#18: IMOGEN HEAP- "Sparks"
Number 18 on my list of favorites from 2014 is the latest album by British songstress, Imogen Heap. This album, her fourth solo release (she was part of the duo Frou Frou, years ago), has been a work in progress since 2011. Upon its inception, Imogen asked her fans to send her random sounds... everything from a dishwasher door to a burning match. She then set out to record one song at a time, each during a two week period, every three months. With this schedule, the album would take roughly three years to complete.
Imogen then released each song upon completion, simply titled "Heapsong 1", "Heapsong 2", etc... through "Heapsong 7". The album also includes two instrumentals that were intended to be on the soundtrack of the documentary, "The Happiest Place: The Journey Across Bhutan", as well as a song ("Entanglement") that was intended for the Twilight: Breaking Dawn Pt. 1 soundtrack, before being rejected. All in all, this album is classic Imogen Heap... even a more inventive Immi... but one that doesn't have the flow of her two previous efforts.
As I listen to it, I find the songs to be enjoyable, but I haven't (as of yet) been pulled in by these tracks. My first exposure to Imogen Heap was the album "Speak For Yourself", which featured the hit "Hide and Seek", which, ironically, is one of my least favorite songs on the album. That said, "Speak For Yourself" had the feel of a complete piece of art, where "Sparks" seems to convey exactly what it is... a collection of several different pieces of art, all packaged together into one convenient album.
As I gaze over the list of videos for the songs on this album... and there are several of them... I realize that I would be best served exploring these songs on their own and NOT as a complete package. I think I may find them to be more endearing by themselves. That said, we'll keep the album at number 18... a worthy accomplishment, but one that, if considered as a complete package, would feature the classic report card phrase, "capable of better and/or more work".
Kudos and props to Imogen Heap for being an inventive artist... one that is always trying to push her boundaries. Here's hoping that what she does next is a complete work of art... something that will be worthy of a single digit number.
"You Know Where To Find Me"
"Me The Machine"
"Xizi She Knows"