Imogen Heap ELLIPSE


Podcast »

Daily Cal Podcast Player

'Ellipse' Podcast

Hayley Hosman takes a closer look at Imogen Heap's 'Ellipse.'

  • Printer Friendly Printer Friendly
  • Comments Comments (0)

On first listen, Imogen Heap's album Ellipse seems formulaic and lacking in some X factor. Instead of another album bursting with upbeat gems, the 13 new tracks-including the single "First Train Home"-appear to be running low on the boundless energy of her past albums.

Upon second and third listen, however, the album's well-crafted and thoughtful production becomes more apparent. Heap falls back on her DIY electro-pop calling cards yet also breathes into them a quieter, cinematic intensity. The sonic landscapes of Ellipse are its strongest feature, while Heap's lyrics often stretch farther than they can comfortably reach.

But where words fail her, Heap's musicality keeps her afloat. Even a track as lyrically uncomfortable as "Bad Body Double" is ridiculously catchy, despite being about body image and "dimply thighs," with Heap ruminating, "I hear that stuff's a bitch to get rid of."

In the vein of "Hide and Seek," the stark and beautiful single from 2005's Speak For Yourself, tracks "Little Bird" and "Half Life" are poignant standouts, with synths reminiscent of Swedish group the Knife. Heap also shows her playful side with tracks like "Earth" and the short, peerless "Aha!", which comes off like a manic shot of energy in the midst of more staid fare.

Despite its ability to grow upon repeated listens, what is most confusing about Ellipse is that Heap seems to have lost her pop nerve. Most of the songs never really use Heap's walls of synths and vocals to their full dynamic potential, but the control that she exhibits is an interesting sea change. She seems to be playing the role of film composer more than electro-pop princess. It suits her, but hopefully she hasn't given up on pop bombast completely.

Comments (0) »

Comment Policy
The Daily Cal encourages readers to voice their opinions respectfully in regards to both the readers and writers of The Daily Californian. Comments are not pre-moderated, but may be removed if deemed to be in violation of this policy. Comments should remain on topic, concerning the article or blog post to which they are connected. Brevity is encouraged. Posting under a pseudonym is discouraged, but permitted. Click here to read the full comment policy.
White space
Left Arrow
CD Reviews
As the open-ended summer adventures begin - the kind involving late-night r...Read More»
CD Reviews
Image CD Review: DISC-OVERY
British rapper Tinie Tempah (real name: Patrick Okogwu) definitely looks th...Read More»
CD Reviews
Image CD Review: The Lonely Island - Turtleneck and Chai...
"WE'RE BACK!" the Lonely Island literally announce in their new ...Read More»
CD Reviews
Image CD Review: Architecture in Helsinki - Moment Bends
It's been four years since we've last had an album from the hand-...Read More»
CD Reviews
Image CD Review: Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues
Anyone looking to vacation in the cool-breezed mountains this summer is ...Read More»
CD Reviews
It all started with a French horn for Robert Perlick-Moli...Read More»
Right Arrow

Job Postings

White Space