Other Sellers on Amazon
Speak for Yourself
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
Whether partnered with Guy Sigsworth as Frou Frou, or on her own, Imogen Heap is an enormously gifted singer, songwriter, producer, keyboardist, and programmer. She does it all here on her second solo CD which showcases her remarkable talents. Comparison's have been made to Bjork, Alanis Morrisette, Joni Mitchell and Annie Lennox, among others, but no one can hold a candle to Imogen Heap. Her electronic programming and keyboarding are so textured and layered, you will hear something new with each and every listening. RCA. 2005.
If the voice sounds familiar, that may be because a couple of tracks have been featured on The O.C., while Frou Frou's "Let Go" appeared in Garden State. (Frou Frou is a collaboration between Heap and producer Guy Sigsworth.) Her sophomore release, after a UK-only debut, is a fine showcase for the singer/songwriter's swooping vocals. Her style, which incorporates layers of multi-tracking, lies somewhere between Sinead O'Connor's banshee howl and Jem's more delicate musings. There's more of a groove to her ouvre, however. At times, she almost sounds like Norway's Annie--by way of Kate Bush. The overall effect is plush and luxurious, if occasionally generic (a more stripped-down approach would really allow that instrument to shine). The one song that doesn't quite fit the electro-pop pattern is the vocoder-saturated "Hide and Seek," in which Heap enters Laurie Anderson territory (specifically 1982's "O Superman"). It's a risk that pays off, although its placement midway through the recording threatens to throw the balance off. (It would have made more sense at the end.) Aside from writing and singing, the multi-talented musician also recorded and produced Speak for Yourself. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Then I kept hearing her music in strange places. Have You Got It In You? at a dance recital (the dance was great too, which helped). Other bits and pieces in other places which made me prick up my ears and think, "Huh, is that Imogen Heap?" So I found the album online and listened to it, and strangely enough, even though I am not much of a fan of pop, I liked it a lot.
It helps that she has a sense of humor, dry in the British way but carrying under even the most serious of her lyrics. She's witty, but not in a twee way, not forced. There's enough poetry to make her lyrics meaningful, but she has a somewhat no-nonsense way of capturing metaphor which is refreshing rather than obfuscating.
And she is a musical genius. That needs to be said. She composes layered sound, singing multiple harmonies with herself, and in all of the tracks she's showing off something different. Her voice is nothing to sneeze at either; it has a unique swing from low to high which she uses to great effect, although perhaps sometimes too often. But her low notes have a breathy quality without losing the pure tone of her voice, and that's where the beauty is. As with many great performers, it's not in the moments of hightened drama, the crescendos and trills, that you can see the true mastery, but in the quiet moments when all there is is the performance, the technique. Those moments seem so simple but are where lesser performers have nothing to hang the art on and falter. Imogen Heap is magical in those quiet moments.
I listen to Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Public Enemy, Rage Against the Machine, and the Sex Pistols; I'm not exactly a musical snob. I don't go in for art pop. So if I say that this is an album worth buying, I'm coming from a place which appreciates music, not the trappings. I don't care about what labels you apply; this music is fascinating. You can listen to it and not hear the same ABAB, the same lifeless melodic lines, the same lyrics about boy meeting girl or vice versa. Yes, there are songs about boy meeting girl or vice versa here but framed in a way that is a voice and not just a song.
Give it a chance. This isn't a guilty pleasure, it's just a pleasure, period.
...marvelously expressive and sensual audio experience painted largely with two pallettes of nearly infinite range - electronic instrumentation, and Imogen's incredible voice.
Let me try to describe that voice:
-Her inhales and exhales are an important part of the performance and adds to the sensuality.
-Wonderful layering of harmonic and accent tracks.
-The rhythms are perfectly timed.
-Passionate, erotic, angelic.
And the lyrics are worthy of the sounds.
I always wonder about the people behind the music, including the impact of the producer. Listening to "Speak" (produced by Imogen) seemed to imply that Guy Sigsworth's contribution to "Details" may not have been as sig-nificant (I love puns), or perhaps it was very sig-nificant, and what she learned from him she incorporated into "Speak."
However, I have also since listened to Imogen's "I Megaphone," which is entirely more free spirited and undisciplined, but I did not enjoy it as much. This gave me the impression that Guy Sigsworth's contribution to "Details" and perhaps by inspiration, to "Speak," might have been much bigger than I imagined. Who knows.
I do know this - Imogen Heap is a huge talent, worthy of your time and money, regardless of the production style she's using to express herself.
NOTE: I was able to copy this CD to my PC, so the protection has been removed. Even if it continued to be protected, its important, I think, not to penalize the artists. Most artists (who make almost nothing on the sales of their CDs) fight with their labels to prevent protection. Artists would prefer broad distribution of their material so that more folks can hear it, like it, and go to the concerts, where the artists are able to make a living.