I, like many people, first came across Imogen Heap via the sun-drenched, witty, and uber-cool The O.C., the definitive 21st century teen-angst melodrama, which was indeed a guilty pleasure of mine.
Although Heap featured a number of tracks on the show, Hide and Seek, vanguard of the now ubiquitous vocoder, was the tingly heartbreaking song that elevated her to commercial success.
Ellipse is the follow up to her breakthrough album Speak for Yourself, and is, in some ways, an extension of her downbeat sound that typifies a standard Heap track. In many respects it’s rather routine. We get what we expect: an ambient atmosphere that is both theatrical and transient.
To all intents, it’s a faultless piece of work. The standout track has to be the dreamy First Train Home, followed by some quietly upbeat songs like Earth, AHAI, and Bad Body Double. The rest of the album could be categorized as having a melancholic tenderness to it, similar to Dido. It’s not saccharine, but a tad schmaltzy that is difficult to digest in its entirety.
A pleasant enough album, Heap’s sound works perfect for TV and film, but is unable to command my full attention in the home.