Ellie Goulding’s new album is ‘Delirium.’ Her third studio effort — after her brilliant debut with ‘Lights,’ followed by ‘Halcyon’ — is an unabashedly pop music album and critics are weighing. Here’s a roundup of what they have to say.
The 28-year-old Ellie Goulding has made headlines in recent months for her physical transformation, with a vegan diet and a fitness routine from the celebrity favorite Barry’s Bootcamp. But this time around, it’s the album that’s getting the buzz.
Her new album ‘Delirium’ released via Interscope Records arrives billed as a “pop music” album, a departure from her eclectic roots that ranged from EDM to folk of her first two albums, ‘Lights’ and ‘Halcyon.’ She told The New York Times of the album, “I got happier and happier, and ended up not wanting to overthink…I have so many interests, and I realized the thing I wanted to commit to, and to be known as, is a pop artist. I wasn’t doing that before — I was just teetering, and not really committing.”
Some have greeted the new sound and the tracklist with such notable pop music hitmakers as Max Martin Greg Kurstin, and Ryan Tedder with skepticism and/or cynicism. Nowadays we don’t really use the term sellout, since, after all, so many, even the independents, are licensing something, whether it’s their actual songs for a TV commercial or show or it’s a side hustle as a brand ambassador or a clothing line.
But distinctive voices, literally and figuratively, aren’t always going to be pushed aside to summer music festival obscurity. After all, witness the return of Adele, and her record-obliterating rise to the top of the Billboard Hot 100. No one would accuse Adele of being a cookie cutter artist after all.
So when Ellie Goulding hit the scene many thought, ah, yet another distinctive voice. She arrived with much fanfare scooping up the much-coveted Brits’ Critics’ Choice award and topping the BBC Sound of 2010 poll all in the same year.
Now several years later, with a third album, critics are divided. Potential is one thing, but what about the realization, and the execution of same? Being the latest and greatest only lasts but so long, and now critics are accessing not just the new album, but seeking out signs of artistic growth and adventure or lack of same. Here’s a roundup of what they have to say.
“…..If you like listening to fey exhaling over the same uninspiring backing track 16 times in a row, then you’re in luck, but for the rest of us, it’s a largely fruitless exercise. Put one of the singles on in a club at 2am when you’ve imbibed enough vodka to tranquilise a small horse and it’s a sufficient distraction from the cruel realities of life….”– Clash
“….. From the Martin-assisted Fifty Shades Of Grey theme ‘Love Me Like You Do’, to the Swift-style throb of ‘Something In The Way You Move’ or the ultra-polished plastic soul poise of ‘Codes’, these are songs that make most sense as number-one singles. It’s a career plan set to music. There’s something disappointing about this, however undeniable the quality of material….”– NME
“….Yes, in a world where we find pop-musicians in every corner, it is a privilege to be successful with your art, no matter how much the label controls your work. ELLIE was always about the airplay-pool, but this time the producers she teamep up with could have back up a few steps. ….” — NBHAP
Check back for more reviews as they arrive. In the days leading up to the album, release, we’ve witnessed the premiere of the music video for the lead single, ‘On My Mind’ (below) and the second official single, ‘Army’ and yes, there’s a world tour, which takes its title from the album. Now it remains to be seen how fans will react to Ellie Goulding’s ‘Delirium.’