- 22 Apr 01
Joe Jackson meets Imogen Heap, a woman determined to triumph over lazy comparisons.
When Tori Amos made her debut most critics said she’d never last because she sounded too much like Kate Bush. They were wrong. Drawing similar and, let’s face it, lazy links, many are now writing off Imogen Heap before her career even, begins, claiming that on her first album, I Megaphone, she sounds too much like Tori Amos and Kate Bush. And as for the other pretty predictable point-of-comparison well, any woman who sounds even remotely vengeful these days is automatically lumped alongside Alanis Morissette.
“If the songs are ‘vengeful’ it’s more that I’m attacking myself, not just attacking men, which is more what Alanis does,” says Imogen, perched on her bed in a Dublin hotel. “But it is true to say that some journalists don’t listen to the music. They just say, ‘oh no, not another angry female.’ Even so, the songs are not all angry. ‘Whatever’ isn’t. Nor ‘Shine’. And all these critics claim I’m a huge fan of Alanis Morissette. I’ve never liked her. I just don’t think she is very real. But what gets me about the comparison is that people who don’t like her will see this ‘Imogen-Alanis’ thing and then stay away from my music, not even give me a chance. That really is the worst thing about those lazy comparisons.”
For those who may have been turned off by the “another angry female” tag, Imogen recommends you “check out ‘Sleep’ which closes the album” and is her own “favourite track.” It also is a song defined by a sense of acceptance that is the antithesis of the self-loathing in evidence on many of the other tracks. That said, despite Imogen’s disclaimers, some songs, such as ‘Getting Scared’ are directed outwards, most notably towards those responsible for betrayal.