.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/tumblr-m7zjz5dhq91qacwnwo1-1280-1349383664.jpg Halcyon

Ellie Goulding

Halcyon

Cherrytree/Interscope
Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3.5 0
October 9, 2012

Ellie Goulding emerged in 2010 with a one-two punch: first, her (still-rising) helium-voiced hit "Lights," then, an elegant read of Elton John's "Your Song" that led to a gig at Prince William's wedding. As Cinderella stories go, it's a good one. But as a 25-year-old adept who dresses rave-y hooks in folk-rock tunefulness and art-pop filigree, Goulding earned her glass slippers.

Halcyon, her second LP, pumps up her sound as befitting a court musician. The single "Anything Could Happen" has the London Community Gospel Choir swooping around staccato piano and club beats; elsewhere she's multitracked into a one-woman choir. If the songwriting doesn't quite measure up to U.K. art-pop divas like Kate Bush, the hooks always go to town, and her voice – Dolly Parton-dazzling in the upper register – mates gorgeously with electronics, swirling around itself on the title track, morphing through synthscapes on "Don't Say a Word." "I Need Your Love," a bangin' collab with Scottish rave-op master Calvin Harris (Rihanna's "We Found Love"), gets slotted as a "bonus cut," maybe to avoid confusing the more genteel fans. But Goulding's magic is in her multitasking. And if she really gets busy with current paramour Skrillex, things could get even more interesting.

Listen to "Anything Could Happen": 

prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Bleeding Love”

    Leona Lewis | 2007

    In 2008, The X Factor winner Leona Lewis backed up her U.K. singing competition victory with an R&B anthem for the ages: "Bleeding Love," an international hit that became the best-selling song of the year. The track was co-penned by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder (whose radio dominance would continue with songs such as Beyonce's "Halo" and Adele's "Rumour Has It") and solo artist Jesse McCartney, who was inspired by a former girlfriend, Gossip Girl actress Katie Cassidy. Given the song's success, McCartney didn't regret handing over such a personal track: "No, no," he said. "I'm so happy for Leona. She deserves it. There are really no bad feelings."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com