Single Review: Kygo & Ellie Goulding – First Time

Norwegian DJ and producer Kygo worked with Ellie Goulding for his new single ‘First Time’. Continue reading

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The best pop singles of 2015

2015 has been a great year for popular music! We saw a lot of amazing artists come back and new talents making their way to the top. It’s that time of the year again where we decide what were the best pop moments in 2015. This is A Bit of Pop Music’s Top 50 of Best Singles of the Year where we go from The Weeknd to Jess Glynne and Adele to Justin Bieber! Continue reading

The Best Pop Albums of 2015

2015 has been a great year for popular music! We saw a lot of amazing artists come back and new talents making their way to the top. It’s that time of the year again where we decide what were the … Continue reading

Single Review: Ellie Goulding – Army

Ellie Goulding Delirium

Ellie Goulding finally sounds a bit like Ellie Goulding on new single ‘Army’
As we all know, Ellie Goulding is about to drop a new album, called Delirium, next week. The British singer-songwriter started a campaign for which she released a new song every week until the album release. This week, the new track is ‘Army’, not really a promo single, but actually the second official single taken from the record. Frequent readers of this blog might have already realized that I am not a big fan of this new era for Ellie. ‘On My Mind’ was just a tuneless mess if you ask me that didn’t even come close to the standard Ellie produced before and ‘Something In The Way You Move’ was nice enough, but could also have been recorded by Carly Rae Jepsen or any other pop singer. After the release of the not really single worthy ‘Lost & Found’ last week she is now back with ‘Army’ that finally sounds like actual Ellie Goulding!

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Single Review: Ellie Goulding – Something In The Way You Move

Ellie Goulding Something in the way you move

Ellie Goulding launches light and upbeat second promo single
It was already clear that Ellie Goulding moved from indie pop territory to full on big pop star in the past two years. This transformation was completed with the release of the single ‘On My Mind’ last month. It was the first track taken from her upcoming third album Delirium and it was not what I, and quite a few other Goulding fans, hoped for. The track is repetitive, lacks personality and most of all, the chorus falls flat. Now she tries her luck with the second promo single, called ‘Something In The Way You Move’. An improvement to ‘On My Mind’? Yes. Up to Ellie Goulding’s standard? Nope.

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Single Review: Ellie Goulding – On My Mind

Ellie Goulding On My Mind cover

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.

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January 2015 in pop music: the best songs

Rae Morris Under the Shadows

I haven’t been blogging for a while, but january 2015 has been a great month for pop music. Loads of new releases and quite a few excellent tracks. If you think you missed something, have a look below to see my favorite pop tracks of the month!

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Gig Review: Ellie Goulding at Heineken Music Hall

Ellie Goulding Heineken Music Hall

Ellie Goulding shows growth as a pop star in Amsterdam

Ellie Goulding played her first big concert in Amsterdam last night. Last year, the singer played in front of a sold out Paradiso, but only ten months later she managed to sell out the Heineken Music Hall, more than three times the capacity of Paradiso. During the show in HMH it becomes clear that is not only her audience that has grown. Ellie Goulding shows more attitude, more confidence and most of all, her show is bigger than last time. The crowd saw her transformation into one of the biggest pop stars of this moment.

Before Goulding took the stage, the up and coming British pop artist Chlöe Howl performed a couple of songs as supporting act. Although the 18-years-old Howl is not quite there yet, she showed enormous potential with a nice attitude on stage and strong vocals. The singer is about to release her first album later this year, so she performed some new tracks. Especially the last three that all got released as singles, ‘Paper Heart’, ‘No Strings’ and ‘Rumour’, are great pop tracks with swinging rhythms and powerful choruses.

Chlöe Howl Heineken Music Hall

When the lights went out for the start of Goulding’s performance the audience changed into a bunch of ecstaticly screaming enthusiasts. Goulding appeared on stage with her four band members and three backing singers. The concert started with the explosive single ‘Figure 8’ and immediately a large part of the audience put their hands in the air. Ellie Goulding really seemed to enjoy the great vibe in the audience and danced energetically during the whole show. Her new single ‘Goodness Gracious’ went down well with the crowd and almost every track got her fans dancing.

Halfway through the show she slowed things down a bit, starting with the Elton John cover, ‘Your Song’, that was a big hit for her in the UK. Literally everybody sang along to every word of the song which was a great moment. Also, her slower single ‘How Long Will I Love You’ sounded great in all it’s softness, even in this less intimate venue. One of the absolute highlights of the night was her emotional and heartbreaking performance of the great ballad ‘Explosions’. To fit in as many of her great songs as possible, she played two medleys as well, including a fresh new mix of the brilliant ‘Guns and Horses’. Ellie’s sweet voice is gorgeous in the higher register, but she shows to have gained some power in her vocals as well. Although she is dancing and running on stage all the time, this does not affect her voice at all, as her vocal performance is flawless.

Although many of the visitors of this gig have been following Ellie Goulding for years, judging by the loud cheers when she announced ‘Starry Eyed’, one of her first singles, it is obvious that her most recent singles are the most popular tracks. Therefore, the holy trinity of one of her best singles ‘Anything Could Happen’, Calvin Harris collaboration ‘I Need Your Love’ and hit ‘Lights’ are a great and explosive end to a very energetic show. Of course Goulding comes back once more to play ‘You, My Everything’, probably the best track of the re-release Halcyon Days and her biggest hit ‘Burn’. To that last song, everybody sings and dances along. If it was not clear throughout the whole show already, that moment proved it once again: Ellie Goulding transformed into one of the best and most exciting pop stars of today.

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Concert Recensie: Ellie Goulding in Heineken Music Hall

Ellie Goulding Heineken Music Hall

Ellie Goulding laat enorme groei zien tijdens show in Amsterdam

Ellie Goulding was gisterenavond in Amsterdam voor haar eerste echt grote concert. Vorig jaar speelde de zangeres nog voor een uitverkocht Paradiso, maar slechts tien maanden later wist ze ook de Heineken Music Hall, met een ruim drie keer zo grote capaciteit, met gemak uit te verkopen. Tijdens de show wordt duidelijk dat niet alleen de fanbase van de blondine is gegroeid. De zangeres laat meer zelfvertrouwen zien en vooral haar show is een stuk grootser geworden. Ellie Goulding laat zien dat ze een transformatie in één van de grootste popsterren van het moment heeft gemaakt.

Het voorprogramma werd verzorgd door de Britse nieuwe artieste Chlöe Howl. Hoewel de 18-jarige zangeres misschien nog niet helemaal klaar is om zalen van dit kaliber te spelen, laat ze zien enorm veel potentie te hebben. Haar houding op het podium is ontspannen en haar stem klinkt sterk. Later dit jaar zal ze met een debuutplaat komen en daar zingt ze nu al wat nieuwe liedjes van. De singles ‘Paper Heart’, ‘No Strings’ en ‘Rumour’ vormen het einde van haar set en zijn gelijk ook de sterkste tracks, met swingende ritmes en knallende refreinen.

Op het moment dat het licht weer uitgaat voor aanvang van de show van Goulding, verandert het publiek in een extatisch gillende menigte. Ellie betreedt het podium met haar vierkoppige band en een achtergrondkoor van twee dames en een heer. Ze zetten direct het explosieve ‘Figure 8’ in waardoor gelijk al een behoorlijk aantal handen de lucht in gaan. Goulding geniet zichtbaar van de positieve vibe in het publiek en ze danst er lustig op los. Haar nieuwe single ‘Goodness Gracious’ wordt ook goed ontvangen en eigenlijk gaan op bijna elk liedje de voetjes wel van de vloer.

Halverwege de show last Goulding even een rustmomentje in, als ze enkele ballads achter elkaar speelt. De Britse begint met de Elton John cover ‘Your Song’, waar ze in haar thuisland een grote hit mee scoorde. Het lied wordt door het hele publiek woord voor woord uit volle borst meegezongen wat toch wel een kippenvelmomentje oplevert. Ook de ballad ‘How Long Will I Love You’ klinkt prachtig ondanks dat de Heineken Music Hall niet bepaald een intieme setting is. Daarna volgt een emotionele en breekbare vertolking van ‘Explosions’ wat absoluut tot de hoogtepunten van de avond gerekend mag worden. Om zoveel mogelijk van haar tracks te spelen, doet Goulding ook een aantal fijne medleys waar onder anderen het briljante ‘Guns and Horses’ in een nieuw jasje wordt gestoken. Ellie’s softe stem klinkt prachtig in de hoogte, maar de zangeres laat door het optreden heen ook horen dat haar stem aan kracht heeft gewonnen. Ondanks het vele dansen weet ze een foutloos vocaal optreden neer te zetten.

Hoewel een behoorlijk aantal fans Goulding al vanaf dag één volgen, gezien de enthousiaste reacties op één van de eerste singles ‘Starry Eyed’, kwamen de meeste mensen toch om haar meest recente hits te horen. De drie-eenheid van het geweldige ‘Anything Could Happen’, Calvin Harris samenwerking ‘I Need Your Love’ en de hit ‘Lights’ weet het publiek dan ook perfect in extase te brengen. Natuurlijk komt Goulding daarna nog even terug om ‘You, My Everything’, één van de beste liedjes van Halcyon Days en haar grootste hit tot nu toe, ‘Burn’ te vertolken. Als het door de hele show heen al niet duidelijk was geworden dan was dit alsnog het moment: Ellie Goulding is veranderd in één van de beste en meest veelbelovende popartiesten van dit moment.