Don’t you hate cop outs You know, where writers decide that they can’t decide on only ten great albums in a year so they make a tie. Yeah, I hate that too, but I’m doing it anyway.
#7A – Ellie Goulding – Halcyon
This is Ellie Goulding’s best album yet. She went in a direction geared more towards electronic music and I think it’s a direction that suits her. I wrote this in October:
I do not love the electronic scene and have always been disinclined to follow it’s immersion within the rock scene in general. I’ve viewed perhaps as people viewed disco in the 1970’s. Some love, others hate it and people like me are merely indifferent to the sounds of computers making music. There was something that changed my mind from hating to tolerating and that was the heavily moog synthesized sounds of Isao Tomita. There is a twinge of that in Ellie’s music, but this is definitely more on the dance electronic spectrum of things.
What she has done with Halcyon is created a danceable album with excellent lyrical content and enough beats to keep a traditionalist like myself enthralled throughout. Listening to this album I sense more emotion than the first which as I described is rare and this album for better or worse, depending on what you like is less dark than the first album. To put it mildly this is the one of the best pop albums of the year.
Ellie has come into her own and has found her voice and I love when that happens. Sometimes artists go entire careers and don’t make the album they have the potential to make. I think John Mayer is someone like that. I think Lily Allen is someone like that too. These are people with immense potential that has, thus far, gone unrealized. Ellie Goulding in her sophomore album eclipsed them brilliantly. Halycon is an album that showcases Goulding’s voice, but creates a balance between danceable pop numbers and emotional ballads. This is the quintessential British dance album, the kind you hear when you visit the clubs in the West End of London.