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Imogen Heap - Speak for yourself

2007-02-13 10:36
Imogen Heap writes slightly quirky pop songs with lyrics that sound like they should mean something, but are more fluff than substance. With a nod to artists like Suzanne Vega, she makes music for introspective teenagers, or people who like their records with a touch of emotion. It’s a pleasant overall sound, and this record is unlikely to offend anyone or provoke a strong reaction, which is also its biggest problem.

The songs themselves are decent, and the production offers some upbeat pop electronica with the odd bit of guitar here and there. There are a couple of pop gems hidden on this album.

The weak link in this chain however, is Imogen’s voice, which fails to stand out, or against the music, which in turn ends up carrying the album.

Opening track “Headlock” features some bouncy electronic beats, with keyboards that conjure a magical soundtrack feel, with some great hooks as well. The vocals seem a little low in the mix, and it would be interesting to hear Imogen sing over a more Spartan production, or even just a plain strummed guitar.

Speak for Yourself repeats this formula for the majority of its other songs, and telling them apart becomes difficult, if not impossible. Some songs do venture into different territory, like “Hide and Seek”, which is a more sombre affair, with multi layered, almost robotic sounding vocals, and “Daylight Robbery”, with its loud rock guitar.

But overall, Speak for Yourself would have benefited from a less overbearing pop production, or a singer with a far stronger voice. Sitting neither in the upbeat summer pop camp of Shakira, or the raw emotional territory occupied by Tori Amos, this is a far from remarkable album, which will soon be forgotten. There is better music out there to spend your money on.

- Ivan Sadler
Easy listening electro pop record invites comparisons to Goldfrapp and Suzanne Vega.

Els 2007-03-09 12:59 PM
*** Amazing. Haven't heard anything like it before. So different - and that's the best.
lisa 2007-04-02 05:40 PM
**** really deep.my fave song is hide and seek very powerful so is candlelight

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