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Halcyon [Deluxe Edition] Deluxe Edition
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Halcyon Days (Deluxe Edition)
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1. Don't Say A Word
2. My Blood
3. Anything Could Happen
4. Only You
6. Figure 8
8. Hanging On
10. I Know You Care
12. Dead In The Water
1. I Need Your Love (With Calvin Harris)
3. In My City
4. Without Your Love
5. Hanging On - (Feat. Tinie Tempah)
The follow up to the hugely successful debut album Lights, Ellie Goulding releases Halcyon--which features the Top 5 single "Anything Could Happen". It contains a collaboration with DJ Calvin Harris, as well as her cover of Active Child's "Hanging On" featuring Tinie Tempah.
Ellie Goulding's been a shape-shifter long before she started experimenting with radical coiffures to match the style of her dubstep beau, Skrillex. Since bagging the BRIT Awards’ Critics Choice in 2010, she's flummoxed the lot of us by refusing to stick in one spot. Witness the transition from the sparkly pop of her debut album, 2010's Lights, to that soppy, saccharine cover of Elton John's Your Song.
It's little wonder, then, that Halcyon finds her in metamorphosis again. Gone is the perky hybrid of electro-folk pop that illuminated Lights, as opener Don't Say a Word lays out a fine manifesto for change. It sees Ellie throwing herself at a would-be-lover's feet, riding a crest of choral chanting and gloomy soundscapes before the whole thing explodes in a burst of shooting stars.
While there are ample bangers – Anything Can Happen boasts spurting synths and a sky-kissing chorus – there's electro-ballad finery, too. Joy is a string-laden affair that showcases her helium-powered pipes, while I Know You Care sees her try to convince someone – us, her lover, herself – that they have something worth salvaging: "I know it wasn't always wrong / But I've never known a winter so cold."
What scuppers Halcyon, though, is the sense that Ellie's still not nailed down her own identity. There's just too much bombast, and the magpie-like-production and big, booming arrangements swaddle rather than swathe her vocals. Far from showing off her talents, the likes of Figure 8 and Atlantis become bottomless pits filled with heavy-handed knob-twiddling.
Most frustrating of all, perhaps, is the "bonus track" collaboration with Calvin Harris, I Need Your Love. It's a tantalising glimpse of what she could be capable of when her voice isn't submerged – and, ironically for a track she can only claim half-ownership of, it's got a swagger and bounce that feels resolutely more "her" than when she's playing gloomy dress-up.
As a second coming, Halcyon shows Goulding’s not wanting in ambition, or incapable of conjuring up the odd bit of magic. But next time, she needs to make sure she's a bit choosier about what exactly she pours into the cauldron.
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Top customer reviews
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17 April 2017
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
The music is strangely compelling. But I was unable to find all the satanic references and illuminati symbolism that the CD was supposed to be chock full of, according to the ultra conservative biblehumpers on YouTube and that was a little disappointing but no great surprise since these people find these references everywhere, particularly in the music of young female artists.
30 December 2017
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
Got this mainly for the “Anything Could Happen” track and because I generally am an album person rather than single tracks. Nothing else quite as good for me but very good value for money due to having 21 tracks.
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Most recent customer reviews
I've never been a big fan of Ellie Goulding but, on this album, I see definite signs of improvement and tracks like 'Anything Could Happen' are actually quite good.Read more