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
Listen to his collaboration with Naughty Boymusic
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Britain First 'acting like Ukip henchmen' by invading meeting of activists in revenge for pub protest against Nigel Farage
- 2 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 3 Tidal: Jay Z's Spotify rival streaming service criticised for making wealthy artists even richer
- 4 Brixton squat flats now costing up to £3k per month show how out of control rent is in London
- 5 A new (old) cure for MRSA? Revolting recipe from the Dark Ages may be key to defeat infection
Zayn Malik releases first solo song 'I Won't Mind' in 'Zaughty' collaboration with Naughty Boy
Tidal launch: The most pretentious lines from Alicia Keys' valedictory speech
Poldark review: Demelza’s insouciance is almost as impressive as Ross’ pecs
Tidal: Jay Z's Spotify rival streaming service criticised for making wealthy artists even richer
James May hints he will not continue on Top Gear without Jeremy Clarkson
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans