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|1. Buddha Machine 2.0|
|2. First Train Home|
|3. Wait It Out|
|5. Little Bird|
|8. Between Sheets|
|10. Bad Body Double|
|12. The Fire|
|14. Half Life|
But while brilliant in places, this third solo album by the ex Frou Frou vocalist and multi-instrumentalist will probably do little to change that status: Heap is sure to remain on the fringes of the mainstream, despite an ardent, and obedient, existing fanbase.
It's hard to say whether her appeal to lazy music researchers – octave jumping, understated, wispy vocals and a wordiness that sails a little close to sixth form self-importance, leading to inclusion on soundtracks to The OC as well as a Chronicles of Narnia movie – is a deliberate ploy. But, to be fair, the money undoubtedly earned seems to have been spent on a whole heap (ho ho) of cutting-edge recording gear. Ellipse has a level of production (by Heap herself) that almost obscures the craft beneath, by sheer dint of its excellence.
Heap's an undeniably clever cove, her electronics effortlessly straddling the divide between glitch and gloss. Multi-tracked vocals pulse and jitter, not unlike the faux-choral approach taken in recent years by Sparks. And a song like Little Bird delights with the subtle use of birdsong. The aforementioned voice is tastefully understated: in fact, so much so that it's a relief when her Essex vowels break free on Earth.
Yet too often you feel that this is songwriting that likes to wear a coat of cool over its rather well-educated heart. One suspects that Heap's fanbase isn't destined to be swelled by something so self-knowing and that in years to come her work will be filed next to World Party or Jellyfish in the 'clever yet underrated' file. While promising, it's to be hoped that she has something a little more challenging up her sleeve. --Chris Jones
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Only just found Imogen Heap by walking into HMV and asking what the music was that was coming through their speakers, her sound is different to what I usually listen to (heavy... Read morePublished 3 months ago by paul thompson
My introduction to 'Immi' was 'Sparks' so I had to work backwards. I love 'Sparks' but, as a complete album, this is better. 'Earth' is just something else.Published 5 months ago by unforgivable74
This isn't my normal type of music and I only knew of this artist from her appearance with Jeff Beck, but I am impressed by her creative ideas and she writes a good pop tune, too.Published 16 months ago by Mr. Pj Martin