Speaking Up For Herself
Known as the vocal half of the London pop band Frou Frou, Imogen Heapâ€šÃ„Ã´s solo work has been featured in Garden State and amidst teen crisis on the OC. An indie radio darling, she made Speak For Yourself without a major label by turning her home into a studio. It sounds far removed from such humble beginnings, but the â€šÃ„Ã²go for brokeâ€šÃ„Ã´ feel remains.Heapâ€šÃ„Ã´s voice is distinctive, capturing Kate Bushâ€šÃ„Ã´s sweetness sans the vulnerability. The album begins with the most Frou Frou â€šÃ„Ã¬ like track, â€šÃ„ÃºHeadlock,â€šÃ„Ã¹ with breathy vocals over multi layered tracks. She sings, â€šÃ„ÃºYou say too late to start/With your heart in a headlock/You know you’re better than this.â€šÃ„Ã¹
â€šÃ„ÃºDaylight Robberyâ€šÃ„Ã¹, the only rock track, works surprisingly well. The music is guitar heavy but doesnâ€šÃ„Ã´t overpower the vocals. Itâ€šÃ„Ã´s exhilarating as she lets go, singing â€šÃ„ÃºAgain, again, againâ€šÃ„Â¶â€šÃ„Ã¹
In â€šÃ„ÃºHide and Seek,â€šÃ„Ã¹ Heap sings a capella with a voice synthesizer to create a unique, organic sound. The lyrics are nonsensical. â€šÃ„ÃºCrop circles in the carpet, sinking, feeling/Spin me around again and rub my eyes.”
The album begins with enveloping, multi-layered tracks and ends with the stripped down, â€šÃ„ÃºThe Moment I Said It.â€šÃ„Ã¹ Without being overwrought with sentimentality or buried by electronics, Heap simply tells a story that anyone whoâ€šÃ„Ã´s experienced a doomed relationship can understand. She sings, â€šÃ„Ãºsuddenly things just happened, we can’t explain/It’s not even light out but you’ve somewhere to be.â€šÃ„Ã¹ It’s at once seductive and heartbreaking.
The charismatic Speak For Yourself sounds close to Heapâ€šÃ„Ã´s previous projects but demonstrates her ability to create music that varies stylistically, possibly introducing her to a wider audience.