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I believe that this is Elle Gouldins first album, and she couldn't have made a better entry into the music business. This album is full of pure classic pop songs. It is bright and breezy has very much a feel good factor.
Songs such as Starry eyed, Every time you go, and Guns and horses you may probably have heard on the radio, and you cant help singing along. The other tracks are of equal quality and soon become catchy favourites.
The album has a cohesiveness, as Elle has a very unmistakeable voice and style. I have only just been bought this album and it has already been played a dozen times and is set to become an all time favourite.
The only downside is that you can get all the same tracks on her newer released Bright Lights, but with the added bonus of seven extra tracks. So even though many people will have bought this as soon as it was released, if you are now about to buy from the back catalogue, you would be better off to buy yourself Bright Lights.
What is it?
Bright Lights is the amazingly brilliant Ellie Goulding's second album. It was released on 29th November 2010 in the UK.
Why did I buy it?
I've bein a huge fan of Ellie since she first came onto the scene with the single 'Starry eyed', and bought her first album Lights when it was released back in March 2010. The fact that her first album sold over 300,000 copies in the first year of its release is enough to pursuade anyone that her music is somewhat special.
Was the album any good?
I was initially very dissapointed upon realising that a majority of the songs on her new album had actually already bein on her first album, however it did include 7 brand new songs, all very different styles; consistent changes of melodies and genres aswell as bein well written.
Ellie is definetly very talented and even her songs which seemingly don't mean much have big meanings behind them, including childhood memories, fears of not living her life to the fullest and abusive boyfriends.
The more i listened to the album and lyrics, the more i loved it. The lyrics are cathy and engaging, many telling a story throughout. It's a relateable album but not for the type of people who want to purely dance along and sing. There are a few songs with a bassline type feel, but many in my opinion are the kind of song that's worth listening to while relaxing to get the complete jist of it.
Ellie's voice definetly isn't everyones cup of tea, with her kind of cute, electro-pop voice, it can sometimes get irratating for even her biggest fans, but the lyrics beat the vocals any day. If you're a big fan of Bring Me The Horizon or Hollywood Undead, chances are you won't be able to stand this album.
1. Guns And Horses
2. Starry Eyed (this was number one in the charts for ages, amazing song!)
3. This Love
4. Under The Sheets (my personal favourite, worth a listen)
5. The Writer
6. Everytime You Go
7. Wish I Stayed
8. Your Biggest Mistake
9. I'll Hold My Breath
10. Salt Skin
11. Lights (has a dubstep kind of feel to it)
13. Little Dreams (another favourite of mine)
16. Believe Me
17. Your Song (Ellie's cover of the Elton John song Your Song, i found it beautiful)
How much was it?
I bought my copy of Bright Lights instore at HMV for £7, it is now £4.99 including delivery on there website. It's also available for £3.99 including delivery on Play.com - definate bargain.
Would I Reccomend it?
Yes! But only if you're into the indie kind of music, it does have hints of pop and rock but it's definetly indie/folk music, with a mix of emotions and stories.
Ellie's similar to bands such as The XX, Florence + The Machine, Foals and Adele.
What do you rate it?
I'd rate this album 4/5, wonderful music, great artwork on the cover and meaningful lyrics, however it was dissapointing that there were only 7 new songs out of the 17 tracks and the vocals got a bit cringe worthingly high pitched at times.
For many years I have considered myself a hardcore rocker, a stalwart of Kerrang! Magazine and all that it is associated with. However, when I downgraded from Sky to Freeview, I found myself listening more to chart music - and that's when I stumbled across 'Starry Eyed.' Falling in love with both the exciting, fresh-sounding music, I dug more into her musical catalogue and eventually was given the album as a long-desired gift.
Luckily, the album does not disappoint. Whilst the original single 'Starry Eyed' was a more dance-orientated track, full of sampling and effects, her style changes throughout, managing to balance electronics with guitar, piano and drums. 'Folktronica' is a good way to describe her (a useful term which is not mine), and due to her folky-ness comparison have often been drawn between her and Kate Bush. However, that would be an unfair one - Ellie is very much her own woman.
This is evident in the lyrics, which are full of her own passion and often sadness, often in reaction to relationships she has had in the past. They are not only great lyrics - but she has a beautiful voice, that potrays the necessary vulnerability but does not come out as weak. I would put those as the reason Ellies is so good - not many chart artists these days write heartfelt lyrics nor have a unique sound either, let alone pulling both off as Ellie so does! You might think that she can only maintain strong lyrics in a slower ballad such as 'The Writer', yet listen to the chorus of 'Your Biggest Mistake' and you'll find a dark heart beating underneath the uplifting tune...
'It's a shame you don't know what you're running from
Would your bones have to break and your lights turn off
Would it take the end of time to hear you heart's false start?'
It's such a clear knowledge of how to make engaging, uplifting music that can have another, intriguing level that makes Ellie such a star, and totally deserving of her Brit Awards Critics Choice 2010.
A few months ago I was in HMV just browsing along the aisles. I wasn't looking for anything in particular, but then I came across Ellie Gouldings album, "Lights". I had heard a few songs of hers on the radio - mainly "Starry Eyed", and I had thought that they were rather catchy, so when I saw her album in HMV, I just had to buy it. Especially as it was so cheap!
I played it from start to finish on my laptop as soon as I got home, and I was pleasantly surprised at how good an album it was. Usually, there are songs that I tend to skip when listening to CD's, however whenever I listen to this one, I find myself singing along to each song.
I like how Ellie Goulding has such a distinctive voice, very unlike other artists that are in the Top 40 nowadays. It's nice to listen to something a bit more fresh, rather than the same old R'n'B singers. I also find it helps me to tidy up a lot quicker as it makes nice background music!
I like the album cover too, and how it is simple, yet something a little different. The only downside it had to it, is that the songs have pretty much the same tempo, however I would definitely recommend this album to anyone who enjoys pop and/or folktronica.
Following my review of Diana Vickers' album I decided to look at my most played albums on my ipod. The one that came up in second place, after Scouting for Girls, was Ellie Goulding's debut album entitled "Lights." It was released on the 1st March 2010 and I think I downloaded it in mid April after hearing a couple of tracks from it. Ellie Goulding is a relatively new face on the music scene, having only rose to fame in the autumn of 2009 when she was signed by Polydor Records. Her first single "Under the Sheets" was released shortly after and has since gained quite heavy airplay despite only peaking at number fifty three in the UK charts. It's only really this year that she's started to establish herself as a household name when she topped the BBC Sound of 2010 poll and when she won the Critics' Choice Award at the 2010 Brit Awards.
The majority of this album sees Ellie Goulding working with English producer Starsmith who is an electronic re-mixer who has also mixed tracks for Lady GaGa and Timbaland in the past. The album is predominantly pop but the electro roots are firmly established in quite a few of the tracks. This isn't your cheesy pop that will have young girls singing along, she's got a much more individual and mature sound than that. Overall she's not a bad vocalist at all but there are a few moments when her cuteness appeal does cross into an uncomfortable irritation almost. Largely due to the producer I feel that this is a very modern album that's right in the here and now, there's nothing dated about it all. What really sells Goulding for me is her way with words, the lyrics are both refreshing and a little unusual and her ability to cut to the core is noteworthy.
"Guns and Horses" starts off with a calming feel to it before the acoustics really hit in and create quite an up tempo track. This was the third single to be released from the album back in March 2010. Bizarrely when I first heard this song it made me think that she'd tried to mix folk and pop somehow, and done it quite successfully as well. It's not an outstanding track but it does create a good opening to the album and the atmosphere after listening to this for the first time was rather optimistic. This is followed with "Starry Eyed" which is currently doing the rounds on the radio stations and has much more of an electro dance feel to it. There are plenty of disco diva moments on this track and looping wails almost. It's really catchy and I can't help but sing along "Next time we're touching, you look at me it's like you hit me with lightening."
"This Love (Will Be Your Downfall" is the third track on the album and it has an angelic and hollow opening with her voice flittering over the music which reminded me of Diana Vickers. It then progresses in both speed and volume which is quite welcome really, it's got a great chorus that doesn't exactly make me think of a ballad but this track is certainly a reprieve after the previous one. The lyrics here show both freshness and honesty, "Oh I don't like the way I never listen to myself, I feel like I'm on fire, I'm too shy to cry for help, Oh I don't think you know me much at all." This is followed by "Under the Sheets" which is perhaps one of the spangliest, most Lady GaGa sounding tracks on the album. It's quite a fair track, and it's upbeat so it contrasts nicely with the previous track but there's just something about it that doesn't work.
"The Writer" is the fifth track on the album and I did let myself think that maybe this album would be without the typical piano led heart wrencher type tracks... but no! It's at this point that the Norah Jones and Shania Twain lovers out there will suddenly rear up and start to pay attention. It's very softly sung, quite melancholy and basically everything you'd expect of a ballad. The only thing that sets it apart a little are the lyrics which thankfully do not result in any retching, "But I've got a plan, why don't you be the artist, and make me out of clay, why don't you be the writer, decide the words I say?" The lyrics don't relay your traditional ballad topic but almost hint at some sort of domestic abuse or unloving relationship. This is followed by "Every Time You Go" which is very much a ballad, but more upbeat than the previous track.
"Wish I Had Stayed" is up next and returns to the more upbeat feel of the first half of the album which is needed really after a double blow of ballads on an album that I didn't expect to have ballads! It's one of the less noticeable tracks on the album and it may well have benefitted from some sonic variation here. This is followed by the rather threateningly titled "Your Biggest Mistake" which reverts me back to my more optimistic thoughts with its effervescent bouncing electro beats in the background that create a really upbeat and catchy track, "It's a shame you don't know what you're running from, would your bones have to break and your lights turn off, would it take the end of time to hear your heart's false start?" This is probably one of my favourite tracks on the album, it's catchy and vibrant with quite a mainstream feel to it.
"I'll Hold My Breath" is the penultimate track on the album and it's fantastic. Perhaps initially a bit less noticeable than the other tracks in the opening but it really takes off as it moves towards the joyful sounding chorus with echoes of "a sky of diamonds just for us!" It's probably one of the most ideal songs on the album to sum up her style, it's upbeat without being irritating, it's a mixture of electro and pop without any cheesy sentiments and it shows off her voice brilliantly. The final track is "Salt Skin" which certainly wins the prize hands down for having the strangest title on the album. It's a random mixture of programmed strings, bleeping and dark beats that work really well to create quite a lasting and somewhat haunting impression, "You're as sharp as a knife and you fit like a glove... stabbed in the back but you feel no pain."
I'm a bit torn on this album really, she's top of the BBC Sound of 2010 poll and she was the winner of the Critics' Choice Award at the Brits, therefore this album should have been ground breaking and revolutionary really as there wasn't much else she could win apart from The Apprentice! The album just isn't brilliant in my opinion, don't get me wrong there's nothing essentially bad about it but it just doesn't float my boat like it should have done considering all the hype. I also get the impression that her past "folk music" background is just desperate to get out, there are hints of it in some of the tracks and I can't help but feel she isn't entirely comfortable with this modern and shiny image that's been created for her. I could be wrong, she could be completely at home with her image, but I think the folk singer wants to be heard!
The other thing that leaves me unconvinced is that she seems to have that same elf like warble that is sported by Diana Vickers. I have mixed feelings about that, sometimes it can work and sometimes it just fails and in this case I think Ellie Goulding has just about pulled it off. Electro pop is clearly her standard if this album is anything to go by but by waving their magic wand the producer's have somehow managed to make her voice sound disjointed and slightly mismatched with some of the tracks. If Goulding had come to light (excuse the pun) around the same time as stars such as KT Tunstall this album may very well have headed down a completly different road indeed. She has the same sort of innocence as that sported by Diana Vickers and it's both endearing and restricting at the same time.
Overall I'd say this is a good album, it's certainly not worth all the frothing and hype that's been surrounding her though. It's mainly a pop album with folk hints that has been modernised slightly with some electro and synthesized beats. I'm not really a fan of Lady GaGa but she's producing more fresh and interesting ideas out of her wig topped head than Ellie Goulding has managed on this entire album. It's the kind of album that would sound really at home being played in Topshop, but sadly it just lacks the authenticity needed to make it a long lasting hit. Some have suggested it's quite a hollow album and I do realise I'm at risk of making it sound quite bad... which it's not. Quite normal is exactly how I'd summarise this album and certainly not quite worthy of all the hype that's been publicised about Goulding and her music.
Thanks for reading.
What can I say? I love this album!
I liked the single 'Starry Eyed' so thought I would give the album a listen and see what it had to offer - turns out, it offers ALOT.
Now I'm a sucker for a good lyric and catchy tune, which is why I love the likes of Adele and Kate Nash and I would put Ellie in the same league as the both of these, only perhaps more middle class?
The stand out tracks (in my opinion) are I'll Hold My Breath, Every Time You Go, The Writer and This Love (Will Be Your Downfall). These are by far the best, along with new single Guns and Horses although I do not rate this as highly.
With lyrics such as 'we're falling on each other like we're always in the dark' really paints an image and perhaps people can relate to it which makes her such a dynamic new British artist.
As for her voice, you would recognise it instantly, for the way she pronounces certain words to the way she explores her mezzo soprano tone while contemporary beats and synths play behind her.
Truly a great album of 2010 and definitely one of my personal favourites.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Guns and Horses
2 Starry Eyed
3 This Love (Will Be Your Downfall)
4 Under The Sheets
5 The Writer
6 Every Time You Go
7 Wish I Stayed
8 Your Biggest Mistake
9 I'll Hold My Breath
10 Salt Skin