By: Emily J Ramey
Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
It’s been almost four years since her last album, Speak for Yourself, and Imogen Heap’s fans, like me, had probably resorted to listening to “Goodnight and Go” and “Hide and Seek” on repeat. Needless to say, we were clamoring to get a hold of her third full length solo work, Ellipse, the moment it came out.
“Hide and Seek,” as well as the rest of Speak for Yourself, turned heads everywhere in the music world and established for Imogen a zealous and steadfast fan base (who call her “Immie” as though they know her personally and waited patiently those long years in between albums), but Ellipse is colorful and fearless.
The two most memorable songs on the album favor foreign instrumentation: “Earth” features feathery vocal layering and a radiant African beat, and “Canvas” incorporates a Celtic folk feel, using minor scales and off beats to convey a graceful melancholy that would be at home among the rolling emerald hills of Ireland.
Other focus tracks include the single, “First Train Home,” with its gliding momentum and pensive chorus, “First train home/I’ve go to get on it;” modern, wispy “Swoon,” with a slow build to its dynamic finish; love song “Between Sheets” emotes with quiet elegance and rapt simplicity with a piano accompaniment reminiscent of rain falling; and “Aha!” is playfully mischievous and a bit witchy.
Imogen Heap has used her third album as a display of her unaffected talent and wide-ranging capabilities, and as such, Ellipse has regained her status as queen of electro-pop.
Emily J Ramey is a burgeoning young music writer, living and working in Nashville, TN. Her background includes journalism classes at New York University and a Music Business degree from Belmont University. Check out her blog at listenerextraordinaire.wordpress.com.
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