Monday, March 01, 2010

Ellie Goulding - Lights

Ellie Goulding has just released her long-awaited debut album, called Lights. After being hyped to death as the next best thing in pop, even receiving a critics choice award at the Brits this year (oh the pressure!), music lovers have been questioning if she can really deliver a solid record after all. After listening to the album my answer is: yes, she can. Lights is an amazing collection of songs, co-produced with partner in crime Finlay Dow-Smith (aka Starsmith) that seem to accentuate the dreamy electronica that we had a glimpse of on singles such as Starry Eyed and Under The Sheets. I loved all his clever twists and skips in the production here (intertwined with a folk flavor), creating the perfect scenario for Ellie Goulding's unique (and precious) voice. And I really mean this, she has a very rich and unique vocal sound. It reminds me a bit of early Björk (the coy, shy way of bursting the bittersweet lyrics, a mannerism that you can either love or hate). As for the album, I do miss a few acoustic numbers thrown in, she sounds beautiful in a more intimate musical set (video below) and you are left feeling that she should have recorded more in that direction as well. In that sense, I can also establish a parallel between Lights and Björk's Debut album: both records seem to focus more on dance-pop songs, while you clearly are left feeling that the artists have their heads set on other musical adventures. If Björk has found her true musical self on her third album, chances are Ellie might do the same on future recordings. Because what lacks on Lights is intimacy, something we know she can transmit brilliantly (check out her Bon Iver cover of Wolves and you'll never be the same again). That's the only thing I missed when listening to this (still impressive) collection of songs. Lights is the kind of album that is sure to put Ellie Goulding on the pop stratosphere without showcasing everything she has to offer. As for this writer, I can honestly say I'm in love. There's a bright future ahead of her and we are truly fortunate to have such an unique singer with us. Welcome, Ellie! (8/10)

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