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Speak For Yourself by Imogen Heap

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Reviewed on 22nd June 2006.


Speak For Yourself

By Imogen Heap

Imogen Heap is, according to the Guardian, "the first download diva", views of her Myspace and downloads of the music seem to make her bigger than the Beatles. The track "Hide and Seek" was played at the climax of season 2 of the OC.

I'm not entirely sure why, but I find listening to this album I remember fond nights in Tallinn, a beer festival, my first Jagermeister and then chundering said Jagermeister out of a 10th floor hotel window. It might be the Scandinavian grace and sophistication, and the minimalist style. Musically this is an electronic playground of production, drum patter; sounds whiz and buzz above a pleasant synph bed, while Heap's repeatedly overdubbed and graceful vocals provide the central point.

Nice, bland, lovely, soulless, minimalist, graceful. It is all of these. The album is bedecked by loads of 'cute' personal touches - pictures of Imogen cycling over the Millennium Bridge (she's sooooo individual. Daaaaarling), thanx to other 'peeps who made noises on this 'record'', including the 'sexy male voices', 'crazy electric guitar' (from Jeff Beck, no less), even 'Trains passing by the window' (after all she is so crazy). It's all very pleasant, if a little gutless.

However, for all the blandness, tweeness, and lack of substance, it is a quite lovely thing. Hide and Seek, a solo, distorted, capella vocal affair is gorgeousness personified, just waiting to be break up song for a million adolescent relationships and undoubted high of the album, Goodnight and Go, a lovely ode to unrequited love and The Moment I Said It, a beautiful episode of break down.

In conclusion, at risk of sounding like I don't know my own mind, I would love to be able to dislike this, but I just can't. It is just too nice.



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