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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
11
Speedballads
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£8.09+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on 15 November 2004
A forgotten gem. A story of 'What might had been...' It was a tall order to bounce back from being regarded as Brit-Pop also-rans, but they did. Their live shows were sold-out they had the glamorous singer, the musical expertise and most importantly - the songs...it's just that 'Speed Ballads' wasn't greeted with the enthusiasm of debut 'Republica' and record companies were axing bands at a rate of knots rather than invest in talent because of the Brit-Pop fall out - the fall out of signing far too many bands and then realising that you can't fund them all.
Which is a shame as there are some great songs on 'Speed Ballads' and if you listen long enough you realize that in songs such as 'Luxury Cage' and most notably 'Fading of The Man' the song writing loses the glib, sloganeering of previous works and shows a fair attempt at trying to look inward at very personal issues. It's fair to say that during the time of recording this album Saffron was in a fairly public and unstable relationship and perhaps tracks such as 'Fading of The Man', 'Luxury Cage' and 'Kung Fu Movies' comment on these events. It's no 'Here, My Dear' by Marvin Gaye but the themes appears to be very similar;
'It's a slap in the face, But you gave it away / You give in to fame / Then, you found yourself high / And you're gonna feel low / And you find yourself colder than the winter / Can't bare to be alone / Faded man / Ice cold, Bare bones / You take flesh and you take asprin, / Glad I faked it, 'Cos now its ended'
'Fading of The Man'
It's not all doomy introspection though - this is Republica after all! 'Kung Fu Movies' is pure gung-ho Republica (even if the lyrics are blindingly obviously pointing a finger at Saffron's ex by using Bruce Lee as its subject matter!) as is 'Pretty Girl Hate' and the single 'From Rush Hour With Love'. Some of the best tracks Republica recorded were for some reason left off the album; 'World Ends In The Morning' and 'Clone My Soul' became B-sides to the single 'From Rush Hour With Love' while weaker tracks such as; 'Pub Pusher' and 'Millennium' being obvious candidates were slotted in.
It's a great shame that a fantastic pop act such as Republica couldn't survive the record company artist culls and develop; there was every reason to suggest that they could have become a much loved band - almost a British institution of a band in the way that No Doubt did in the U.S. for many years before quitting on their own terms.
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on 27 December 2013
Having seen a resurrected republica support neds atomic dustbin recently I thought I'd take a look at their back catalogue. The second of two full albums speed ballads kicks of with the title track with a full force of electronic rock sound and doesn't let up. Maybe not as hardcore as say garbage but definitely a good alternative. Buy it and go see saffron and the guys in March 2014.
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on 4 July 2008
I still believe Republica's first album is the stronger of the two but Speed Ballads is by no means a collapse in quality control. The Republica sound is essentially the same, which is no bad thing, and this album carries on where the last one left off. From the rush hour with love, luxury cage and fading of the man are all great tracks but I get the feeling a few b-sides have found their way on to this one, namely pub pusher and kung fu movies. That said, they aren't terrible tracks.
So, if you liked Republica's first album you'll like this. It's a pity the journey ended here, there was more mileage in this band.
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on 27 July 2011
I got lucky and picked this up for a song, so to speak, from a seller. I've always been fond of the first Republica album with "Ready to Go" and "Drop Dead Gorgeous", but this, my god, I think it's even better. Category a mix of dance/pop/electronica, but the kicker is the passion in Saffron's singing. She just grabs hold of you and gives you a good shaking. Two of these songs can only be called anthemic: Try Everything & Nothing's Feeling New. But the tempo's pretty high throughout (in keeping with that marvelous title). A mere 10 songs, but they leave you feeling exhilarated. This, my friends, is what music is supposed to do. Another of those bands whose short lifespan is to be eternally regretted. I regard a listening session with this album as a treat and an event. GET IT!!
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on 20 August 2007
From Rush Hour With Love is a somewhat misleading introduction to the album - sounding like a fully-conscious, standard Republica song; a blatant attempt to keep the people who liked the self-titled record happy, it doesn't really prepare the listener for the creativity that is to come. Fading Of The Man, for instance, always reminded me of Animals-era Pink Floyd - miserable, spacey and quietly unpleasant. Try Everything is a more standard Republica pop song, but I'd say it was a few thousand miles better than From Rush Hour With Love. Luxury Cage, Faster Faster and Nothing's Feeling New are all, well, a bit naff and uninteresting, really. They make up the Dull portion of the album. The next song after that, Millenium, might have been OK before the millenium came and went, but now it's 2007...

However, the last three tracks, Pretty Girl Hate, Kung Fu Movies and Pub Pusher, are all fantastic.

So effectively I've said that 5/10 songs on this album are really good. From Rush Hour With Love's OK, too, so we can call it 6/10. That might sound like "just above average" but I'd definitely consider buying it for those 6 tracks. Shame they couldn't have made it JUST those 6 tracks and called it an EP, really - it would have been a great EP if they had.
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on 13 February 2015
this was a replacement for a lost CD, so i knew what to expect
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on 28 June 2014
Perfect! Bit different to the first album, but typically Republica! Five stars!
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on 10 February 2001
Speed Ballads is Republica distilled, harder and rockier than it's predicessor, but every bit as good, if not better. Rather than being an album too far, it should have been just a taste of things to come. Unfortunately, there have been no more, in my opinion, the world's loss. If you like female rock this is the perfect album.
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on 3 November 1999
Yo! Sup? This album KICKS! Buy it!
Republica's Speed Ballads brings home feelings of excitment and electric mayhem. From Rush Hour With Love pulls you in with Saffrons sassy vocals while Nothings Feeling New hit close with their interesting mix of mod (right? modern, I'm an overweight, gun toting american if you can't tell - NOT! - well, gun toting anyway;) and unusual imagery. Kung Fu Movies is also fun to listen to (this from a guy who listens to NiN) and is a welcome relief to hear after being savaged with such bands like Korn and Limp Bizkit (in 'da house 'yall). Heres a thumbs up to Republica and a very special Kudos to Saffron, keep it light!
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on 28 March 2010
This is pretty bad. All the songs have the same clanking sound or groove. It's like they recorded a ten second piece and then looped it for the duration of the whole 39 minute album, with only a few overdubs on top to make the break from one song to the next noticeable. It's not that the lyrics or the songs are bad, more that they're not good enough, or distinctive enough, when put end to end. Ten of these songs in a row is just a grey blur. None of the songs stand out. There's no inspiration on any of these songs, and therefore no highlights. The lowlight is obvious though, "Nothing's Feeling New" has lyrics that made me cringe.

Their first album is good with two excellent singles but this is just shoddy. I can see why it bombed and helped kill their career. It's the type of album you buy on the cheap, listen to once while distracted with other things and then bury in a drawer to be forgotten.
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