Departing from your band can result in one of two things: A glorious experiment recieved well by all of your fans and then some, or a musical breakdown that shatters to pieces, and whilst falling to the ground is bombarded by critical asteroids. Right now I want you to forget all about the latter, 'cause what its all about is Imogen Heap, and her side project courtesy of 'Frou Frou's' lead. Miss Heap borrows all of her finest FF material, and excersises it alongside those ideas in wait among her minds work. Speak For Yourself
sounds as though she needed to release this, as if the girl wanted to let off some steam. Or just create something new. Either way, if your a fan of non-generic pop music to any
extent it'd be a crime of the highest degree to not give this a chance. You don't want to go to jail, do you? Imogen Heap is not new to the art of solo. She had already a debut under her belt before this, 1998's i Megaphone.
That album was an anagram of Imogen's actual name, and picked as one because it was supposed to convey to everybody her free spirit about the album. This attitude may more or less have been carried over to SFY, but its presence is not imperitive to the record. Here she displays her ability to love - its like a trip she takes you through, or a story, as you follow her running through the open plain that is her music. Its pure beauty cannot be done justice with one or two mere listens. If you want the full effect, the honest true feel for the music, its required of you to go from start to finish. Fear not, for this is no novel. It's the picture book that lay alone and collecting dust under all of your LOTR and various fantasy drivel. Not your typical picture book, though...your little sister wouldn't read it. So you have to take it upon yourself and make it your task to finish this book. Every good book deserves a review. Allow me, please.
It's All Got To Start Somewhere
What is the basic idea of this? What's the fabric of the album? The setting and theme behind the book are imperitive to understanding it. You can sense romance not only through lyrics, but music can as well. Have you ever listened to a song and decided that it should be about love, despite its constant lyrical work with obvious opposite intention? Well, perhaps not, as it is rare. But so is talent like Imogen Heap. Her narrative of the beginning for her album is a fantastic description of what she wants you to feel. Similarities are galore amongst the tracks first in line. It speaks of the innocent sort of relationship, the cute smiles, quiet nights and blushing cheeks. Imogen is a confused spirit here, she can't decide why she is having such feelings among the faintly beautiful musical effects in the background. She can't possibly be falling in love, could she? But she has led such an independant and perfect career as a person so far. There isn't anything impossible displayed in the music, as it hovers overhead her confused mind, creating a cloud of intimate desire. The desire to continue listening.
I'm Getting Used To This
Imogen realizes her feelings for the subject. Does he have it in him to produce the natural and important love back and convey it to her? Miss Heap decides to go faster twoard him. She begins to research and study his intents and desires, and wants to know him. Not simply for a friend. She wants to know
the guy. You need to be aware of the person inside the person you want. Imogen now will begin to notice some loose ends about the relationship for the future. There is always the possibilities that could puncture them and deflate this love as quickly as it came over her. Its complicated. But it could be just what they need, still unsure. This is the part of the story where Imogen becomes deeply infatuated and is probably ready for anything. She'll begin to have aggressive and nonchalant thoughts of their well being. He refuses to respond, and so the relationship moves on to a game of hide & seek.
It's Just Only Started!
Its not okay, now. Their togetherness had only just got off the ground, as just as the dust from their takeoff starts to form he departs his sould and Imogen is lost. Any and all of the pleasure they experienced together had to be fake. Marks of oil drip from the wall where paintings of their love had once hung. What did you say? Imogen asks of him. This is what we needed? Your a liar. The music has grown soft and depressing. Where are the instruments? It must be the falling out of the album. The redeeming qualities of life and love have dissapeared.
Its Daylight Now
Imogen's music now will cease as depressed as it is, and hop on the train and go. It begins to drive as her mood becomes very upbeat and happy about the loss and getting over her relationship. But now she has turned to the opposite of what she used to be and stand for. Quick fixes, easy ways to get happy. Doing everything in excess, moderation doesn't exist anymore. She is now the peak of her personality as a female lover, lost, crying and happy at the same time. This catches up to her, and the happy beat leaves. Enter post-depression feeling. He is back. Imogen becomes weak, and refuses to feel for him. It wasn't meant to be so it can never. Don't even try. You'll turn my life inside out, so stop it now. As songs here progress it only proves to make Imogen what she was once before. Its only for now, though...she is happy, though. The music has recovered and has decided to move on to a different style, one that gives off quite a holiday-esque vibe.
Its time for this story to come to a close. Imogen will now know for herself who exactly this man is. She knows what he thinks and just how he does, and she only needs him for one last kiss. One final moment, and she'll be finished. She can finally go on with her life without the shroud of confusing hanging above her at all times. Its done, shes done and she continues on. The music becomes aggressive and hateful for a quick stint then settles into a calm, ambient sort of ballad. She experiences the effects of love all in one day. In one field, in such a short time. When shes finished she will turn to you and say that it isn't entirely over, you have a chance. Please continue on, and listen. Keep listening.
Speeding up, slowing down, speeding up and slowing down seem to be Speak For Yourself's
main theme. Kind of like a girl's mood, Imogen moves you again and again and stops...then continues. Swinging about her judgement at all times, Imogen Heap's second studio album will not fail to amaze you. I'm speaking for her talent as a vocalist and lyricist, which is given the necessary boost by the instrumentation (if you can call the electronic ambience that). The perfect tale of love and woe, with an innocent enough beginning leading ultimately to its sour but accepting end.
Vocals/Everything else necessary: Imogen Heap
Special Appearences: Jeff Beck (Goodnight and Go) Richie Mills* (The Moment I Said It)
*Richie Mills is Imogen Heaps boyfriend (at the time of the record).