows what that feel like…road man, road gyal, shotters, bun and cheese…BANG YOUR DOORS!!!…yes know it feels good to say “mum, I kept my promise” x

  3. lol

  4. Guys, all you budding music journalists here have once again neglected to comment on the production in any depth at all. It’s probably worth a mention. Martin – I’m fairly sure Mica wann’t going for “pitch-perfect” here. Alex – as a person who comes accross as being refreshingly eloquent, I think it’s important to realize that Speech’s lyrics and subject matter are far beyond her peers and anyone “spitting” in the mainstream now. What have we got out there? “Rolex Sweep”, “Head, Shoulders Knees n Toes”, and POW! Seriously… Dizzie and Chipmunk? Also, check her out live! There’s going to be a Live UStream gig on the 27th July feat Micachu for the release of this. All her previous singles will be played. Come, watch, comment in realtime and enjoy! PS it’s free.

  5. I am far from a budding anything, I assure you. I have no idea whether she was trying to sing in tune or not, or whether she can, but it is still worth noting that she doesn’t, and that her flatness adds to the depression.

    I would far rather listen to at least half a dozen British rappers.

  6. Speech Debelle has indeed made the Mercury Music Prize shortlist.

  7. And won it!