Frou Frou Details
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I'd be lying if I didn't say that I looked into this album because I heard Let Go when watching the movie Garden State. The song fit the scene so well that I found myself entranced by it. So, I went and picked up Details, hoping that Let Go wasn't the only song worth listening to on the album (you know it happens - a band makes one good, radio-friendly song and packs the album with crap).

Frou Frou falls not far from the likes of Björk, which is not much of a surprise considering that singer/songwriter Imogene Heap collaborated with producer Guy Sigsworth, who previously worked with Björk. Heap provides light yet varied vocals that tend to work softly with the more reserved pop-techno themes of the songs. While there are few exceptions, most of the tracks borrow from similar themes and patterns already found in the genre at large.

The album opens with it's Ace card - Let Go, a charming, soulful track that whispers into life before the light, wispy techno beat lulls into life. The chorus croons at the listener, begging for their attention. This is followed by Breathe In, which shows signs of a more casual trip-hop beat and bass in delivery without shying away from the sound that Frou Frou develops. This is followed by It's Good to Be in Love and Must Be Dreaming, two tracks that come across as boring pop-techno that unfortunately don't really stand out in such an overdone genre. Neither are bad songs, but they feel like a lull in the album.

These are followed by Psychobabble, an amazingly powerful track that mostly features Heap's voice over dark pulsing electronica, driven home by an emotional chorus. This is the kind of track that won't see any airplay because of it's structure (there's technically no discernable beat outside of a patterned pulse), but it does wonder for the flow of the album. After this is Only Got One, which is another more reserved techno track that takes its time to get going, but does feature a nice yodelling effect by Heap. Shh has a nice, quick beat that moves the pace along well, especially after the previous track.

The final four tracks really continue a trend in the album of providing good pop-techno while throwing a few twists to keep things varied and interesting. Hear Me Out is pleasantly upbeat, while Maddening Shroud is more subdued. Flicks features a looping bassline that's pretty addictive. The Dumbing Down Of Love ends the album on a more moody, almost tedius note.

Frou Frou's Details is a good album for those that love the genre. Some of the tracks can be pretty boring and "by-the-numbers", but these are balanced by more interesting and energetic tracks. Heap's vocal presence works with the tone of the music to create a mood, that while familiar, can be perceived as unique.

- - Kinderfeld

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