Ellie Goulding – ‘Halcyon’ Review
After topping the charts with her debut album ‘Lights’ back in 2010, British pop sensation Ellie Goulding has been avoiding the spotlight in order to create and transform her sound. Her latest release, ‘Halcyon’, debuted on October 8th and shows a new realm of progression while her storytelling lyrics remain constantly impressive.
This 13-track release certainly differs from her guitar-fuelled indie anthem ‘Lights’, and experimenting with her sound has led to a more pop focused album, with delicate piano sequences and upbeat melodies taking centre stage.
“Don’t Say A Word” opens the album and is reminiscent of her previous sound. Gentle harmonies, subtle keys and pounding drums prep us for battle as “My Blood” continues with a strong foundation taking us on a never ending journey equipped with a catchy chorus and birdlike high notes.
Although not to be defined as a “break-up” album, it’s clear that Goulding has taken influences from love and relationships to help construct this release. Promotional single “Anything Could Happen” is simple yet memorable, although it’s difficult to tell where it ends and follow up track “Only You” begins.
Title track “Halcyon” incorporates a simplistic but anticipated guitar riff and displays an optimistic vibe. “Figure 8″ however soaks up the limelight earning standout track of the album. The haunting chords mixed with an array of elements building up to a power stricken chorus could easily crown this song number one.
The second half of the album slows down, incorporating tracks such as “Joy”, “Hanging On” and “Explosions”. All identify Goulding’s unique vocal sound but “Explosions” lets the album standards slide, leaving us with overpowering effects and unwelcome gang vocals.
“I Know You Care” strips Goulding bare. This heart-breaking piano ballad showcases a simplistic display of precious harmonies creating something truly beautiful while “I Need Your Love ft. Calvin Harris” ends the album on a high note.
‘Halcyon’ demonstrates that Goulding has a true artistic flare and her new direction is one to be celebrated and not simply tolerated. This album breaks boundaries and delves into a whole new world unlike any other.