Details [Bonus Track]

Details [Bonus Track]

4.0 2
by Frou Frou
     
 

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 orSee more details below

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.

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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. [A second edition of the album appended "Old Piano" to the track listing, as well as an enhanced section featuring several video features.]
Billboard - Michael Paoletta
Tailor-made for post-club chill-out sessions, as well as weekend brunches at hip cafés, Details delights with warm electronic beats, organic guitars, and multi-tiered strings.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/03/2002
Label:
Island Uk
UPC:
0731458699521
catalogNumber:
586995

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Frou Frou   Primary Artist
Jon Hassell   Trumpet
Guy Sigsworth   Synthesizer,Guitar,Piano,Drums,Sampling
Imogen Heap   Synthesizer,Guitar,Piano,Drums,Vocals,Sampling
Makoto Sakamoto   Drums
Mich Gerber   Bowed Double Bass

Technical Credits

Tristin Norwell   Engineer
Guy Sigsworth   Arranger,Producer,Software
Jake Davies   Engineer
Imogen Heap   Arranger,Producer,Software
Damian Taylor   Engineer,Sound Design
Steve Bush   Engineer
Chandru   String Arrangements
Sean McGhee   Engineer
Mich Gerber   Engineer

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