There is something to be said about an album almost an hour long. An artist who can pull off such a lengthy production is not common, but Ellie Goulding has challenged this notion once again with her 16 track Delirium, and 21 track deluxe record.
“I think our little hearts will be alright”
Her airy voice carries listeners to the very end, straying from her notable EDM sound into a pop territory. Rather that abandoning her sound in its entirety, she adds her own twist to the industry owned by artists like Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift. The thing about pop music is the all-too-easy potential to fade away into already existing sound. In this day and age it is more difficult to develop an original sound. Goulding, again, challenges this and goes against the odds with Delirium. Just by starting with the album cover, this release is hot, dripping with sexy soprano and Calvin Harris-esque beats.
Although there are a few tracks that drown in the pop ocean, songs like “On My Mind” and “Around U” surprisingly stand out. “Around U” is a Disney pop-star single aged beyond its years, featuring Goulding’s not-so-individual repetitive verses over a dancey beat. Other tracks such as “Lost and Found” and, my personal favorite, “Army” begin in a less traditional way as far as Goulding’s music goes. “Army”‘s gentle acoustic intro leads into another repetitive chorus, but evokes a genuine emotion that tracks like “Keep On Dancin'” simply cannot. The full string orchestra and backup singers heard in “Love Me Like You Do” make an appearance in “Army” as well, unfortunately, taking away from the uniqueness of its presence on the record.
In venturing out of her usual sound, Goulding risks mimicking other popular mainstream radio artists, and in certain tracks, fails in coming up original. “Holding On For Life” has a very familiar sound that reminds you of Adam Lambert’s “Ghost Town”, taking away from the impact of Goudling’s take on the sonance. At first listen, “Don’t Need Somebody”‘s sound can be mistaken for DJ Snake’s “You Know You Like It.” These similarities do not necessarily take away from the album, but the uncanny analogous sounds do leave the question of originality on the table. Fortunately, my girl Ellie makes up for this in her more unique tracks and in her undeniably catchy, chart-topping hit “Love Me Like You Do.” The track conceals the foul aftertaste of Fifty Shades Of Grey, the motion picture it was originally featured in, and instead stands on its own and takes the lead for the most popular song on the album.
All in all, if listeners make it through the entire 56 minute record, they will see that Goulding has clearly poured her heart into Delirium. Her passion is so overflowing she released a 25 minute longer deluxe version.
Seriously, I cannot “On My Mind” out of my head.