Goulding’s Electro-Pop U-turn
Since 2010, British pop songstress Ellie Goulding has been tirelessly plugging away as a living, breathing Top 40 hit machine. You’d think she might be a little tired by now, but her newest release Delirium proves that Goulding still has a lot of fight left in her, bringing more vigor than ever to the table with the jam-packed 16 track record.
Delirium is a major U-turn from her last full LP, Halcyon, replacing shiver-inducing power ballads with clean electro-pop, laden with synthesized background loops and slightly tribal percussion. But even with the plethora of smothering and complicated snare loops, Goulding’s eccentric and distinguishable vocals still take center stage. It’s a relief that she hasn’t lost grip of her quirky and slightly off-beat voice that shot her to stardom, and for good reason.
The low quotient of miserable break-up songs on Delirium is surprisingly inspiriting. We seem to be living in a time where self-pity and violins take center stage, but even when Goulding is crooning about relationships gone wrong, she manages to keep things lively and snappy, making something positive out of what usually would be melancholy. “Scream It Out” is one such example. The lyrics are typical of one who is triumphantly getting back on their feet after a messy breakup, but it never once slips into wallowing territory.
“On My Mind” is the farthest departure from anything in Goulding’s previous discography, a million miles away from the subdued and easy vibes of Halcyon. The lyricism is sassy and witty, and the chorus hook even almost ventures outside the “box” of the tried and true pop song formula. It’s trying, and that’s all that could really be asked for on a record comprised of aggressively upbeat and sugar coated dance tracks.
Overall, Delirium is a valiant effort from Goulding, a record that shows that she’s capable of maturing and changing her sound, and a record that proves that she has no intentions of slowing down anytime soon.