Album Review: Ellie Goulding “Lights”
Over the past few years, a whole slew of artists have made the journey across the pond to the States, achieving mainstream stardom and Ellie Goulding is next on that list. The ethereal electro-folk vixen has crafted an ingenious debut titled “Lights”, which will surely propel her into a long, successful career.
Goulding’s buzz began last year when her covers of Sam Sparro’s “Black and Gold” and Bon Iver’s “The Wolves” reached the internet. Her Passion Pit collaboration “Sleepyhead” plus her introductory EP sealed the deal that Goulding’s star power was a force to be reckoned with.
“Lights” is an amalgam of glazed electronic meets acoustic production hugging songwriting that is ages ahead of Ellie’s being. Her penchant for poetic prose is woven into tracks like “Every Time You Go” where Goulding coos “It starts with a picture/and it sits in your frame/we part with a letter/and it ends in my name”. Goulding manages to insert her romanticism into her lyrics, but in a way that is so idyllic it’s untouchable. This is an album that can stand the test of time both sonically and lyrically.
Goulding possesses the strong songwriting of UK crossover acts like Adele, but with a Pop sensibility that can place her in competition with US darling Ke$ha, as well as mid-level Pop royalty like Pixie Lott. Tracks like “This Love (Will Be Your Downfall)” and her single “Starry Eyed” show Goulding’s ability to swim the mainstream, while “The Writer” and “I’ll Hold My Breath” offer poetry in motion for the indie lyrics driven crowd. The songs on “Lights” aren’t all about the joys of falling in love; in fact many rest on the need to fall out of it. “Under the Sheets”, her video debut, discusses soul-killing maneuvers under her sheets “like all the boys before”. Her innocent-sounding voice provides a genuine contrast to the nature of her lyrics, similar to that of Lily Allen, but lacking Lily’s fleeting obscenities. “Lights” is concise (ten tracks), but a tight enough work where no songs are unwanted.
As Ellie begins her career already an award winner (2010 BRIT Award for “Under the Sheets”), “Lights” is a fantastic step in the right direction for a long road ahead. Many would be concerned about the sophomore curse before the freshman meets the world, but Ellie need not worry. It’s clear that this songstress has a whole well of words that we’re all waiting to hear.
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