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Speak is Lindsay Lohan's debut album which was released on December 7, 2004 by Casablanca Records.

The album was the first high-seller from Casablanca Records in several years, selling 1,000,000 units in the United States.

TracklistingEdit

  1. First 3:29
  2. Nobody 'Til You 3:37
  3. Symptoms Of You 2:55
  4. Speak 3:46
  5. Over 3:36
  6. Something I Never Had 3:38
  7. Anything But Me 3:16
  8. Disconnected 3:34
  9. To Know Your Name 3:19
  10. Very Last Moment In Time 3:28
  11. Magnet 3:15
  12. Rumors 3:16

Album BackgroundEdit

Lindsay Lohan planned on releasing an album in the summer of 2001, according to her official website, llrocks.com. Although no album was released during that year, Lohan had began recording demo tracks with Emilio Estefan, Jr..

In September of 2002, Emilio and his wife, Gloria Estefan, signed her a five-album production deal.

Lohan said to the press, "I am extremely excited to be working with Emilio. I am surrounded by a group of very talented people whom have made me feel like part of their family."

In September of that same, she landed the role as the daughter in Disney's remake, "Freaky Friday" which required her to learn how to play the guitar and to sing.

Lohan recorded a song for the film, "Ultimate", which was released to Radio Disney to help promote the film. The song peaked at #18 on Radio Disney's Top 30. She announced that the song was separate from her singing career, since many teen idols such as Hilary Duff and Raven-Symoné were expanding their careers from acting to singing.

In 2003, Lohan recorded four songs including a Radio Disney hit, "Drama Queen (That Girl)", that were released for the soundtrack to her film, "Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen."

Lohan began writing the tracks on her album in April 2004. She said, "I write a lot of lyrics and I'm involved in the producing process, because it's like, if I'm singing it, I want it to be something that I can relate to. I'm just trying to feel it out and see where it goes. I'm playing guitar and I also love to dance, so [the music will be] somewhere along the lines of hip-hop and rock."

Logan had begun working with Diane Warren and Randy Jackson (who were going to help write and produce her album). Diane Warren wrote the song, "I Decide", for her which was originally going to be on her album.

When Lohan decided not to collaborate with Warren and Jackson, "I Decide" was instead released on the soundtrack to the film, "The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement" and to Radio Disney.

By 2004, Lohan's deal with Emilio Estefan, Jr., had been cancelled and she began looking for producers for her album.

When asked by MTV about what label she would be working with, Lohan said, "I met with Jive, Universal and I spoke to someone at Bad Boy the other day, which would be kind of cool, but we'll see what happens."

In the summer, Lohan revealed that she had signed a deal with Casablanca Records, whose parent company is Universal Music Group. Music producers Kara DioGuardi and John Shanks both wrote and produced ten of the tracks, six with Lohan.

Cory Rooney produced her first single, "Rumors," with Taryll and TJ Jackson, sons of Tito Jackson.

ProductionEdit

The production on "Speak" began in July of 2004 while Lohan was preparing to film her next Disney film, "Herbie: Fully Loaded."

While filming "Herbie," she had to write and record six of the twelve tracks in her trailer on the set since she had a deadline so the album could take in good sales in December during the Christmas period.

Lohan would film "Herbie" from 5:00 AM to 12:30 AM and begin recording in her trailer from 12:30 AM to 2:00 AM, giving her only three hours of sleep.

However, troduction on the album and the film were halted on October 21, 2004 when Lohan was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, reportedly for exhaustion and a high fever of 103 degrees.

Lohan ended up having a kidney infection and was also in the middle of a family crisis when her father, Michael was arrested earlier that year.

After staying in the hospital for six days, she was released and returned to finish filming "Herbie" and recording her album.

In her appearance on "The Ellen Degeneres Show," Lohan said, "I was over-scheduling myself. It's important to say no."

Her album's original release date was in November of 2004, but was pushed back to December 7, 2004 to allow Lohan to finish recording her album after her hospital stay.

According to Rodney Jerkins, Lohan recorded a track written by him titled "Extraordinary." The song (which is a rock song) never made it to the final track listing of the album.

Jerkins said, "We're just waiting to get into the studio and cut it. I know her schedule is crazy hectic as well as mine. So we're going to find that day where we can get it and cut it, probably out here in L.A. or whatever. It should be fun, because she's got this whole thing about, you know, this little bad-girl image that everyone's trying to put on her, you know what I mean? Basically, the record that we did is basically saying, you know, 'I'm not ordinary. Bottom line, I'm different.'"

Album styles & themesEdit

"Speak" features different styles of music such as pop rock, dance-pop, teen pop, electropop and soft rock ballads.

In an interview with IGN, Lohan said: "I wanted to have a mixture like that because I love those kinds of club tracks that you can listen to before you go out at night with all your friends. And I also wanted stuff that was a little bit more rock that you could get into if you were like angry or depressed or sad or that. I wanted to be able to touch upon all those feelings and I wanted to speak about all different things, too, which is why I titled the album Speak."

The lead single, "Rumors", has been called a "bass-heavy, angry club anthem" by Rolling Stone.

A main theme of the album deals with the paparazzi and the rumors in the tabloids that surround her life.

"Rumors" is about the troubles that Lohan has to deal with including the rumors that have invaded her life. In the song, Lohan sings, "I would love it if you take the cameras off of me / Cause I just need a little room to breathe / Can you please respect my privacy?"

An electropop song, "To Know Your Name" deals with Lohan receiving no privacy when with her now ex-boyfriend, Wilmer Valderrama. "Everybody means to criticize / And none of them are even in our lives," is one of the verses from the song.

"Anything But Me", which has a more is more of a rock song, deals with trying to find who she is and not being able to fulfill other people's aspirations for her.

"Anything But Me" also has a verse about the paparazzi when she sings, "So much confusion circling inside my head / What this one and that one said."

Lohan also sings another rock song, titled "Disconnected."

In the opening tracks on the album, Lohan goes for a more pop rock feel in songs such as "First" and "Nobody 'Til You", both songs about her relationship with her boyfriend, possibly Valderrama. In tracks such as the title track and "Magnet", she goes for an urban pop sound.

The Madonna-esque title track is about communicating with her boyfriend while "Magnet" states that she keeps coming back for more from him, comparing him to a magnet.

IGN said that "Over", the second single, "begins like a Cure track, complete with mournful acoustic guitar and haunting piano-tuned synth." The song is about how her boyfriend won't commit and that their relationship feels "on again, off again."

The rest of the tracks on the album are soft rock ballads, including "Very Last Moment in Time", which is about living life to the fullest.

"Something I Never Had" is about how her feelings of love towards her ex-boyfriend are still there, but he does not feel the same way.

In the second verse, Lohan sings, "I keep telling myself...things will turn around with time / And if I wait it out...you could always change your mind." Kelly Clarkson co-wrote this track from the album.

"Symptoms of You" features a Vanessa Carlton-esque piano melody and finishes off as a soft rock ballad.

PromotionEdit

To promote the album, Lohan did several performances in the United States. She appeared on "Sessions@AOL" on December 2, 2004 where she performed her songs "Rumors", "Over", and "Speak".

Lohan's first televised appearance was on Good Morning America on December 6, 2004 as a part of the Women Rule Concert Series. While she sang "Over" with no problems, her mouth did not move for a second during the performance of her first single, "Rumors".

Lohan denied that she was lip synching, claiming that there was a background track because she had become ill recently and the song had to be enhanced from an electric-pop song to an acoustic version.

Kim Jakwerth of Casablanca Records, supported this statement by saying, "She did not lip-synch. Lindsay sang 100 percent live. Her band played 100 percent live. The background singers were 100 percent live. Yes, on the first song there were background tracks, which were not on the second song."

She also performed "Over" on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" on December 16, 2004. She co-hosted and performed "Rumors" at MTV's "Iced Out New Year's Eve 2005" on December 31, 2004.

In January of 2005, Lohan performed "Over" and "Speak" at Yahoo's Live@Launch, where she also shared an interview.

On May 14, 2005, Lohan performed at KIIS-FM's Wango Tango. She performed "First" and "Speak", and shared the bill with other popular performers such as Kelly Clarkson, The Black Eyed Peas, and Gwen Stefani. In between songs, Lohan mentioned that this was a rare live performance.

In an interview, Lohan mentioned the possibility of touring in Japan, saying: "I start shooting my next movie Lady Luck which will come out 2005 as well probably just a little bit later. Then hopefully more singles to come. I'll be recording another album by then. Maybe touring in Japan and everywhere. That’ll be nice."

While she didn't tour in Japan, Lohan was scheduled to tour in Taiwan after learning that her album had been certified Gold.

Lohan told reporters: "I would love to (tour Taiwan). I haven't toured at all at this point, but I would really love to do that. It's a great feeling to know that people in other places and other countries are aware of my music and what I do."

However, the tour was later canceled when Lohan began filming the films "Bobby", "Chapter 27" and "Georgia Rule."

Chart PerformanceEdit

"Speak" entered the Billboard 200 at #4, selling 261,762 copies in its first week and it stayed on the chart for twenty four weeks.

At the beginning of 2005, it was certified platinum, selling 1,000,000 copies in the United States.

In Japan, the album debuted at #19 and got a platinum certification after selling 250 000 copies.

Furthermore, the album got a gold certification in Taiwan for selling 5,000 copies in the territory. To date, it has sold over 2.0 million copies worldwide.

Critical ReceptionEdit

"Speak" received mostly mixed reviews from critics.

CD Universe said, "'Speak' proves that Lohan has the mettle and talent necessary to compete with other young pop superstars."

Stephen Thomas Erlwine of Allmusic wrote: "[W]ith just two hit films under her belt, Lohan decided it was time to turn [herself] into a multimedia, cross-platform star and so Speak was recorded quickly and rushed into the stores".

Erlwine called her music "a blend of old-fashioned, Britney-styled dance-pop and the anthemic, arena rock sound pioneered by fellow tween stars Hilary Duff and Ashlee Simpson. [However,] Lohan stands apart from the pack with her party-ready attitude and her husky voice."

IGN gave the album a mixed review, stating: "As with her contemporaries—Britney, Christina, Ashlee, Avril, Hilary—it remains to be seen if she will transcend the generic pop princess model and grow into a mature, insightful artist. For now, Speak offers up sugar coated, prefab pop that is easily digested, but just as easily forgotten."

Entertainment Weekly also gave the album a "C" grade, stating: "The Mean Girls star's debut album has some guilty pleasures: "Rumors" dramatically slams the very stalkerazzi who made her a household name, while the tween-slumber-party-friendly "Over" is perfect for singing into your curling iron in front of the mirror. But somewhere, Avril Lavigne — whose influence is clearly at work here — is rolling her eyes."

People music critic Chuck Arnold gave the album a "promising" review, stating that the album is a "competent collection of teen pop."

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