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Alt-Music Club: Imogen Heap - 'Speak for Yourself'

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Alternanoise Music Club, Week Nine:

Imogen Heap - Speak for Yourself

(as chosen by @Andrew)
On Deck: @NinjaNick101

THE LIST

Genre: Alternative
Released: July 18, 2005
Length: 49:38

Tracklist:

1. "Headlock"
2. "Goodnight and Go"
3. "Have You Got It In You?"

4. "Loose Ends"
5. "Hide and Seek"
6. "Clear the Area"

7. "Daylight Robbery"
8. "The Walk"
9. "Just For Now"
10. "I'm In Love With You
11. "Closing In"

12. "The Moment I Said It"

 

 

 

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I think this is the oldest album we've done so far?  I wanted to go back and pick an album I genuinely put in my top 25-30 records, but also one that's not gotten a lot of talk around here like most of the rock records I love.

I think this is a sensational album, and while I think Imogen has been a bit less consistent before and after this, this is the record where all the pieces clicked perfectly into place.  Most of you probably heard "Hide and Seek" at one point, which is beautiful and great, but it's not even one of my top three or four songs on this album.  "Headlock" is such a groovy, powerful opener, "The Walk" is delightfully catchy and has some of her finer vocal acrobatics, and songs like "Have You Got It In You" and "Closing In" have such a perfect, dreary sound.  This is really an excellent rainy day album.  Or an any day album.  One of my all time favorites.  Hope those of you who haven't heard it enjoy digging in, and for those of you who have, I hope it's fun revisiting it.

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1 hour ago, Andrew said:

I think this is the oldest album we've done so far? 

The Saul Williams album was by far the oldest we've heard in the Alt-Music Club.

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4 minutes ago, NinjaNick101 said:

The Saul Williams album was by far the oldest we've heard in the Alt-Music Club.

"By far" seems a bit excessive when it predates this one by less than a year.

But yes I stand corrected.

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This isn't a bad album.  I heard it the other night, but was too busy to make a review on this. A little outside of my tastes, but there are some gems in there include "Headlock", "Daylight Robbery", and "Just For Now". The "whatcha say" part of "Hide and Seek" was quite an ear catcher. Otherwise, a pleasant indie pop album.

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The first couple tracks had me thinking that this was going to be a cute little upbeat album. Didn't take me long to realize that that wasn't going to be the case. Instead, it was full of little twists and turns so that I could never be sure what the next song was going to sound like. I enjoyed every song, with the exception of Just For Now, which I just couldn't get into. 

 

This was actually the first time I had heard her full version of Hide and Seek. I know the SNL bit well and I've heard it used in that Jason Derulo song, as well as listening to the Fightstar version. I feel the same as Andrew. It's a good song but there are so many good ones here that I can't single that one out. 

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She's not typically like anything I'd listen to, but I did enjoy this album nevertheless. It was a very chill and relaxing one to listen to while working. Quite a change from the WSTR album that I listened to right before it. I don't think I'll ever come back to it in the future, but it was a nice switch for an hour or so.

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So this was my first Imogen Heap experience and I must say I enjoyed it quite a lot. On first listen, it reminded me a lot of one of my favorite pop albums of all time, Halcyon by Ellie Goulding (looked it up after the fact and of course Ellie is a huge fan). They have a very similar vocal style. I love "Goodnight and Go" and "Closing In", those two were my initial standouts. I like her experimental take on pop music, it's not so outlandish like say Bjork that I don't enjoy it but there's a lot of variety and fun changes between songs. Being 12 years old now, the production does sound a tiny bit dated at times, and I wish her voice was brought up in the mix a bit more so I could more easily grab onto the hooks. Still, I will certainly be revisiting this record and putting it on my list of essential pop listening.

Also had a total mind fuck moment during "Hide and Seek", had no idea it was that song haha

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I like this album a lot.....as background music. The way it started out was super poppy and I was digging it. It mellowed out a bit which made me sad, but she always brought a unique sound to each song which I appreciated. I'm not a big fan of Hide and Seek. I did listen to this song once when I heard that this is where the Jason Derulo song came from. I was disappointed back then, but i appreciate it a little more. This is definitely the type of artist I've grown on now that I couldn't listen to like 5+ years ago. Definitely a unique artist and I may come back for more later. Thanks for the share Andrew.

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Alright, the first time I heard Hide and Seek was with the Jason Derulo song. Didn't even know it was a sample until a few years later. Fightstar did a nice cover of it. Yeah, it's a pop album, but there's enough little nuances and experimentation it to deviate it from the regular everyday radio pop, which I do enjoy. Her voice is the kind that just floats on by, not overbearing with outstanding range but not too quiet that it's more whispery. The production on this is so mid-2000s, sounds like a relic from that time period, but that's not too much of a complaint as I don't mind the sort of retro? (oh god is this considered 'retro' now? I was only young) feel to it.

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So I'm finally listening to this. I'm only four songs deep, but so far this feels rooted in the "music I can appreciate but ultimately is not my cup of tea" category. I do like the twists; I appreciate that it isn't straightforward pop and the lyrics have a frank sincerity. It's just not something I'll come back to.

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11 hours ago, pen said:

So I'm finally listening to this. I'm only four songs deep, but so far this feels rooted in the "music I can appreciate but ultimately is not my cup of tea" category. I do like the twists; I appreciate that it isn't straightforward pop and the lyrics have a frank sincerity. It's just not something I'll come back to.

The rare time when we are totally in the same boat. It's hard for me to place my finger on what turns me off--the vocals are definitely not for me, but there's something about the overall sound that just rubs me the wrong way. 

And, like you, I did like Daylight Robbery. I hate to think it's just because of the distortion... the whole song and production has an urgency and energy that I didn't hear anywhere else. There were a few little things that hopped out at me on other tracks, some vocal melodies, some production touches, but whenever one grabbed me there would usually be something else that took me out. 

Also I guess I'm the only person here who hadn't already heard "Hide and Seek". 

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