Sad to hear, but have to agree – wanted to give the artist Imogen Heap a chance – but this review says what I’ve been feeling about her recently.
I first came across her in Jeff Beck’s Ronnie Scott event with Eric Clapton and Tal Wilkenfeld. Some real magic delivery of both a blues-rock standard and one of her own numbers with this stellar “backing band”.
Saw her live with her own “friends” on a tour (in Oslo) 3 or 4 years ago, and found it very self-indulgent, having jolly good fun with whacky musical ideas and instruments – but sorry, not really delivering much entertainment or “soul” to an audience. Maintained an interest – because after all, quality will out – and followed her recent tweets to her self-made promo-videos, and oh dear – none too promising musically. Didn’t write a detailed review, assuming maybe this was a project in progress that needed some space to develop.
It’s like Clive James says – it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing – you can take the creative improv too far. The opening para of Grauniad review by Rebecca Nicholson of the album “Sparks” therefore comes as no surprise:
Imogen Heap‘s fourth record is less a coherent album than a collection of crowdsourced collaborations, generated through methods and techniques that include a running app and a pair of gloves that turns the wearer’s body into a human harp. Sparks was written in a community garden in Hangzhou, China, and in the Himalayas in Bhutan. There’s a song called The Listening Chair that will never be finished, with Heap promising to add a new verse every seven years. If you uploaded images of your footprints to her website, you’ll find them reproduced on the cover. (As fan interaction goes, it’s definitely one up on a T-shirt.) Musically, Sparks is a bit of a mess.
You don’t want to kick a girl when she’s down, but take note Imogen, we know you can do it.
[Post Note : rewatching that could’a had religion / rollin’ and tumbin’ with Jeff Beck – happier times, and Tal’s expression and body language within seconds of Imogen opening her mouth says it all. But do watch Blanket too.]