Imogen Heap- Soft and Powerful in Ellipse
Katherine Greenspon | Monday, September 7, 2009
Imogen Heap’s voice, tone and lyrical masterpieces are what put her on the map as a talented and unique artist. After a four-year hiatus with the release of her second album, “Speak for Yourself,” the British singer-songwriter has graced the lists of music charts yet again, taking the 5th spot on Billboard top 200. Heap’s new album “Ellipse” gained Heap her highest chart position ever. This comes as no surprise with her innovative approach to her old new sound.
“Ellipse” was completed in Heap’s hometown of Essex, England, where she composed the entire album in her studio basement. The name references the oddly shaped structure of her house where she spent most of her time composing and writing. Heap took advantage of simple sound and common household distractions such as floor board creeks, birds chirping and kitchen commotion which aided her in blending all of her ideas together to form what later turned into “Ellipse.”
Heap’s new album is loaded with new unconventional melodies and contemporary orchestral influences that capture listener’s attention immediately. Her voice and unique lyrics tell amazing stories, “Train Ride Home” and “Canvas” are only a couple of the newest songs she has debuted on this album that showcases her unbelievable charisma and talent. Her artistic approach to every song makes her so intriguing and attracting to listeners.
Every song on this album has a catchy chorus and distinct lyrics that force the listener to continue listening. “Tidal” is one of the thirteen songs on this album that really stands out with its natural and mellow tone. The simplicity and easy rhythm that has become Heap’s style comes across in several of her songs. Every aspect of this album is easy and relaxing to listen to and ideal to enjoy during those long nights of homework.
Heap’s voice is absolutely hypnotizing and irresistible. She combines her streaming piano sessions and electronic additions to create new and exciting music that transcends gender and dramas. Electronic synthesizers plus a voice that echoes pure poetry combine as two ingredients that are guaranteed to give extraordinary performance.
However, Heap’s execution of “Earth” on the album seems to be a bit out of place and tedious. She has a pattern of sweet and light pieces but with “Earth” sounding more repetitive and irritating it does a poor job flowing with the rest of her collection.
Heap’s witty and boisterous conversation throughout the rest of her songs makes her work relatable and effortless for the public to listen to. With her ingenious instrument usage and ideas she is able to reach a broad audience through her energetic and breathtaking performances on and off the stage.
Her progression from her first two studio albums, “iMegaphone” and “Speak for Yourself” is extraordinary. “Ellipse” stands out as more contemporary and cutting edge with songs like “Little Bird” and “Between Sheets,” both of these pieces being very imaginative and creative.
Heap has had several appearances on TV shows including Letterman and has lent her sound to many soundtracks including “The O.C,” “American Psycho 2” and “Heroes.” Her soft but powerful voice is contagious and her newest CD offers fans new material that is both mature and well versed. Heap has said that her album cycles are three to four years and hopes to get started on her next album, which will include bonus tracks and a new electronic sound.
Everything from her hair to her shoes is different and edgy, and whether she has multicolored dresses on or feathers and flowers in her hair, her music will always outshine every aspect of her image.