‘Delirium’ – A Review of the Latest Album from Ellie Goulding
It’s hard to come up with the names of any Brits Critics’ Choice award winners who haven’t left a legacy in the music industry; 2009 winner – Florence & the Machine – struck gold with their popular rendition of Candi Staton’s ‘You Got the Love,’ or last year’s winner Sam Smith, who released a heart-clenching theme for the latest incantation of the Bond film franchise. And, of course, who can forget Adele – still going strong after seven years of success. Yet, none of these artists have undergone as dramatic a journey as Ellie Goulding – the Hereford-born songstress who stands out of as one of the 21st Century’s biggest artists.
Her previous albums have helped to shape Goulding into the artist she has always wanted to be. ‘Lights’ – the debut album – took on pleasant melodies by combining soft guitar notes with the occasional choir-like vocals. 2012’s sophomore album ‘Halcyon’ brought these vocals to centre stage and surrounded them with powerful drums and dramatic synths – producing tones of beautiful melancholy. Her latest album, ‘Delirium,’ sees Goulding take on a completely different sound than those on previous albums; by taking the clout of ‘Halcyon’ and the upbeat melodies of ‘Lights’, she is able to create songs that are as powerful through your earphones as hearing them live.
The album begins with ‘Intro’ – a short instrumental which really pronounces the extreme technical abilities of Goulding’s voice. The orchestral vocals sweep the listener right into ‘Aftertaste,’ which has a mature but euphoric pop sound that leaves you with a smile on your face. ‘Don’t Panic’ and ‘Lost and Found’ prolong the feeling of happiness, reassuring the listener that Goulding is in a much happier place now than ‘Halcyon’ made it seem three years ago. Of course, if you’re after songs that love is complex and not always rosy, Goulding’s got that covered too; ‘Keep on Dancin’’ and ‘Don’t Need Nobody’ echo the path which she travelled to get where she is now – troublesome but finite.
The thing which makes Goulding’s work so brilliant, unlike other lyricists who write about love, is that she produces songs that are relatable. She reminds us that whilst fame has catapulted her into international stardom, she is still human inside. We all experience feelings of guilt, regret, despair and exhilaration and that’s exactly what ‘Delirium’ outlines. The songs on Goulding’s albums are rich in theatrical sound but when you strip it back to the lyrics, they resemble exactly what we wish we could say or could’ve said to our significant others. This album is no different in its approach.
With a beauty that can only be heard to truly appreciate (since, in my opinion, ‘On My Mind’ does
not give the album the justice it deserves), ‘Delirium’ truly does encapsulate everything you would want from an experimental artist who is not afraid to talk about reality. It will be interesting to see where Goulding takes her sound in later years.
Ellie Goulding’s official website can be found at http://www.elliegoulding.com
Goulding’s album is available to buy or download via iTunes here: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/delirium-deluxe/id1040134609 (Deluxe Edition) or https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/delirium/id1040127504 (Standard Edition).
I recently reviewed her live show at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, you can find that review here: Ellie Goulding @ The Echo Arena
(Featured Image Credit: Jordan Holdsworth)