Ellie Goulding - Lights

2010-05-18 | |

The other day, I switched on the TV to see what could only be described as Thriller meets Fight for this Love. It was in fact the video for Ellie Goulding's Guns and Horses, a single which is probably as infectious as the rest of her repertoire. Coming out of nowhere and in less than a year, thanks in part to Frankmusik, she has stormed the charts and become a mainstay on radio and television. Perhaps, three singles down, now is the right time to take stock of what she's capable of?

Lights is the debut album of Ms Goulding, an ex-drama student from the University of Kent, who had a bit of a lucky break and managed to catch the ears of the BBC Sound of 2010 pollsters. From her high horse, she's managed to put out an album of debateable quality. On some levels its perfect electropop, and on others its just-another-pop-album.

It has its strong points. It's really quite a good party album. It starts off really strong, in fact extremely strong. You get the little vocal hiccup of "Wow, her voice is a bit scratchy" on Guns and Horses, but, then you get into it and the beat picks up; it's just what you need these days. Smiley-happy-pop. What Ellie could have managed with the first four songs is an EP of monumental proportions - I mean, it would have made an epic piece of popular music if she'd just released up as far as Under the Sheets on one short-player.

If she'd done that, however, you'd miss out on the magic to come. The Writer actually shocked me. I was so used to the teeny-bopper pop-fusion that it was becoming rather habitual to expect more uptempo "tuneage". This could be the point that you go "What?" because I sure as hell did. That said, it's a very good what. This is the Ellie that people need to see, because otherwise she's going to be pigeonholed as an electronica artist like every other two-bit act out there.

Then it's all lost. It's back to the uptempo downtrodden sound of the rest of the album. It's fair to say that perhaps she manages to shine through even more by juxtaposing that little gem in amongst all this sand; the diamond in the rough and all that. I suppose other songs come close to bringing out that brilliance, but it covers it over with drumtracks and sequencing. For an electronica album though, I should be happy with what I'm being given, because it's not bad at all for a first attempt.

Overall: 7/10 - A bit generic in places, definitely worthy of praise though.

Top Track: Starry Eyed (though personally I prefer The Writer...)

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