Details

Details

4.5 18
by Frou Frou
     
 

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To say that London duo Frou Frou recall Björk with some of the quirks ironed out is no backhanded compliment -- all the better to luxuriate in the plush electronic soundscapes designed by Guy Sigsworth, who also devised similar backdrops for the Icelandic chanteuse. The velvety vocals of singer Imogen Heap, however, are more akin to Dido's or

Overview

To say that London duo Frou Frou recall Björk with some of the quirks ironed out is no backhanded compliment -- all the better to luxuriate in the plush electronic soundscapes designed by Guy Sigsworth, who also devised similar backdrops for the Icelandic chanteuse. The velvety vocals of singer Imogen Heap, however, are more akin to Dido's or Beth Orton's, a touch of folksiness peeking through her urban-gal lyrics and coy delivery. With an electric guitar current running through it, "Breathe In" suggests the bittersweet synth-pop of New Order, though Heap's earthy vocals make it feel like a letter from your sister. Elsewhere, the songs get more radio-friendly, as on "Must Be Dreaming," which boasts a catchy chorus, and keenly soulful, as on "Hear Me Out," which plies layers of Heap's vocals on top of one another to splendid effect. On "The Dumbing Down of Love," Heap comes closest to sounding like Björk, her voice stretching to its outer reaches as she coos, "Music is worthless unless it can make a complete stranger break down and cry." That may be an overstatement -- although Details isn't likely to leave you weeping on a soggy pillow, Frou Frou instill their synth-pop with enough melancholy and honesty to ensure its creative durability.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Alex Henderson
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.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/13/2002
Label:
Mca
UPC:
0731458699620
catalogNumber:
586996
Rank:
7667

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Details 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
For a synth pop band, Frou Frou has very well written and touching lyrics. This well crafted album has some songs could have slightly less production as they feel a bit over produced. Overall, it is an exceptional first album. I can't wait for the next one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Move past their name. Frou Frou isn't a bunch of b.s. With quite a few solid tracks and "can't get out of my head" tunes, they're worth the buy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this duo has some major talent!! they can write and their sound is unique but familiar!! lol!! if u like dido u'll LOVE this gurl's voice!! this cd is great 2 relax 2 or just to play whenever!! lol!! buy this 1!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Since I bought this cd I have not been able to stop listening to it. I hear it in my head when I am not able to play it. I read an interview with Imogen from Frou Frou and she described their music as something you have always craved but never knew it until you heard it. I completely agree.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've had this CD in my stereo for over a year now just because it is so great! Imogen has a voice that is demonic yet angelic and is unlike any other. Everyone that I have recommended it to has enjoyed it. Frou Frou is a beautiful mix of electronica and great lyrics.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite cds, very relaxing and rockin' at the same time! Awesome!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This CD is good for chilling....I commute to work on the train and it totally relaxes me. Imogen's voice is amazing!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album was immediately liked as soon as I first heard it! (I have to admit that I had never heard of the group when it first came out, but I decided to take a chance on it because of the cool looking cover!) I am SO glad that I DID take a chance on it however, because now that I've heard it a few times it has become one of my ALL-TIME FAVORITE albums by ANY artist! (And I like ALL different genres of music!) It is one that I would NEVER sell or give away because it is SO beautiful it never fails to put a smile on my face when I listen to it, even if I'm feeling sad about something! It also is VERY well recorded! The acoustics of this album are great for auditioning speakers for example, because Imogen Heap's vocals are so clear and detailed and the music is very unique and not all blended together with so many complicated sounds like so much hard rock is for example!! To sum it up, it is a TRULY OUTSTANDING debut from this group! I HOPE that they make another one soon!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guy Sigsworth and Imogen Heap just had a terrific collaboration on this album. It's disappointing that they had indicated no desire to make another official Frou Frou album, but you can rest assured that they still work with each other on some future musical projects. Don't be surprised if it gets consistently rated as one of the better pop albums this decade.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this has some interesting music and love the song holding out for a hero.
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