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Released on 01 March 2010

Artist: Ellie Goulding

5.0 out of 5 (15 customer reviews) | Write a review

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  1. Guns and Horses
  2. Starry Eyed
  3. This Love (Will Be Your Downfall)
  4. Under The Sheets
  5. The Writer
  6. Every Time You Go
  7. Wish I Stayed
  8. Your Biggest Mistake
  9. I'll Hold My Breath
  10. Salt Skin
  • Starry Eyed (Little Noise Session) Recorded on 22nd November for Mencap's Little Noise Sessions at the Union Chapel, London.

    Picking up the baton from previous BBC Sound of the Year winners Adele and Little Boots, Ellie Goulding is the latest break-out star of British pop. Defying pigeon-holers and hacks everywhere, Goulding's sound blends dance, folk, pop, electronica and everything in between.

    Goulding developed her sound with the help of British electro-pop genius Frankmusik, culminating in the release of debut album Lights.The record shuns clichéd pop beats and subject matter, replacing them with infectious, danceable tunes and heartfelt lyrics.

    First single Under the Sheets is the template, an electro-soaked dance track with Goulding's processed voice tugging at the heart-strings. Get used to it: it's the sound of 2010.

customer Reviews

 Average rating (15 reviews)

 Good....but should have been so much better

| | See all Yak317's reviews (24)

Top 100 Music Reviewer

I think the biggest issue I have with this album is that it feels, and sounds, rushed. The best debuts are those which take years of careful crafting and tweaking, whittling down tracks until you get a perfect playlist, those albums which are full of artistic integrity and identity - something which is totally lacking here.

Everything from the lack-lustre, unimaginative album cover, the lack of album art detailing down to the storage of actual content (with only 10 tracks the album barely lasts 35 minutes) smacks of a mad dash to the finish line. This rush is partly the fault of the well-oiled BBC hype-machine which can almost single handedly claim catapulting Ellie from obscurity to "British sound of the year" Winner in just 6 short months.

There is no doubt at all that the girl is incredibly talented as any of the beautiful demo versions still on YouTube will tell you. With regards to her song and lyric writing skills, that talent is raw and rough and misshapen around the edges but very very beautiful indeed. The demo versions had me hoping for more than just generic female-led electronica from her, that delicate fusion of busty folk, delicate tasteful synths and that quavering child-like fragility of her voice got me very excited indeed. However, all the songs I'd heard and fallen in love with before the album released had been changed beyond recognition on the actual album itself.
The terrible, messy over production on "Wish I'd Stayed" ruined what was, for me, my favourite song of hers to date. Her beautiful voice and instrumentation had been swamped beneath a jumbled untidy sounding mush of overly aggressive synth and predictable pop backing instrumentation. It's just so frustrating to hear all these songs with incredible potential being ruined like this.

That said, the album itself is ok, I mean it's not heart-stopping but it's certainly not bad by any stretch of the imagination. There are some real gems here. Best track for me by a mile is "The Writer" which is really very beautiful and really makes the whole thing worthwhile. Other highlights include; "This Love" "Your Biggest Mistake" and "Starry Eyed". It's very easy to listen to, inoffensive synthpop and like I've said her voice is pretty special.

She really is very talented and well deserved of all this success. I just wish she'd had a bit more strength of conviction in her original artistic identity and not let the production team mess around with her songs so much, as her own synth arrangements were soooo much better.

Basically though, if you like the singles (and not just any demos or accoustics you might have heard) then you shouldn't be disappointed, and there is definitely enough good stuff here to make buying this album worthwhile. 4/5

 It may be hyped, but it's still great...

| | See all bleedingpepper's reviews (93)

Top 100 Music Reviewer

Cynics may rant on about the well-organised hype machine behind Ms Goulding since late last year when 'Under The Sheets' was first released and THAT performance on Later With Jools Holland and dismiss her as another over-hyped contrived genre-bending puppet who blends pop, electronica, folk and indie to appeal to as many different people as possible. The truth is, regardless of the hype and how many accolades she gets, the reality is that there is some substance in the music. The fact that Ellie Goulding has expanded her musical horizons beyond that of just pop (and accomodate folk, electronica, indie) is by no means contrived. In fact, based on this album it sounds very very natural.

Opener 'Guns & Horses' is a fantastic piece of folk-tinged pop with the sort of timeless chorus that will be echoed all over the radio, gig venues and festivals for years to come. Admittedly compared to the original demo version it does sound a bit over cooked as the edginess of the early demo is glossed over by the production, but it still remains a strong track.

Similarly 'Wish I Stayed' seems to have lost something in it's current incarnation compared to the original sparse acoustic-based demo.

This is not to say that I'm against well-produced pop in any way. It works fantastically well on debut single 'Under The Sheets', the imperious 'This Love', 'Every Time You Go' and it's stonking chorus, the immense club-pop of second single 'Starry Eyed' or the epic balladry of 'The Writer'. 'This Love' in particular stands out as one of the best pop songs in recent years.

The key to the songs is undoubtedly Ellie's voice - there are elements of Kate Bush, Florence Welch, a less kooky Bjork... the comparisons go on... But while there are elements of each said singer, Ellie also sounds like none of them at the same time. No contradiction. Her voice is effectively her own and in vocal terms, she transcends well beyond that of a Kate Bush/Florence Welch/Bjork/whoever pretender. This is most evident during the chorus' of 'Under The Sheets' and 'Guns & Horses' and the intimate verses of 'I'll Hold My Breath' and 'This Love'.

Overall 'Lights' is a great debut album that easily stands up on its two feet against the hype and expectation. Some of the songs may have lost some of the original edginess of early demo versions, but they havent been entirely ruined by the polished production either. Maybe I'm being fussy, but it's the only thing holding me back from giving it a 5/5 rating. The rest of the album lives up to and exceeds expectations. Hype or no hype, this is a fantastic album full of great pop songs and should be treated as such.


| | See all hud123's reviews (2)

This Album Is one of the best i have heard this year she is so talented you just don't get bored of any of the track and i have not stopped playing it and getting others to play it too

 Starry Eyed!

| | See all Drelldenied's reviews (189)

Ellie Goulding is showing real prowess out of all the artists in her genre. Her voice is so seductive, sweet and unique. Her tracks give you that festival feeling. Very euphoric and hippy-ish, but with a modern folk/synth-pop twist. Recommend this chart-topping album. Value for money.

Best tracks are Guns And Horses, Starry Eyed, Under The Sheets, This Love (Will Be Your Downfall), and Salt Skin

 Super Album

| | See all AndrewPlay's reviews (3)

I've listened to this album in my car for the past week now and haven't had to skip any tracks, it's great to relax too!!

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