Imogen Heap

While Imogen Heap has stayed plenty busy over the years since her last album Speak For Yourself was released in 2006, her fans have been tortured while waiting for the complete album Ellipse to finally be released. Over the past year, she video-blogged during the making of the album and teased everyone with tiny tastes of the songs she was working on in her own studio built within the home she grew up in in England. Obscure, fascinating instruments from around the globe, innovative recording techniques, ambient sounds like falling rain, and Immi's voice pepper Ellipse with tasty bits for fans to finally chew on.

The lead single for the album is the first track, "First Train Home" and this is one of the few tracks on Ellipse that actually sounds like a song. Many of the other "songs" here really sounded like "musical entities" to me as opposed to songs at first listen. It's a weird way to describe it, but I felt more like I was having a musical experience than listening to an album. Now that I've listened to it an uncountable amount of times, I feel the songs are becoming more familiar, and I'm getting to understand the album as a whole. I have yet to listen with headphones on, but I imagine it would be an entirely different experience. Anyway, "First Train Home" is a wonderful, delightful song which I highly recommend if you aren't yet used to Immi's style.

"Wait it Out" is my favorite track on the album. It is beautiful, epic, and has enchanting lyrics which ask you, "Are we just going to wait it out?" Heap's complete control over producing, engineering, and pretty much everything else really shine with layers upon layers of delicately placed sounds. From here we head into a stretch of pretty, delicate little songs you can discover for yourself, but I want to make sure you catch two lyrics, the first is in "Swoon," which is, "And this is where I was going to sing your name / over and over again but I chickened out in the final minute." The second lyric (in "Tidal") is, "Do what you want, just how you like, nobody has to know." Fun stuff, eh? :) Turning a corner, "2-1" takes on a moodier tone and adds a strong beat followed similarly by "Bad Body Double" and "Aha!"

This album felt a bit short to me (even with thirteen songs) and really left me wanting more of the emotional, full sounds Imogen can create, but her fans are absolutely sinking their teeth into what she has given us this time around. Bonus points have to be given due to the fact that there is not a single song that I skip through, although I have been known to listen repeatedly to the first two songs (loudly) in my car.

Imogen Heap will be on tour in Fall '09 and Spring '10 but dates have yet to be released. Check her website for updates: Imogen Heap

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