Ellie Goulding isn’t quite the UK’s biggest female artist yet, but that may change in 2013. Goulding's new album, Halcyon, does what her debut album Lights couldn’t quite do for the artist's career. The music on Halcyon is much of the same in comparison to Lights, but it’s the depth Ellie provides through her lyrics that pushes Halcyon forward.
Goulding's lyrics provide us with the key to unlock the album's subject matter. In the song “Explosions,” Ellie sings, “I’ve loved and I’ve lost and I’ve loved and I’ve lost.” While that may just sound like she’s just repeating a well-known phrase, in listening to the album, you’ll capture Goulding's much-needed emotion, which gives those potentially trite words real, heartfelt meaning. Similarly,“I Know You Care” sounds like it comes straight out of the xx’s playbook, just a little bit louder and a lot more conventional. With lyrics like, “Please don’t close your eyes, I don’t know where to look without them,” the xx might wish they wrote that song.
But as emotional and intimate as this album can get, it’s nowhere near as introverted as the xx's Coexist. For every emotional song on Goulding's album, there's a dance floor filler to go with it. Goulding has managed to take her music to another level without losing any of her original charm. Her debut Lights gave us the awesome “Starry Eyed” as a first single.
Ellie manages to up the ante on Halcyon as she gives us the slightly more mature “Anything Could Happen.” The new song also boasts a better video. But don't take my word for it — you decide.
The videos prove visually what type of progression Ellie is making with her music. Halcyon doesn’t sound as dreamy as Lights, but Goulding is now serving up an extra slice of reality alongside her beautifully crafted electro-dream pop.
Just over a year ago, I was lucky enough to see Ellie perform live; she is truly an amazing performer. As soon as I heard this album, I realized that Ellie can only get better in her live shows as well. If you like live music, then I would say an Ellie Goulding live show will leave you starry-eyed!
Ellie Goulding is conquering the music industry. Nothing is standing in her way, and any obstacles that were before her will disappear with the release of Halcyon. So jump on the band wagon now, while it can still be considered cool!
Overall Rating: 4/5
Best Tracks: “Anything Could Happen”, “Halcyon”, “Figure 8”, “Joy”, “Hanging On”, “Explosions”, “I Know You Care” & “I Need Your Love”.