Thanks Elizabeth Tolbert for sending in your review! Elizabeth currently writes for Venture Mag. Read what she had to say below.
After a successful debut in 2010 with her hit single “Lights”, Ellie Goulding continues to capture attention with her sophomore LP, Halcyon. A mixture of emotions, Halcyon showcases Goulding’s ethereal voice with a darker quality than previously heard on Lights, while still making the listener want to get up and dance.
Halcyon opens strongly with “Don’t Say a Word”, a track that gets bigger and broader with every passing second. The pop melody and pounding drums provide a solid setup for “My Blood”, which supplies haunting piano sequences and poignant lyrics. First single “Anything Can Happen” presents a catchy chorus and a dance-pop melody, making it difficult to not sing along. Title track “Halcyon” is lyrically more optimistic than others and defines the album in its search for hope. The album climaxes with “Figure 8”, the stand out track of ‘Halcyon’. The dark and haunting verses build up the powerful chorus that portrays a desire of longing.
The album then slows down and provides a wistful presence, both in Goulding’s vocals and storytelling. “JOY” and “Atlantis” are dream-like and soar over string arrangements. “I Know You Care” is a bit too melancholy and seems out of place. ‘Halcyon’ ends rather slowly with track “Dead in the Water”, a disappointment after the album’s strong beginning.
Halcyon delivers more than a typical break up album, with haunting vocals and emotional lyrics set to a dance-pop pulse. While the album ends unimpressively, it showcases Goulding’s growth as an artist and provides a range of songs that any listener can appreciate.