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Halcyon

Ellie Goulding

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iTunes Review

Pardon the pun, but Ellie Goulding’s sophomore album is light-years ahead of 2011’s Lights—which now plays with an airy innocence compared with 2012’s Halcyon. “Don’t Say a Word” sets a darker tone with brooding beats and shadowy ambiance, as Goulding's lyrics reach out to grasp the last functioning piece of a dying relationship. But Goulding cleverly contrasts vulnerable emotions with a voice that sounds more assertive and strong than anything sung in Lights. There’s a shaking quaver to her timbre in the following “My Blood”, which shifts between a Kate Bush-esque fragility in the verses and an empowering chorus wrought with the soulful strength of a modern R&B anthem. “Anything Could Happen” is the real game-changer here. It’s complexly crafted, with pulsing beats in the refrain that were forged from sharply edited bursts of her own vocal samples. Within these self-contained rhythms is a melody that interweaves with the catchy hooks draped over the chorus like a net. Of the deluxe version’s five bonus tracks, both “Ritual” and “Without Your Love” play with bombastic presence.

Customer Reviews

Major leap forward....

Considering this is only her 2nd album, the leap in progress on this album is amazing. From dark opener ballsy opener Don't Say A Word the vocals are more experimental and powerful than Lights. Her songwriting and musicality on Halcyon is going to push Ellie to be the UK's best female artist. This album is going to be huge.

Beautiful!

SO excited for this!

Never gets going...

Have to say I was disappointed by this second album. It's not necessarily a bad album, but I feel like the album never really gets going, it's just too bland and downbeat in my opinion. The first album was a really good mix of well written songs, and the production was absolutely superb. This time round it all just feels a little average. Ellie's voice is still beautiful, but there just seems to be a little something missing.

Biography

Born: 30 December 1986 in Hereford, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Having caught the public's attention in 2010 with her singles "Starry Eyed" and "Guns and Horses," British vocalist Ellie Goulding quickly rose to the top of the charts with her infectious electronic pop sound. Although she started out writing songs in a folk-inflected style, she eventually grew into a more electronic-influenced artist, touching upon dance music and ambient synth pop. With her unique soprano warble and knack for writing catchy yet emotionally earnest songs,...
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Halcyon, Ellie Goulding
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