Ellie Goulding is pop princess on new record Delirium
We all could have witnessed how Ellie Goulding took a different turn in her career from the moment her single ‘Burn’ became a huge hit. Gone were the folky and electronic sound of her debut and the deep and emotional tracks of the sophomore record Halcyon. What we got to hear instead were poppy tunes written by Max Martin like the huge hit for the soundtrack of Fifty Shades of Grey, ‘Love Me Like You Do’. For her third album Delirium, that Ellie herself described as a big pop album and an experiment, she co-wrote almost everything and collaborated with hit writers like again Martin and Greg Kurstin. Will this gain her new fans or will she lose her so far faithful followers?
When she first premiered the lead single ‘On My Mind’, I was not amused to say the least. I thought the single was her weakest so far and it felt like a tuneless mess, but I have to admit, the track is constantly in my head whenever I heard it on radio, so tuneless is not what it is. I still think it is rather repetitive and not up to Ellie’s standards, but it actually worked as a single for radio and I have to give her that. About ‘Something In The Way You Move’ I wrote that it is an alright track, but not something we would want from Ellie. Fact is, the track is actually quite addictive and a strong pop song. Most of the above goes for almost every track on the record actually. No, they’re not all particularly suited to the folky Ellie we knew before, but Delirium is full of ingeniously written pop tracks with catchy choruses and lush productions.
The album starts out with a mysterious intro, which seems a bit out of place on a straight forward pop album, but other than that, the record is quite cohesive and almost no weak spots, except just a few too faceless tracks like ‘Devotion’ and ‘Don’t Panic’. So what are the highlights then? There is this track called ‘Holding On For Life’ and it’s pure pop perfection. It fits Ellie’s breezy and sweet vocals perfectly. The track is built up out of handclaps, choirs chanting and the chorus soars deliciously throughout the track. The best part comes in the middle eight where her vocal lines intertwine with the choir. This could be a great single choice if you ask me.
About that, Ellie has a lot of potential singles on her hands here. I could see the slightly quirky, fast paced and high pitched chorus of ‘Around U’ being played on the radio, but more obvious choices are pop giants like ‘Aftertaste’ (Ellie’s big drums are back!), ‘Codes’ and ‘Keep On Dancing’. Of course the beautiful single ‘Army’, that sounds more like the sounds Ellie we knew before, is perfectly suitable for the coming winter days. Delirium is definitely not her best record yet (Halcyon says hello) and not necessarily what her fans from the first hour would have hoped for probably, but she delivers a solid pop record that will definitely appeal to a big audience.
Must listen: Holding On For Life, Army, Something In The Way You Move, Around U, Aftertaste