A decade at the top of pop
British pop sensation Ellie Goulding has been on people’s radars for a decade when her debut album, Lights, hit number one on the United Kingdom album charts in 2010 and the song “Lights” made waves on the radio and even reached number two on the United States charts. Since then, Goulding has graced the charts all over the world, with songs like “Anything Could Happen,” “Burn” and “On My Minds,” just to name a few. She even received a Grammy nomination for her song “Love Me Like You Do” which was featured in the motion picture, Fifty Shades of Grey. Now, after five years, Goulding has released a new album into the pop-world titled Brightest Blue.
The project opens on a track frankly titled “Start” and features experimental musician Josiah Wise, known by the stage name serpentwithfeet. It’s a quiet, more ballad-like tune with a pretty piano melody and some hypnotic background vocals and noises. Later in the album listeners get more of that slowed-down soft pop on “New Heights” with lyrics such as “Reaching these new heights/ Love without someone else feels right/ Love for myself in this new light/ There’s something much deeper inside” that explore the sensitivity and strength it takes to reach self love.
People get a taste of Goulding’s signature style on songs like “Tides” that offer an upbeat tune with some experimental EDM thrown into the mix. Most of the features on the album showcase that style, including the bright and bubbly song “Slow Grenade” featuring American producer and singer Lauv, and moody track “Worry About Me,” which features up and coming hip-hop artist Blackbear. A couple more notable moments on the project include the previously released singles “Hate Me,” featuring the late rapper Juice Wrld, and “Close To Me” featuring DJ Diplo and rapper Swae Lee. Both singles reached pop chart status and have more of that infectious sound and unique voice that is distinctly Goulding.
The main part of the album ends pleasantly on its namesake and the song flows and feels like sung poetry, with emotional and striking lyrics like “I was lost and now I’m found/ Fell off the merry-go-round/ I was in the politics/ Obsessed with things I couldn’t fix” and “Even in the calmest seas/ Now it’s all I wanna be/ A semi-precious mystery/ Yeah I love me more than you/ Doesn’t mean I can’t be true” accompanied by a simple, yet entrancing melody.
There’s a reason Ellie Goulding is always playing on the radio; her unmistakable voice, memorable lyrics and synth-pop infused sound make for incredible music. Brightest Blue brings out the best in Goulding with vulnerability, experimentation and cross-genre collaborations.