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Speed Ballads

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Album Review

While it was released only in the U.K., Republica's sophomore release Speed Ballads exhibits some remarkable growth. Detractors always felt that the band was the commercialization of other similar groups such as Garbage, yet Republica's music has a definite pop leaning that sets them apart from some of their contemporaries. Since Republica is more or less a studio creation — more about "production" than being a band, really — it's not surprising that the project employed a team of all-star producers including Alan Winstanley and the Lightning Seeds' Ian Broudie. What resulted was a cycle of ten tracks in an album far more diverse than their debut. While the disco-metal that ruled their first record has been pushed to the back of the mix here — only some of the songs actually have the same pounding rhythms on the debut — the songwriting has come exceptionally far. It's especially noticeable on the excellent single "Try Anything," a moving power-ballad that's also awash in beats. Other highlights include the hard-driving "From Rush Hour With Love" and the spacey "Fading of the Man."

Customer Reviews

One really good and underrated album

I remember I had a lot of problems back in 1998 finding this album on a store, but thanks to itunes it's available to everyone! The songs are amazing and I think this is mostly because of Saffron's great vocals. Her british accent is an important trademark of this band. The mix between heavy guitars and a really rich electronic base where kind of a breakthru back in the 90's and they sound great. I think it's inevitable to compare this band to Garbage, and I think this songs are way better than what Garbage did after their first album when they started in a decadent downward spiral. The favorites here for me are "From Rush Hour With Love" that opens the album with a lot of energy and Nothing's Feeling New which has some great guitar riffs.

Biography

Formed: 1994 in London, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

As Brit-pop remained popular in England during the mid-'90s, Republica hit the charts with a sound closer in feel to '80s indie-dance groups such as the Pet Shop Boys and New Order. Vocalist Saffron was born in Nigeria, and began singing with club-staples N-Joi and the Shamen, as well as Jah Wobble. By 1995, she had met keyboard players Tim Dorney (previously with Flowered Up) and Andy Todd (who has produced Barbra Streisand and Bjork, among others). They began writing songs, and after recruiting...
Full bio
Speed Ballads, Republica
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