Ellie Goulding – Lights (North American Edition)
Record Label: Cherrytree / Interscope Records
Release Date: March 8th, 2011
If you’re not living under a rock, or pay attention to pop culture, there’s a huge chance you’ve heard of British singer Ellie Goulding. I’ve been familiar with her for a long time, but I was never curious enough to listen to any of her records. In 2012, she released sophomore record Halcyon, but a couple of years prior, she released Lights, her debut album. The album was re-released in 2011 in the US, which is the version I have. Regardless of what version of the record I own, it’s still a fantastic record. I don’t normally listen to female vocalists, but Ms. Goulding is an exception for a few reasons. She’s not your average “pop” artist; she combines indie-pop, folk, pop, and electronica. That’s the main reason why I like this album. It’s a bit generic at times, but it’s still very enjoyable, nonetheless. Another reason why I really like this album is for her voice, obviously. She has a great voice that so few artists can rival, but let’s see the “light” of why this album is so great, shall we? Okay, puns aren’t my forte, but let’s dive into this album.
The album opens with “Lights,” which is the title track and her most popular song to date. This is easily one of the most “poppy” songs on the record, but nonetheless, it’s still very enjoyable. It’s very catchy and it definitely starts the album off on a nice note. The lyrics aren’t perfect, but for the genre, they’re quite enjoyable. They’re certainly nothing painful to listen to, and in fact, there are plenty of moments I can relate to the lyrics on this record. Second track “Guns and Horses” has a more acoustic vibe to it, combining with the electronica elements as well, which is really interesting. I’ve heard it before, yes, but paired with Goulding’s very unique voice and her lyrics, it’s something very interesting. It’s a rather nice track, but it’s certainly not my favorite, either. Third track, “Starry Eyed,” is one of my favorite tracks. I love this song a lot. It’s extremely catchy, and the lyrics I absolutely adore. The thing about her lyrics is that they seem very dreamlike sometimes. And also I mentioned earlier that the sound of the record is rather generic at times, and well, there are tracks that do have a very generic vibe to them, but that doesn’t mean they’re awful tracks. There are a few tracks that do stick out to me more than any of them but every track does do something for me. They’re not terrible songs, but I could easily pick my favorites, and that’s all I’m merely trying to say here.
As the record goes on, however, the tracks are either rather generic, or absolutely fantastic. Just because a song is generic doesn’t make it terrible. Fifth track “Under the Sheets” is a song that I absolutely adore as well; the lyrics are rather clever and it’s just catchy altogether. Next track “The Writer” is a much more “indie” track, but the reason I like this is for the lyrics as well. The next couple tracks are a bit more generic, but they also are a bit “slower” as well. They’re more folktronica tracks, meaning they combine folk and electronica, which is pretty cool. Ninth track “Your Biggest Mistake” is when the album picks up again, and that song is another one of my favorite tracks The same goes for “Salt Skin,” which is the last track, aside from bonus track “Your Song.” “Your Song” is a cover of the Elton John song of the same name, and it’s a very nice and slow song that does its job. It’s absolutely adorable, in all honesty.
The album is pretty short and sweet at about 40 minutes, so it doesn’t drag on any point, but it also doesn’t seem too rushed, either. For every poppy song on the record, there are more relaxed and slower songs to balance it out. She’s not a pop star, that’s the thing. She’s much more than that, and I love it. It’s not something I normally listen to, but that’s the best part about it.