ATN La-La Land correspondent Mark Brown (also
Orange County Register) reports: It's a cliché to talk about the
of winning the Grammy for "Best New Artist." But there's a reason these things
become clichés: they're usually truisms. "Best New Artist" equals another old
cliché: Kiss of Death.
Now Arrested Development (as ATN reported some weeks
back), through attrition, neglect and outside ambition, is no more. "At this
point, it's more of an organic split. It's definitely not an official one,"
Speech said in an interview this past week. "I feel comfortable with that. God
has definitely shined down on that group. We'll wait for inspiration to come
"The people in Arrested Development were sort of going their
own directions, in different directions," Speech, 27, added. "I was just
continuing to make music. I wasn't making it for any particular project. I was
just making music."
Next week, AD leader Speech releases his solo album,
Speech, a tuneful, easy-to-like, solid piece of work. "It's definitely a
different time for me. I want people very badly to hear this new energy,"
Speech said. "It's not to replace Arrested Development, but to add to what they
already know about me as an artist. Nowadays you know more about a producer
than you do about an artist. (I prefer) really growing with that artist and
knowing what they've been through in their music."
Success took its toll on
AD. "No doubt, there was a lot of confusion," Speech said. "Here are seven very
young people exposed to so much exposure and so much popularity and fame, so
many different people whispering in their ears _ in my ears and all the group
members' ears. Obviously that caused confusion, even for strong-minded
"What ultimately took place was the grass is greener on the other
side scenario," he continued. "If the group ever gets back and records again, I
hope that every group member has a huge hit album so when they come back
together, they won't think about the other side. They'll think about what they
had as a group, which is very special."
Speech was always acknowledged as
leader of the group, so having such a great success in his past is more a
launching pad rather than an albatross. "I feel like Arrested Development
doesn't have a shadow. It more has light. Arrested Development was such a
beautiful point in my life that this album can only be given more light because
of it," Speech said.
Less rap than Arrested Development, Speech's solo
album culls more from influences such as late '60s/early-'70s soul and
R&B--Spinners-style light musical flights, at times sounding like pre-weirdness
Prince. "This album is the opportunity to show people the other side of me as
an artist," he said. "It gives me a chance to show my live instrumentation
background, my diversity as a producer.
"The birth of my son had a lot to
do with it. Especially `Insomnia Song,"' Speech laughed. "Just having a son and
being married has sort of had its spirit on this record. There's no doubt about
it. At the time I wrote this record, I had this son going on, I had this new
family scenario and I'm listening to Joni Mitchell CDs. There were all these
things that I was sort of vibing on. And that energy came through in the