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Album Review

Critics of electronica often complain that much of it has a cold, impersonal quality — that warmth and humanity are missing from what can be a very producer-driven medium. But there is no law stating that electronica has to be cold; it all comes down to how the participants decide to use technology. And technology is used in a very human way on Details, a collaboration between producer Guy Sigsworth and singer/songwriter Imogen Heap. Together, Sigsworth and Heap comprise the British duo Frou Frou, which has the sort of name that listeners might expect from one of Europop's more bubblegum acts. Hearing the name Frou Frou, one might expect something along the lines of ABBA, Fun Fun, Jemma & Elise, Bananarama, or Aqua. But there is nothing bubblegum about Details — quite the contrary. Tracks like "The Dumbing Down of Love" and the single "Breathe In" have an atmospheric, dreamy, ethereal outlook. Björk (who Sigsworth has worked with extensively) is a strong influence, and other valid comparisons range from Kate Bush to Dido. Although Sigsworth's high-tech production is attractive, this 2002 release isn't about production gloss for the sake of production gloss — it's also about solid songwriting and expressive vocals. Had Sigsworth and Heap been forced to record an acoustic project, Details still would have had a lot going for it. Sigsworth uses technology to his creative advantage, but he doesn't hide behind it — for Frou Frou, technology is not an attempt to compensate for weak singing or weak material. Ultimately, quality singing and composing are the things that make Details a cut above much of the electronic Europop that came out in 2002.

Customer Reviews

Excellent relaxer

Frou Frou's eccentric let subtle tones of music really make a relaxing mood for anyone to listen to; great after a long day at work, school, or anywhere. My favorites are, "Let Go' and "Shh". Although a little strange at first, the soft music becomes very addictive (in a good way) and helps relieve stress from any situation, go on give this duo a try! :)

The best CD I have bought in the last 5 years!

Although this album was released 3 years ago I still listen to it every week. This is truly one of the most inspired collections of perfectly crafted electro pop to be recorded in the last decade. Imogen Heap's voice is an unearthly joy to listen to... as though an angel from the heavens above has come down to sing her songs of love and loss. Both somber and uplifting, this album has won a VERY special place in my heart and soul. Guy Sigsworth is an amazing producer and songwriter and on this album he has woven an intricate tapestry of sonic landscapes that provide the perfect backdrop for Imogen's wondeful vocals. This is electronic music at its finest and is a "must have" album!

Listen up, the Sun hasn't Set

After her successful debut album, "I Megaphone", Imogen Heap left her solo career on a hiatus and collaborated with British producer Guy Sigsworth for one album, and thus they were known as Frou Frou. Hearing that name, you would automatically expect the music to be fluffy dance pop or bubblegum electronica. Actually, the electronica executed here is clear and crisp and used in a very human way, making it at the same time soft and sensitive. No, this isn't 'rock', as the iTunes genre label has put down, but electronic with the gentle touch. As usual, singer/sonwriter Imogen Heap delivers her sassy, harmonic and captivating voice over varied beats, synths and even snippets of piano here and there. ALthough the lyrics here are much more love oriented, they are expressed in a belivable and realistic way, but at the same time it's entrancing. Some of the songs are bouncy, cheerful and upbeat (Breathe In, Must be Dreaming, Shh, Maddening Shroud), some are slow, clouded and droning (Phycobabble, Flicks, Only Got One, The Dumbing Down of Love), and others are neutral, with enough tempo to be active yet smooth enough to be dreamy at the same time (Let Go, It's Good to Be in Love, Hear Me Out). The thirty second previews may be boring and repetitive, but iTunes has made an accident of playing the FIRST thirty seconds of the song. The chorus, verses and bridges are where the action truly is. The album is best experienced as a whole, and while not as imaginative as Imogen's most recent solo project, they are still altering in the sense of feeling. To sum it up, this is an album you shouldn't miss.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

A collaboration between musician/vocalist Imogen Heap and producer/arranger/songwriter/musician Guy Sigsworth, Frou Frou manufactured an impressive brand of vocal-driven, electronic pop formerly the exclusive territory of Björk. The British duo had been collaborating for years without a record deal, and after what must have been countless hours matching Sigsworth's studio finesse and trickery with Heap's breathy yodel, the group's debut, Details, was completed for American release on MCA Records...
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Details, Frou Frou
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Customer Ratings