(13 September 2002) Imogen Heap--24 years old, 6 feet tall--is the rare voice behind Frou Frou whose album Details (MCA Records (USA) 314 586 996-2, 2002) is comprised of 11 varied tracks. The new album comes on the heels of Imogen's 1998 solo album entitled I Megaphone (order here). Her voice can soar breathily to celestial bilss or drop into the lower register to epitomise a different mood. She can gracefully articulate inventive lyrics, then slip into sighs and syllables that are a language of their own.
Guy Sigsworth creates the sound behind Frou Frou. He is a producer and songwriter at the forefront of today's most innovative electronic music. He's worked extensively with Seal and Bjork. He's also the man behind Madonna's "What It Feels Like for a Girl." Together as Frou Frou, the duo have met their match--in each other. For the London-based duo's debut CD, their combined talents have created some truly incredible songs. They are real songs, with melody and meaning, not mere sweet diva delivery and over stream-of-consciousness noise.
Let's face it--when it comes to crafting intelligent electro-pop,
the British have everyone beat. And in this case, British duo Frou
Frou certainly reinforce that perception. Just like the name of
their band, the music of Frou Frou is buoyant, sophisticated, and
More upbeat than Dido, but less driving than Kosheen, Frou Frou's
sparkling debut entitled Details blends electronica, pop, retro,
and folk elements resulting in a fresh and instantly likable recording.
mogen Heap's husky and breathy vocals at times share much in common
with Sarah McLachlan, Dido, and Bjork. Throughout, Imogen expertly
evokes feelings of joy, irony, and frustration as expressed through her
lyrics. Co-writer and musician Guy Sigsworth brings his exeprtise to
the table by providing classy (and sometimes flashy) instrumentation.
Tracks like the jubilant opener "Let Go" and the vivacious "Must
be Dreaming" combine dense orchestral elements, drum-and-bass percussion,
and electronic flavours in a way that makes one want to roll the windows
on the car down and head for the nearest beach. In other words, this
is road-trip, summer music at its best.
The jaunty "Hear Me Out" is
a bittersweet but intensely catchy piece that makes the most
of Imogen's wistful voice. The stunning "Psychobabble" is a chilling
track made all the more intense by the unsettling electronic whirrs
and the piercing harmonies delivered by Imogen. "Shh" replicates an
early 80's new wave vibe while remaining highly modern.
Madonna has called Frou Frou one of her new favorite bands--and this
compliment is well-deserved. Although this is only Frou Frou's first
album, their music is so polished that it sounds as if Imogen and
Guy have been making music together for years. With the break-out
success of British female-fronted "folk-tronica" acts like Dido and
Mandalay, Frou Frou looked poised to be the next big thing on the
scene--and that means more Frou Frou for everyone!--Justin Elswick
Read further reviews, listen to soundbites and order the album from amazon.com
here. Worth a journey, Details by Frou Frou is a very nice listen!