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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Imogen Heap
Speak For Yourself
RCA Records

Rating: 8.5/10 ?

November 16, 2005
You may or may not know Imogen Heap as one half of Frou Frou, the group that provided the song "Let Go" to the closing credits and soundtrack of Garden State. Speak for Yourself is Heap's second solo album; it differs little from Frou Frou, in that it still features a fondness for danceable pop songs combined with electronics, loops and other ethereal ambience - the stuff of which makes the music seem like it's coming from the heavens. It also features Heap's very capable range and breathy vocals that have been mixed and produced so highly that, if you were on drugs, it might sound like a choir of angels.

Stylistically similar to female singers like Kosheen, Jem and Sarah McLaughlin, I personally find myself more drawn to this album than those others, perhaps because Imogen Heap's music is sleek and cool - as demonstrated with the track, "Clear the Area," which features a thumping beat and a looping, tinkling xylophone. While Heap's music and content certainly share the trait of sensitivity with other female artists (occasional moments of sappy weakness), her overall intent is to make a soundtrack to a post-modern world. Speak for Yourself captures the isolation and alienation of city life, and is certainly disorienting as a swirling atmosphere is laced throughout her backing tracks.

Speak for Yourself relies on no soft-rock formula or even extraneous songwriters; even a track that is undeniably, well, wussy, "Hide and Seek" as a choice is nonetheless beautiful. Its sparse accompaniment highlights not only Heap's vocal prowess, but also her excellent self-production capabilities. Speak for Yourself should establish Imogen Heap as a unique and special talent. It is a varied collection of songs that are consistently dense, layered and beautiful.

Reviewed by Dan Williams
A staff writer based in Brooklyn, New York, Dan Williams is a frequent contributor to LAS magazine. He once lived in Köln, Germany for a semester, is currently persuing his MBA in New York, and recently switched sides and began working as a publicist for Special Ops Media in New York.

See other reviews by Dan Williams



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