Lea Lea's self-titled debut album packs a punch. A female vocalist with strong attitude and clear sentiments, which she expresses both articulately and artistically. Almost every track on this record has a dominant, pulsing beat which makes it hard to ignore. The opener on Lea Lea, 'The Wonderer' uses key elements recognisable from UK garage, with its compelling bassline and full, female vocal.

Second song 'Dry' grabs us with its atypical intro. The instrumentation is utterly different from the previous track, and arranged into unusual syncopated rhythms. There is a slightly oriental sound creeping in somewhere. 'Dry' is her description of another woman, one Lea Lea clearly views in a negative light. Her sassy and acidic rhymes verge on bitchy; only a woman can be that sharp.

'Dead Girl Walking' has a dubstep, grimy feel. It is the most automated, industrial sounding song of the album. Its repetitive nature is machine-like, filled with synthetic synths and doom. On this third track, the lack of hope and soullessness is clearly an intended mood conveyed well through choice of arrangement. One of the best qualities Lea Lea exhibits on this debut is her ability to match subject matter impeccably to her method. She continues to do this to great effect throughout the album, especially on single releases 'Black or White' and 'Apartheid'.

'Apartheid' is a less pleasant listen in comparison to the majority of Lea Lea, possibly because it uses the classic jarring (and therefore distinctive) elements of dubstep. The layers are very audible, with the basic backing loop and vocals on top not blending together. But assuming Lea Lea's obvious careful consideration, it could well be that this disjointed combination is a very clever sonic depiction of the segregation she speaks of.

'Black or White' takes a similar subtle approach: strong contrast in the instrumentation and dynamics echoes the chiaro/scuro opposites in the given title. This is the stand-out track of the record. It is soulful and bold; from a tranquil beginning, tribal percussion ensues. A brass section then chimes in and brings with it a sense of real grandeur and occasion. The timing is clever, all parts fit together smoothly, and the structure is flowing yet strong. It is a song which surprises, overwhelms and captures the imagination.

Lea Lea sings her message with the inspiration of a preacher. She is convincing and impassioned. Her pleas are political, contemporary and conscious. 'One in Three' references the statistical likelihood of being a victim of abuse. It is refreshing to encounter a female artist who has the look, the musical capability and the motivation to tackle such important themes, and most importantly of all, produce a resulting composition of genuine artistic merit.

Once again using aural allegory, an obviously gunfire-inspired pulse continually reappears in 'AK47'. The chorus is catchy and brazen, irreverent and impertinent. Eighth track 'Fire' is less impressive. The vocals and backing do not gel well, but become slightly more cohesive as the track progresses. There is too much conflict between the two parts, and the song comes across as far too electronic with not enough human input or editing.

Final track 'The Road' concludes Lea Lea, taking us on a journey from 'The Wonderer' to the wanderer, using the relaxed rhythms and the ambling tempo typical of reggae. This is a definite influence, but she gives it her own twist. The whole record samples from different MOBO genres, but with each there is a personal interpretation. Lea Lea has managed a debut that is not only highly likeable, but very listenable and certainly respectable.