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

2009 is starting to wind down and we have had some really great albums released this year (Our Lady Peace "Burn Burn," 311 "Uplifter," and Imogen Heap "Ellipse," to name a few), but there is still some amazing stuff yet to come! Or at least, we've been promised, but you never can tell until there is an actual release date, and even that can change. Here's what I am still waiting on pins and needles for:

Royksopp "Senior" - Late 2009? This is a follow up album to "Junior" which came out in March. It was quite enjoyable (I may write a review of the album at some point) but I'm looking more forward to "Senior" because it is said to be more mature than "Junior" (how appropriate). Royksopp Official Website

30 Seconds to Mars "This Is War" - 11/24/09 - I've heard clips from this album when I was part of the recording at The Summit (one of the coolest experiences ever) and let me tell you, this is going to be a KILLER album. I cannot wait to blast this in my car and sing along! I had goosebumps hearing one of the new songs and that doesn't happen often. 30STM Official Website

Say Anything "Say Anything" - 11/3/09 - Say Anything albums typically need time to grow on me and then I can't stop listening to them, so I wish I had more time to digest this album before I see them in concert only one week after the album comes out. On the other hand, I'm sure seeing the songs performed live will coerce me into loving them immediately. I think this will still be a fun album but might be a bit more contrived than their past efforts seeing as the lead singer/songwriter Max Bemis is now off drugs (maybe, for the most part), a little more sane, and married. I hate to be one of those people who believes that amazing music is created while an artist is in emotional turmoil and self-medicating with drugs (although I would never recommend this). What would Smashing Pumpkins "Siamese Dream" have been without LSD and Billy's tortuous childhood? I also have a philosophical twist on this theory, but that is a blog for another time. :) Say Anything Official Website

Kerli - She has said before that she would be releasing an album this year, but I won't hold my breath. I really hope she does, but there are too many factors out of her control, record label-wise. In the mean time, if you haven't heard of her, please give her a listen - this is a very talented young woman! Kerli's Myspace

John Mayer "Battle Studies" - 11/18/09 - I'm not sure what this is or if it's even real since I saw it on John's Twitter, but it sounds like he might be releasing something. We'll see... John Mayer's Twitter

Smashing Pumpkins "Teargarden by Kaleidyscope" - releasing songs beginning on Halloween '09 - Oh Billy, what will you think of next? Apparently this 44-song album will be released in 11, four-song EPs over a length of time to complete an entire album by the end. But, the highlight here is that if you just want the digital version of the songs, you can get them free. The entire album will be made available for free download as songs are released, but collecting fans can purchase limited-edition 4-song EPs as well, creating a box set. Billy desccribes the music as "psychedelic...atmospheric, melodic, heavy, and pretty." Well, I hope it's good! Smashing Pumpkins Official Website


This will be my first posting on what I think the singles should have been on a few albums. There will be many posting in this series over time, and I hope to have a lot of fun thinking about these. “Singles in This Universe” are the singles that were released to radio in reality. “Singles in a Parallel Universe” are what I think should have been the singles, since, in my opinion, these are the best tracks on the album (not necessarily what would make the record label the most money ‘cause some meat-head at a bar could picture himself playing darts and hitting on girls to it).

The Smashing Pumpkins
Singles in This Universe:
Ava Adore / Perfect
Singles in a Parallel Universe:
Appels + Oranjes / Pug / For Martha
My Comments:
In this case, there is really nothing wrong with the singles that were actually chosen, I just think the three singles I’ve chosen represent three dynamic, beautiful sides of Billy Corgan’s songwriting. “Appels + Oranjes” is fun, full-sounding, and has poetic lyrics. “Pug” is terribly sexy... ;) “For Martha” is a very personal song for Billy and the tenderness he exudes grows into a beautiful tribute.

Artist: Dave Matthews Band
Under the Table and Dreaming
1994 (Wow, I can’t believe it was that long ago!)
Singles in This Universe:
What Would You Say / Satellite / Ants Marching
Singles in a Parallel Universe:
The Best of What’s Around / Dancing Nancies / #34
My Comments:
“What Would You Say” and “Ants Marching” are flaky songs in my eyes - no depth, but catchy. “The Best of What’s Around” is a feel-good, positive-messaged, dynamic, overall great song - the perfect song to open the album, as it does. “Dancing Nancies” builds really well, bringing you to the joyful top (lyrics like, “I’ll sing and dance / la la la hey / la la la hey / la la la,” are just plain giddy). “#34” is a masterpiece which I think really shows the cohesiveness of the talented musicians participating. Listen to this song with headphones on and your eyes closed to fully absorb it.

Artist: Kenna
Make Sure They See My Face
Singles in This Universe:
Say Goodbye to Love
Singles in a Parallel Universe:
Daylight / Sun Red/Sky Blue
My Comments: Simply put, "Say Goodbye to Love" has a good beat, but no substance...no feeling. "Daylight" and "Sun Red/Sky Blue" are very emotional, over-flowing songs that I feel represent Kenna the best. I can't help but smile when I listen to these songs. :D



What's the Point?

I'm going to be blogging about music whenever I am inspired. I may discuss an older album, a new release, a concert I went to, or the music business. Being a music journalist has a lot to do with deadlines and reviewing stuff you don't necessarily care about, and a lot less to do with being inspired. I am excited to have an outlet for my thoughts on music without having to make anyone else happy. The idea came from a thought I had where I feel strongly about which singles should be released from an album and they are almost never the ones that are released by the record label (musicality-wise). When I went to college for Music Industry, I said I wanted to do A&R (like everyone else) because I feel I have a good taste in music. My personality isn't conducive to being an A&R person, but I love music more than anything, so I want to support musicians that I truly believe in. I hope you enjoy what I want to share with you and that you can find some great new music through me!

Why Should You Care What I Think?

I really think it's fun to discuss music with others and discover new, inspiring music. If that reason isn't enough to care what I think, here is a bit of my history with music: I played viola for ten years, took piano, music theory, voice, and guitar lessons in college, did time in independent and chain music retailers, had a radio show, worked at a music publishing company, a music distributor, an artist management company, my Bachelors degree is in Music Industry, and I am currently a music journalist and concert photographer.

Want to Contribute?

If you have an idea for a topic of discussion regarding the music business, a new album you think I should hear, a concert you want me to review and/or take photos for, or to interview your band, let me know and I'll see if it sounds fun! Be forewarned - I am very picky with my music and won't spend time writing a blog on something that doesn't inspire me, so don't be offended if I choose not to use your suggestion. On the other hand, if you are awesome, I get very passionate about the music I believe in, you let's hope you fall into that category!

Concert Photography Portfolio

I have been doing concert photography for five years and it is my passion. Please contact me if you would like me to take photographs of your band (I am in the Orlando, FL area, but I am willing to travel).