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Lights by Ellie Goulding

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Reviewed on 14th April 2010.



By Ellie Goulding

Ever since I watched young Ellie Goulding, from my bedroom, picking up the forever anticipated 'Critic's Choice Award' at the 2010 Brit's, I instantly trusted that this album was going to be the most highly recommended track of the year. With Ellie's natural force of power, instinct and techno credibility - this collection of music was sure to set the Goulding Era alight. However, I believe that although Ellie has an undeniable natural purity and growing sensuality, her music can sometimes lack the climax and inspiration that her voice so very much deserves.

The track 'Guns and horses' is effortless, a lovely opening to the album. A perfect illustration of what Goulding is, undoubtedly, here to pursue. A powerful drive from Ellie's quirky and enlightening voice, teamed with a tasteful amount of her unique eye for techno trance themes and grunge garage beats, really makes this song worth listening to. This track reflects what Ellie Goulding is all about, minus the bubblegum commercial input, which was always out to destroy the unique credibility of this artist.

The song 'Your Biggest Mistake' is a futuristic, other-worldly demonstration of synthetic pop which, I must say, suits Ellie Goulding down to the ground. However, there is a lack of climax in this song, teamed with a highly predictable drum beat. Although this song is easy listening, it is a poor attempt at what would normally feel right at home for the aspiring Ellie Goulding. This artist, without question, has an incredible, husky, cigarette smoke voice which is very much let down by the lack of originality in this track. It becomes boring and lacks intention.

This issue is repeated in the track 'Wish I Stayed' where, despite beginning with a stunning melodic ostinato, played by an acoustic guitar, this song is nothing really impressive or ground breaking. Considering Ellie's beautiful, harmonic voice and her natural flare for inspirational lyrics, this song screams "Let down" after "Let down." Yes, there is something slightly reflective and personal about this track and surprisingly, at times, its mellow tone and lovely use of vibrato does attempt to save this sinking ship. However, despite that, the track is flat.

Don't get me wrong, some of the tracks on this album are nothing less than groundbreaking and spectacular. The track 'Under the Sheets' is a great demonstration of upbeat and edgy techno pop. With its catchy, original lyrics and the stunning use of garage effects, it is without a doubt one of the best tracks on the album. This is easily a clear picture of where Ellie fits most comfortably in the modern music scene and is definitely the type of music she should stick to. A strong and impressive message from Goulding, where she screams her identity
through a crisp and thrilling track. This is a much needed reminder of why Ellie was, quite rightfully, voted 'Critic's Choice' of the year.

A song that must have a definite mention is 'This Love (Will Be Your Downfall.)'An inspirational track which, from the onset, communicates a clear honesty from young Ellie. A journey through futuristic pop with a holy, religious edge. This piece instantly grasps the mind of the listener, and without a doubt promotes Ellie Goulding as a true, passionate lyricist. In relation, the song 'The Writer' sees Ellie stripped of her synthetic sheets and techno trances and, for once, the listener has the exceptional honour of merely hearing her breathtakingly melodic vocals. It must be said, the repetitive, mainstream pop element is not missed.

Beginning with a lovely, calming piano sequence and a soft tone, this song could have easily been an inspiring song of loneliness and love, however, it is clear that Ellie is still grasping, ever so slightly, to a security blanket of synthetic garage barriers and electric bolts. These two songs, although extremely different to what is normally expected from her, reflect what could have been: more versatile and successful layers to this extraordinary artist.

And yes, I know you are all dying to hear my take on this... Well, here it is... Ellie's staple single and hit of the year 'Starry eyed' definitely lives up to its standard as it is, easily, the best track on the album. The popular, recognised synthetic smoothie of techno garage and pop oozes sensuality and lyrical genius as it 'bursts into colours and carousels.' And, even stripped of its thick electro enhancement, this track, as portrayed by the recent Live Lounge acoustic cover, actually entails beautiful and inspirational lyrics and chords. This song is a
clear illustration of where Ellie's heart really lies - stunning, heartfelt lyrics teamed with new age techno that will drive British music into the next decade of sensational pop.

Another one of my favourite tracks on the album is 'Not Following You' which is an adorable, baby doll twinkle track, full of pure, innocent vocals and gorgeous fairground frills, which Ellie carries off effortlessly. The unusual, effective riff, which flows like water and becomes exceptionally catchy throughout, almost has a slight ethnic, urban acoustic feel to it which gives this track a slightly original and witty edge.

Overall I am a huge fan of Ellie Goulding's music and I believe her voice to be an excellent representation of what this British musical decade has to offer. It is easily recognised that her heart falls right in the centre of techno pop fusion, and to be honest, that is where her music sits most comfortably! However, I do think that her beautiful voice can be lost beneath a malicious amount of techno and disco beats. Perhaps, every once in a while, an acoustic, mellow backing would compliment her voice to the point where it could be a lot more inspiring, admired and believed. In all fairness, an incredible artist with an unbelievable voice and an excellent flare for writing.

However, I do think that she can do better and without a doubt, I will be watching this wild card with both eyes open for even more
success in the near future.



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