Review: Jack Foley
IMOGEN Heap is hitherto best known as the female voice of Frou
Yet she remains something of an enigma in that her talent far
outreaches her popularity.
Boasting dream-like vocals that vaguely compare to those of Chrissie
Hynde, only better, she is a hugely talented artist who deserves
a much wider audience.
Fans of Zach Braff's movie, Garden
State, may be well aware of the power of Imogen's vocals,
given that the Frou Frou track, Let Go, featured prominently
towards the end of the film.
While The OC fanclub have embraced the singer ever since her
latest solo track, Hide & Seek, featured prominently
during the season two finale of the cult US series.
Indeed, one week after it was played-out in the closing sequence
Hide And Seek climbed to No.32 in the Official Billboard
Hot 100 Download Chart and shot up to no.1 in the iTunes USA Electronic
It's no less than the artist deserves.
Speak Four Yourself is a mesmerising album, combining
a number of styles that are designed to bring out the very best
in those delicious vocals.
Every note was written, recorded and produced by Imogen herself
using Pro-Tools, some geeky toys and a room full of instruments
ranging from a cello to carpet tubes.
Her unique voice was also used as another instrument by layering
up and arranging the many vocal parts that intertwine in and around
A classic example of this is the rocky track, The Area,
which rates as one of the most energetic on the long-player, sending
Imogen's vocals into soaring highs that reverberate around your
ear-drums to scintillating effect.
It is in stark contrast to Hide and Seek, which really
strips down the instrumentation to the bare minimum, allowing
the vocals to take centre stage and distorting them slightly to
create something that is unique, haunting and utterly beguiling.
In stand alone form, it's emotive enough, yet The OC's usage
guarantees it a wider significance to fans of the series.
The lush melodies that are an integral part of the vocals are
rife throughout the happy go-lucky Loose Ends, which
owes so much in style to Frou Frou and the electronic post-dance
rhythms of super-producer, Guy Sigsworth. It's quite enchanting.
The Walk is another beauty that played loud in places
can genuinely send shivers down the spine, such is the power of
Imogen's immaculate voice.
While opening track, Headlock, is a terrific introduction
that showcases both Imogen's unique voice and her instrumental
ambition (she layers the sounds so superbly).
Just occasionally, the album drops off slightly and feels a little
experimental, but such moments are few and far between.
When Imogen sings I Am In Love With You, therefore,
near the end of proceedings, it's a sentiment you will want to
Hers is a voice that's designed for falling in love with and
Speak For Yourself is the perfect afrodisiac.
Related stories: Learn
more about Imogen Heap
Frou Frou - Details reviewed
Garden State - the soundtrack