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Ellie Goulding - Brightest Blue

  by Nick Dent-Robinson

published: 13 / 9 / 2020

Ellie Goulding - Brightest Blue
Label: Polydor
Format: CD


Appealing and diverse fourth album from bestselling and acclaimed singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding

Ten years ago, when Ellie Goulding won the Critics' Choice award at the Brits, she seemed to have a pretty clear image...the girl next door, mixing attractive folksy melodies with powerful electronics. It was a successful formula. Her first album, 'Lights', topped the charts with sales of over 1.5 million. Since then, Ellie's artistic vision has been less consistent. Her second album, 'Halcyon', was darker than her debut record and her third, 'Delirium' unapologetically pursued pop trends. There can be advantage in being hard to pin down and Ellie's fourth album, 'Brightest Blue', does seem to strike more of a balance – confirming her ability to cross genres with remarkable ease. It is a two part album (but on a single CD) which took Ellie five years to make. The vinyl edition comprises two LPs. The first half of the record reflects Ellie's growing pains and vulnerability while the second, shorter part, includes singles released over the past couple of years and demonstrates the more outgoing, confident and familiar side of Ellie Goulding. The whole album plays for nearly an hour and some may feel it is just a little self-indulgent and self-important at times. On 'Brightest Blue' Ellie worked with producers Joe Kearns and Starsmith and co-writers including Tobias Jesso Jr. who penned Adele's 'When We Were Young'. Ellie is now thirty-three and age plus practice has given greater depth and richness to her voice. She also appears to have reclaimed some of her old individuality and confident swagger. The opening track 'Start' is a strong R & B number made with New York's Josiah Wise (also known as Serpentwithfeet) and it sets the tone for some mellow, soulful tunes which follow. They manage to create a slightly confessional mood without forsaking the basics of good pop. 'Power' addresses the dangers of dating in the social media era whilst 'How Deep Is Too Dee'” attacks commitment-phobic men. 'New Height' is an electronic ballad warning against changing personality to please others whilst the title track is a blustering gospel-style number. Ellie is happily married to art dealer Casper Jopling (they wed last year) but 'Flux' is a nuanced piano ballad that, like several tracks on this album, looks back philosophically on former lovers. The second part of 'Brightest Blue' is much more upbeat and there are welcome contributions from American singer Blackbear and rapper Swae Lee who helps ensure 'Close to Me' is mischievous and playful. Ellie Goulding's main fanbase is ageing into their late twenties and early thirties now. This new album has a rich mix of material which should ensure their on-going loyalty to a singer who has worked hard over the past decade or so and deserves continued success.

Track Listing:-
1 Start [feat. serpentwithfeet]
2 Power
3 How Deep Is Too Deep
4 Cyan
5 Love I’m Given
6 New Heights
7 Ode To Myself
8 Woman
9 Tides
10 Wine Drunk
11 Bleach
12 Flux
13 Brightest Blue

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