Indie Rock, 2005
I have no idea who Imogen Heap is when I pick Speak for Yourself up out of curiosity but I am pleasantly surprised to find that I like this charming if eccentric collection of songs that fuse electronica and a most charming alto. Ms Heap’s voice reminds me of Suzanne Vega’s but the music of the two ladies are nowhere even similar.
The songs here have a rather simple structure on the whole, with a single pattern of melodious hook being repeated again and again until I can’t get that song out of my head. Don’t believe me? Listen to Goodnight and Go and Loose Ends. However, the production value of the songs can be too similar at times that after a while, every song starts to blur into one another. The only noticeable odd duck here is also the best song on the CD, Hide and Seek, where Ms Heap’s vocals are entirely processed through a harmonizer. Of course, I just have to learn later that this is also her most overexposed song, thanks to The OC and a million YouTube videos and TV series and advertisements, and I can only count myself fortunate that I hear this song in its entirety and love it long before I would have become fed up with it due to its overexposure.
Think of this one as a pleasant, charming, and inoffensive CD that can be played in arty-farty Buddha bars. There are some good tunes here, but there is also a good possibility that the sameness of too many songs eventually makes one lose interest in the CD. I really like Hide and Seek though.