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2009 album from the British singer/songwriter and one-half of Frou Frou. With over 400,000 copies of her last album sold, Imogen Heap, singer-songwriter-producer and two time Grammy nominee, is back with her much anticipated new solo album Ellipse! Beginning in Hawaii and working her way through Fiji, Imogen has poured her heart and soul into writing and recording this masterpiece. The album was recorded in new studio which she built in her old family home in Essex, UK.
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Fortunately, it's amazing. The first two albums were deeply personal but perhaps also reflected her age and life experience at the time, which is to say they weren't as accessible lyrically. But this one reflects broader themes and a certain maturity that was lacking before. This isn't to say she was writing crap before, but I didn't view those records the way I do this one.
Musically, there are so many textures and strange instruments. It's safe to say you haven't heard anything like it before. It works because it's not a gimmick. She'd use Blue Man Group tubes if they made sense for the sound she was going for, and it makes for a varied and exciting canvas of sounds to match the aforementioned "grown up" lyrics. She's not afraid to strip it down and fall back on piano and strings either, as "Canvas" shows.
"First Train Home" is the most single-worthy song and starts the album out with a great note that carries through to the next two songs. "Tidal" has the intensity and drive of previous songs like "Daylight Robbery." "2-1" is a wonderful epic layered composition of different sounds. "Bad Body Double" is a fun self-esteem confessional. "Aha!" is like the offspring of her and Danny Elfman. As I mentioned before, "Canvas" is this beautifully dark and moody song with piano and strings that gives me chills every time I hear it.
I'm a big fan, but I was worried about Heap's ability to just let go and ship the record while following her video blog. But somehow she managed to deliver something that is personal and organic, and polished without being sterile. It's hands down her best effort to date.
i dont recommend getting anything other than the 2 disc with the instrumentals. even for songs like Aha and Bad Body Double where i don't dig the lyrics that much, i can still appreciate the songs musically. i listen to the instrumentals as much as the vocal mix. the songs are just that well done. plus there are little things hiding in there that you don't hear with the vocals. it's an equally solid cd either way.
the packaging is quite nice. it's basically a small book with the cds on the inside of each cover. the album artwork is awesome as well.
there's no DRM this time. whew.
if you haven't been watching her youtube video blogs, you should check those out. this was the first time i've ever seen an artist record the making of their entire album over a 2 year period. there are about 6 hours' worth of stuff to watch, but the making of the album starts around blog #20.
My favorite tracks are (in no particular order):
1. First Train Home
2. Wait it Out (my favorite song)
4. Little Bird
I have not been listening to the album for more than a week, but it's already infected me. It's so easy to listen to, really a delight.
Update: Actually, when I think about it, "Wait it Out" is really the best song on this album. I'm listening to it now as I write this and I keep putting it on repeat. The song has a amazing climax in the middle and it's just breathtaking. I highly recommend listening to it before listening to any of the other songs. My favorite part of the song is this:
"All I want, only one, street level miracle
I'll be an out and out, born again, from none more
And sit here cold, we will be long gone by then
In lackluster, in dust we layer on old magazines,
fluorescent lighting sets the scene
in the one life that we've got
And sit here
Just going to wait it out
And sit here cold
Just going to sweat it out
Wait it out "
Most recent customer reviews
and looking for ellipses
i came across this album cover
i checked out some samples
of the songs and liked...Read more