On her third album, English singer-songwriter, Imogen Heap sounds very much like how one might expect the elfish Enya to sing if she took a fair amount of drugs and started experimenting with techno music. Heap’s third album “Ellipse” is pretty far out there, but luckily her ethereal voice keeps the record entirely pleasant to listen to right the way through.

The first single and opening track, “First Train Home,” is not as unique as some of Heap’s past hits like “Hide And Seek,” but in between the repetitively rhythmic choruses, Heap’s soaring voice still carries the song to hit potential.

“Earth” is a better tune musically, with a faster beat that makes for an interesting sound as Heap’s words jump from drumbeat to drumbeat. “Bad Body Double” is similarly vibrant. On the other end of the spectrum, with the relaxing sounds and lilting beat of “Between Sheets” it feels like you might just be able to float away on the song.

There are a number of weird tracks on the album that few other artists would be able to pull of; like “The Fire,” which, according to one of Heap’s video blog entries is about the fusing of her personal life with her musical life, but is entirely instrumental. “Tidal,” with some background sounds that wouldn’t be out of place in a video game, definitely also falls into this weird category. “2-1” might also alienate some listeners.

If you delve too deeply into Heap’s lyrics, the songs will end up being quite confusing, so it’s recommended that you listen to the overall sound while Heap’s melodic voice carries you away. And after you acclimatize to the off-kilter sound of the album, “Ellipse” turns out to be a fine chill-out collection that’ll help you sail into the mellow vibe of the fall.

 

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