Imogen Heap: Speak For Yourself


Imogen Heap has had a high profile career for a little singer/songwriter from Essex, England. Having already played on the same stage between the Who and Clapton, she now releases her sophomore solo disk entitled, Speak For Yourself. Written and produced on a strict timeline, the album’s electronic ambience is strictly Imogen; she plays all the instruments and was determined to put down the sound in her mind on disc. A lucky break or a genius marketing ploy also took place when two of Heap’s songs from the album were played on the teeny bop staple of American television, “The O.C.” Instantly, her singles “Goodnight and Go” and “Hide and Seek” were downloaded in waves. Both tunes exemplify the current range and limits of the artist.

With “Goodnight and Go,” you get a bubblegum teen romp with silly lyrics and a chorus that sounds so immature, it might make Britney puke when she hears it. “Hide and Seek” is four and a half minutes of strictly layered voice with minimal backing. Ghost-like in its drifting into the foreground while it deftly slinks away, the song haunts in a Portishead mold.

The rest of the album has its moments where Heap produces tightly wound dance-y numbers that are flourished with wind gusts and electric drums beating behind. However, it too often sounds sketchy, as if your friend’s little sister was locked in her room with Pro-Tools, her high school diary, and no narcotics.

The production of the music and the tone of Imogen’s voice match up well on most songs, the guitar override of “Daylight Robbery” being the lone exception, and this can be a chore for music with this little low end. Overall, however, the beats and random crashes of odd sound didn’t show up often enough to keep this listener from getting bored with the electro pop diva and what she has to say. Who’s to say though? Maybe if your mother slept with your ex-boyfriend who took your virginity and cheated on you in Tijuana, Heap will speak to you. As Luke would say on “The O.C.”: Welcome to teenage melodrama BITCH!

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