Amanda Freuler // Contributing writer
British artist Ellie Goulding released her newest album, Delirium, last Friday with two hit singles, big name collaborators, and high expectations. While critics praise Goulding’s upbeat, club-ready set of songs, they worry about her artistic progress and her music’s growth.
The artist started turning heads and topping American charts in 2011 with her first album, Lights; which was an easy mix of pop and folk. A year later she released Halcyon and soaked her music in techno beats and a dubstep feel. Now, Goulding is striving towards becoming a true pop sensation as her Delirium album makes its debut.
“A part of me views this as an experiment — to make a big pop album,” said Goulding in a review published by The Verge. With intentions of sweeping American charts again, Goulding collaborated with some of the most successful producers and artists in the business to create the perfect pop album.
Max Martin, Greg Kurstin, Ryan Tedder, who have also worked with Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, Adele, and Adam Lambert, are just a few of the writers and producers behind Goulding’s most recent music.
The only problem with rounding up these pop pros is that while it may help Goulding get to the top, she is definitely starting to blend into the fervent pop-producing crowd. Nolan Feeney of Time Magazine wrote in a review of Delirium, “Between Hilary Duff, Selena Gomez and Adam Lambert, pop has enough whistle-driven songs to make the wordless hook of “Keep on Dancin’” feel a little redundant.”
Despite Goulding losing a sense of originality in this album, Nolan went on to say that her songs “Don’t Need Nobody” and “On My Mind” has both Goulding’s “weirdnes,” as well as the pop production to quickly take them to the top as she hopes.
The Verge agreed with this album’s concerning similarities with other artists, but then commented, “The songs above aren’t just slabs of musical MSG pumped out of a factory — they’re immaculate shells that can’t become hits without the magnetism of the right artistic match.” In other words, Delirium would not be nearly as catchy, nor successful, without Goulding’s artistic abilities and talent.
Critics have pointed out another flaw with Delirium is its extended length. With 16 tracks, the album spans about an hour in time and there are longer deluxe editions available for fans to buy.
While The Verge appreciated Goulding’s dedication to her songs, they mentioned in their review that “…pop is an art form that rewards concision, and the album’s stronger tracks get lost in clumps that don’t connect.”
Fans got a taste of this album when Goulding’s single “Love Me Like You Do” premiered in Fifty Shades of Grey earlier this year, and also won an NRJ Music Award for International Breakthrough of the Year. Her second single from Delirium, “On My Mind”, has been getting attention from other big names in music. On November 7 Kelly Clarkson tweeted “@HillaryScottLA @camcountry @elliegoulding ooh I love #onmymind too!”
As fans make the electric beats of Delirium their new favorite party playlist, Ellie Goulding posted on Facebook “Delirium is my most fun and exciting venture yet that I hope you will dance to it as much as I do.”
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