Ellie Goulding – Bright Lights

Ellie Goulding – Bright Lights
Polydor: 2010

Ellie Goulding is living in the past through Bright Lights, a re-release of the chart-topping album, Lights. This pop album is driven by electric beats and fine tuned vocals, 20-something love songs and Ellie Goulding, who writes bloody well—as one might say in the UK. Ellie Goulding is two pointy boobs away from Madonna’s apprentice. She recently took orders from Madonna’s doctor on improving the state of her vocal chords after battling a cold.  But she’s not focusing on just one pop icon. Her album closes with a rendition of Elton John’s “Your Song”, and so it’s safe to say Goulding is shooting for pop icon status.

While Goulding writes with a guitar in hand—you rarely hear her plucking away. Songs are mostly composed with a mixture of modern and early nineties-sounding beats. Lyrically, young women can revel in the relationship-esque imagery, i.e. waiting for phone calls, falling in and out of love, daydreaming about the proverbial you. Track titles alone provide an insight into Goulding’s favorite theme: “This Love”, “Under The Sheets”, “Wish I Stayed”, “Your Biggest Mistake”. Crop the album around these tracks and you might have a perfect soundtrack those actively pursuing new/old relationships.

When Bright Lights stands toe-to-toe with the original Lights, it’s really just the extended version of the more succinct 2009 release.  A few new tracks, including Elton John’s “Your Song” and apparently you’ve got an excuse to re-release an album.

It goes without saying, the most interesting track on this album is “Wish I stayed,” written exclusively by Goulding. It stands as a representation of Goulding’s authentic sound. Lyrically, it’s still quite typical of the album’s overall theme, but technically, “Wish I Stayed”, is a complicated cookie, amongst a large sheet of nearly identical pastries.

It’s no wonder that this album did so well in the UK. It’s a pop-driven beat library, perfect for DJs hosting all too typical wedding receptions. But in the US, Bright Lights may find itself overshadowed by a surplus of beat driven albums. But aside from the repetitive beats, the most unfortunate aspect of this love story is the Elton John cover. Don’t get me wrong. I love Elton John. He’s one of the best song writers of his generation. So when I hear an Elton John cover at the end of an album, all I want to do is listen to more Elton John. So that’s what I’m doing.

2 out of 5

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