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Posts Tagged ‘imogen heap’

Imogen Heap – Ellipse
August 25, 2009

Imogen Heap - Ellipse

You can say a lot of things about Imogen Heap, and her music may not be easily accessible to just anyone, but above all, both artist and music are interesting. Whatever you think of it, it’s never boring. She has a way of playing with sounds and influences that is both engaging and disarming. On her previous album “Speak For Yourself” it was mainly Heap’s oddness and her distinct vocals that set her apart, well, and also her style of songwriting. But on “Ellipse” she incorporates a wider range of influences without losing that odd and intriguing essence that she’s gotten known for.

It would be too easy to dismiss “Ellipse” as an alternative electro-pop record. It’s too sophisticated for that. Whether the songs are about more trivial things or more pressing matters, the thoughtful songwriting and arrangements make for a challenging and somewhat peculiar musical journey. But somehow it all fits. Heap’s signature vocals, the use of clever samples and beautiful arrangements make for excellent songs need to be not just heard, but listened to.

She varies between more bombastic songs like 2-1 to a somewhat poppy sound on Bad Body Double and Swoon and shows she can disarm her listeners with a more intimate song like the piano-ballad Half Life. Imogen Heap shows to be an allround artist and while you may think she is hiding behind her computer samples and ProTools a little too much (to a certain extent I tend to agree), she shows she has all the goods. The sampling and layering is a trademark that fits with the quirckiness and oddity that surrounds Imogen Heap, yet on “Ellipse” she shows she uses it but doesn’t NEED it to convince an audience. This, in my opinion, is the real growth compared to her previous album.

“Ellipse” may not hold a song as commercially interesting as Hide And Seek on her previous album, but as a record it is much more complete and sophisticated and her signature sound combined with her distinct lyrical and vocal style makes for an interesting listen. The songs are powerful at times and almost sentimental at other times. Like I said in the beginning of this review, in the end you can think of it what you want, but the record never gets boring. It’s a distinct style and sound, so it’s not for everyone, but if you’re willing to listen, there can be a whole lot for you to enjoy.

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Imogen Heap – Live @ Luxor, Köln
March 14, 2010 // Luxor, Cologne

Imogen Heap

It would be unfair to say I was a fan of Imogen Heap before today. I appreciated her work and I have always thought her songwriting was unique and very interesting. So when a friend I recently made asked me if I wanted to come along to her show in Cologne, it wasn’t a big stretch for me to say that I would very much like to tag along.

And after tonight, I’m very glad I did. Back Ted N-Ted opened the show. He did his thing, and he didn’t do it too bad, but honestly, I didn’t get too excited about his little performance. He had a couple moments, but overall it didn’t come across too memorable. I don’t know if it were the songs or if he just wasn’t able to get the songs’ full potential out there tonight. He seems like a nice kid and an interesting musician, but he needs to gain experience in songwriting and stage presence I think.

A little while later, Imogen Heap came on stage and pretty much from the get-go, she displayed she was extremely comfortable doing what she’s doing and with a lot of humor and great timing, she was able to get the whole (sold out!) venue on her hands in no time. In between technical issues with the sampling computer, funny jokes and anecdotes about the men in her life, she showed off her musicality, often assisted by Back Ted N-Ted and other touring musicians. The interesting and very original arrangements of the songs are what makes her so special. That and her unique vocals.

She’s an excellent pianist and stage performer and her songs leave a lot of room for a little improvising here and there and are remarkably fit for a full show. I couldn’t tell you the setlist for the life of me, but I know I was very impressed with what I saw and heard tonight. An excellent performance by a very interesting and unique musician. And after tonight, I believe it is fair to call myself a fan of Imogen Heap!

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