Speech disbanded Arrested Development after the failure of Zingalamaduni, the band's second album, embarking on a solo career. As it turned out, it wasn't dissimilar from his former band at all. Speech, his eponymous 1996 debut, followed the same peaceful, soulful vibe that informed Arrested Development's two studio albums in a more tempered fashion. Where his former group sounded rootsy and gritty even at their most laid-back, Speech's record sounds slick, generally lacking in funk or dirt. Speech is not as immediate or infectious as 3 Years, but it is certainly more focused than Zingalamaduni. That sense of direction is a welcome relief after the confused mess of Arrested Development's farewell but Speech needs to write more shots of energy like "Ghetto Sex" in order to win back his audience.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine