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Ellipse

4.4 out of 5 stars 150 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 25, 2009)
  • Original Release Date: August 25, 2009
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: RCA
  • Run Time: 49 minutes
  • ASIN: B0028Y5MY0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (150 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,202 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By ConsumerAdvocate (dakotad555) at (gmail) dot (com) TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 25, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Describing Imogen Heap as an eclectic and talented musician is akin to saying Michal Jordan was a pretty good basketball player: a vast understatement. Since her days as the front woman for Frou Frou, Imogen has done nothing but grow as an artist, vocalist, and composer. With an uncanny, near perfect-pitch voice, classically trained musical skills, and the ability to give electronic riffs evocative emotion, she is without equal in her field.

Ellipse is proof that she continues to grow and learn, something that prodigies don't always do--sometimes it's easy for them to just coast. Not so for Imogen: if Speak for Yourself was both beautiful, nerdy, witty, and occasionally wantonly silly, Ellipse is nearly all of those things with the exception of silly; it is melancholic, yearning, sad, haunting, and ultimately lovely and satisfying on several different levels. It's great pop music if that's what you're looking for, but it's also a complete artistic work that pays off the careful listener. Imogene's song writing has always been about the revealing moments of life, and Ellipse has the same focus, deftly portraying homesickness, lost love, the power of art, etc., all set to her particular brand of homespun indie electronica and sung lovingly.

Ellipse is not significantly different from SPEAK FOR YOURSELF in either a good or negative sense. It shows progression and perhaps even a maturing, but ultimately it's Imogen doing what she was born to do: tell stories through song with electronic beats and synth sensibilities. The result is an album that is easy to embrace for new and old fans alike, and one of the most unique and desirable releases of 2009.

5/5 Star. Fantastic music. A must buy.
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Format: Audio CD
The first time I heard Imogen Heap's name was as songwriter for Way Out West's 'Mind Circus' a few years back - a melodic pop/breaks masterpiece at the time - but only discovered her all-round brilliance as an artist more recently.

Once I realised that she was also the production and engineering brains behind her own material I was even more intrigued and compelled - so quickly tracked down all I could find, gobbling up the Frou Frou album (created in tandem with the equally brilliant Guy Sigsworth - check out Alanis Morissette's 'Flavors Of Entanglement' for more of that production goodness) and 'Speak For Yourself' as soon as I could get my hands on them.

Both albums were chock-full of melodic and lyric invention coupled with detailed, layered electronic production - all of which revealed themselves further with repeated listening.

'Ellipse' is no exception. The first couple of hearings let the bigger hooks and general feel of the songs seep into your brain - one brain and 2 ears can only take so much in at once. But once you allow yourself to really get to know the material it reveals more and more layers of production and Imogen's melodies gradually untangle themselves like intricate puzzles, until eventually your head is swimming with the melodies and lyrics. And you can't wait to listen again, to learn more...

A number of online reviews have been lukewarm - and I can understand how this might be. Until you immerse yourself in the detail, the overall effect might seem middle-of-the-road or Enya-esque. But such reductions do the material an enormous disservice as there is WAY more going on in there than initially meets the ear.

Simultaneously melancholic and uplifting (that magical alchemy), this is pop - but it's the trickiest pop you're gonna hear for a while. If you're into that kinda thing :)
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Format: Audio CD
Imogen Heap finally returns with her third solo album, Ellipse. Ms. Heap certainly does not disappoint! This album is truly extraordinary. Upon listening, you can hear how meticulously this album was crafted. Not one song sounds rushed. Layers upon layers of electro-soundscapes pop and swirl around Heap's wonderful vocals. The lyrics are insightful and quirky, as only she can write. What's most pleasant to me is that this album doesn't try to be like any of her previous releases. It takes its own risk, and thus has its own identity within Imogen Heap's catalog.

"First Train Home" starts the album and also serves as the first single. This song is the closest you'll get to the material she's released before. After that, the tracks get more experimental. Gone are the familiar hooks that were heard throughout her last album, Speak For Yourself, and this isn't a bad thing. The instrumentation here is wonderous (hence why she decided to include a separate disc of instrumental versions of all the songs)! My picks for standout tracks include: "Earth", "Little Bird", "Bad Body Double", "Canvas" and "Half Life".

I simply cannot wait to see how the songs on Ellipse will be interpreted live on stage! There simply isn't another album out there like this. Another triumph for Imogen Heap!
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Format: Audio CD
I love this new album by Imogen Heap (see my review of the standard edition). My mistake on release day was hastily dismissing the deluxe edition as something for completists only and buying the standard edition instead. After I listened to a few of the instrumental tracks on-line on Rhapsody, though, I quickly realized that I really was missing something by not getting the deluxe edition. Think of it this way: The vocal and instrumental versions of the songs are like pictures of a beautiful scene taken from two different angles. You hear details--interesting little touches and nuances--in the instrumental versions that you just don't pick up in the vocal versions. You get a clearer view of the arranging/orchestration side of Imogen's talents, and the instrumental versions are surprisingly fun to listen to as an alternative album that sets a mood of its own. Imogen's backing tracks are amazingly clever, varied, and rich with interesting sounds, both natural and synthesized. I ended up getting the deluxe edition, and I'm very glad I did. Imogen had good reason to release the separate disc of instrumental tracks, as you'll discover if you pick up this excellent set. One really fun way to listen to "Ellipse" is to listen to the instrumental versions first and then the vocal versions (separated by perhaps a few hours or a day or two). The effect is amazing!

One possible disadvantage of the deluxe edition is that the discs slide into fairly tight-fitting envelopes attached to the inside front and back covers of the little hardcover book containing the liner notes. If that kind of packaging bothers you (it bothers me because it tends to scratch up the discs if you take them out very often), you might want to consider storing the discs in a 2-CD jewel case instead.
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