Monday, 1 March 2010

ALBUM REVIEW: Ellie Goulding, Lights

Ellie Goulding topped the BBC’s Sound of 2010 poll and won the Critics’ award at the BRIT’s, all before she released her debut album, Lights. I can’t help but think this may have done her more harm than good as expectations of the album are high.

Goulding is a young talent, who writes her own songs and has a unique style, fusing Folk and Electronica. Her chief collaborator is Fin Dow-Smith, aka Starsmith, who produced the majority of the songs on the album and co-wrote four of them.

The album is consistently confident throughout from opener Guns and Horses, Goulding sounds like a woman who knows exactly what she's doing with a clear understanding of her market.

It's all well made with tracks like Starry Eyed, with its stop-start dynamics and killer chorus whilst the punchy Under The Sheets is as aggressive as it gets. The delicate flutter of Wish I'd Stayed is the skilfully crafted sound-scaped highlight of the album.

On ballads like The Writer and I’ll Hold My Breath, Goulding’s voice swells and cracks giving a sense of a real emotional connection. She mixes heartfelt emotion with other-worldly atmospherics, spins cool Electronica into dreamy warmth.

Salt Skin, the last track on the album and the last track that was written and recorded is a restless mix of humming bass, popping beats and a processed choir.

Lights is a pleasant collection of songs delivered confidently by Goulding, and for the most part, the strength of her songwriting and her vocals should silence her critics.


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. Swimming Pool
10. Salt Skin

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