Speak for Yourself
If you’re under the impression that electronica is all technology and no soul, Britain’s Imogen Heap’s second album, Speak For Yourself, calls for an immediate rethink. Here are electronically manipulated vocals, airy keyboards, and robotic beats synthesized and processed until every groove sounds manicured, yet the music is still warm and affecting. Seven years ago Heap released her debut album under the auspices of three different producers. One of those, Guy Sigsworth, worked with her as one-half of the duo Frou Frou, who released their album Details in 2002. But determined to be her own woman, Heap’s handles all the heavy lifting here, writing and producing the album’s 12 tracks. “Hide and Seek,” featured on The O.C., is a vocoder trip, an electronically manipulated rush of gorgeous, slurring harmonies. “Just For Now” recalls the wistful dreamscapes of Kate Bush. Best of all is “I Am In Love With You,” which hustles an urban groove where the beats electrify the streets and ghostly backing vocals create a longing, elusive daydream.