Album: Imogen Heap, Ellipse (Megaphonic/Epic)
Friday 28 August 2009
Through dextrous manipulation of the US teen-TV soundtrack market, Imogen Heap has all but supplanted Dido as the favoured voice of emotional turmoil in series like The OC.
But as with Dido, that's a Faustian pact which condemns careers even as it bestows riches beyond imagining. And certainly, one thinks, there ought to be some penalty for anyone prepared to write about the "many windswept yellow stickies of my mind on the molten emotional frontline" or describe how she's "clambering for the scraps and the shatter of us collapsed that cuts me with every could have been", a line I'd be wary of punctuating, let alone singing. Heap's musical style, meanwhile, hasn't progressed too much since 2005's Speak For Yourself, which means that her lyrical gushings are mostly smothered by a dense digital soup of sequenced keyboards, samples and percussion, listening to which is rather like wading through mud. Even when attempting simpler settings, she can't help cluttering them up, fussing over them as if insecure about her basic material: the acappella arrangement of "Earth", for instance, has so many layered vocal counterpoints and beatboxed bass and percussion noises woven into it that the song is effectively stifled. Like the album overall, it's clever but unmoving, an unsatisfactory situation for an art so obsessively concerned with emotion.
Download this: First Train Home, Bad Body Double
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 2 Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
- 3 George Galloway left with severe bruising after attack in Notting Hill by man 'shouting about the Holocaust'
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Lady al-Qa’ida: On the trail of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, the world’s most wanted prisoner
Strictly Come Dancing 2014: Gregg Wallace joins line-up as final celebrities revealed
Great British Bake Off 2014: Diana Beard quits after falling ill
Great British Bake Off 2014: Ofcom receives 13 complaints about Baked Alaska episode
Nicki Minaj suffers wardrobe malfunction during MTV VMAs performance with Ariana Grande and Jessie J
Friends reunion: Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow and Courteney Cox perform mini sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
- < Previous
- Next >