Ellie Goulding goes for big pop sound on new single and album
When Ellie Goulding released her debut album in 2010, she introduced herself as an electronic folk pop artist with her own little style going on. She made it big in the UK and started to conquer Europe and the US as well. By the time her second record Halcyon came around, everything still sounded personal, but with bigger productions and life giving choruses. For the re-release Halcyon Days however, she and her team decided to go for a big pop sound with sligtly more predictable output, like single ‘Burn’. In the meantime she recorded Max Martin penned ‘Love Me Like You Do’ for the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack and had a worldwide hit. She slowly but steadily moved towards big pop star territory and with her new single ‘On My Mind’, the transformation is about to complete.
Ellie announced a november release for her third record called Delirium. She is concious about the change of sound and the recording of other people’s songs and was quoted saying: “A part of me views this album as an experiment – to make a big pop album. I made a conscious decision that I wanted it to be on another level.” This becomes clear by listening to ‘On My Mind’. It’s a big pop track with a light R&B rhythm in the verses and the chorus is just the repetition of the sentence ‘I got you on my mind’ in a fast pace. Now she previously showed she could make repetitive choruses exciting (‘Anything Could Happen’), but in this case it just falls kind of flat. Even the addition of the sentence ‘You think you know somebody’ by the second time it comes around is not enough to save it. There is not enough of a build up to be found throughout the song and admitted, it’s catchy, but a little too close to annoying if you ask me.
The lyrics deal with a guy from her past in a Taylor Swift sort of way and the story is personal and straightforward, but that personality at the same time doesn’t really shine through thanks to the uninspired melody and production. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a sucker for big pop albums as an experiment, but not if it sucks the life out of what made Ellie Goulding so exciting in the first place. Let’s hope this album has more to offer than what we heard from the first single, because she is capable of writing immense tunes (‘Figure 8’, ‘My Blood’, ‘Under The Sheets’ etc.) without necessarily going for a hit. Having said that I am quite sure ‘On My Mind’ will be eaten up by radio, will do well in the charts and will be literally on people’s minds all day for the coming months, as it gets stuck in your head after one listen and you can’t really get it out. God knows I tried.