Spotlight On: Delirium – Ellie Goulding

So a little while ago I wrote a post all about the bad blogging habits that I needed to break and, in that post, I mentioned how I was going to start my little monthly ‘spotlight on’ series thing to talk about a different artist or album, either one that I just liked or one that was brand new for that month. I intended to start it this month purely because my absolute favourite woman in the world, Ellie Goulding’s album came out this month. I’d been anticipating new music from her for so long (very worth the wait, by the way) that I knew it would be the perfect thing to kick off my spotlight on feature! When I first listened to the album first thing on Friday morning, I decided to type out my first impressions, if you wanna call it that, on each and every song individually as I listened to them, purely for the purpose of this post. I typed as I listened to the songs, so I could start my sentence with one thing then the song would completely change its sound and I’d finish my sentence talking about that instead. It was kinda weird to do but it’s really funny seeing my first reactions to the album, and I’ll also give the album a little overall review to start this post off too! I hope all of you enjoy this post. Like I said in the bad habits one, a lot of my readers are just my Twitter friends and followers who I all know through us liking similar music so it’s nice to do a proper music post to cater to that part of my blog following!


I don’t want to sound bias because I’m a huge fan of Ellie Goulding and her music, but I’ve already decided that Delirium is my new favourite album of all time, dethroning Halcyon, Ellie’s previous studio album. In the lead up to the album, Goulding gave numerous interviews in which she spoke about this album being a true pop record and a shift away from her previous electronica / folk music, and you will notice this during your very first listen to the album, even in the first few songs. We were first given a tease of this album when Love Me Like You Do, the song from that movie, came out at the start of the year and proceeded to go number one in countless countries, and that song alone was a masterpiece so it set the bar high for the rest of her highly anticipated album. And did she reach that bar with this album? She exceeded it.

Working with Greg Kurstin and Max Martin on this record was a good choice made by Goulding, it was a sure-fire way to create a record that is purely pop and full of hit songs, and that’s exactly what’s been achieved with Delirium. Despite Ellie moving away from the sound that she was previously always associated with, there are still parts of the album that are reminiscent of her previous music, which will keep long-time fans feeling satisfied. Army and Lost and Found are two songs which are an example of her old sound, with the latter song giving me flashbacks to her throwback tune Guns and Horses. As well as this, Goulding continues to exercise her much loved technique of using her voice as part of the music, with haunting adlibs and backing vocals present on various songs throughout the album, such as Don’t Panic – a song that sounds like a chart-topper with its cool intro music, catchy lyrics (“Why you wanna ruin a good thing? Can we take it back to the start?”), repetitive “Don’t Panic!” and cool production, courtesy of Kurstin. 

Goulding’s pop anthems have a slick, smooth sound to them, injecting the ‘Ellie Goulding’ into songs that would otherwise be your typical, bog-standard pop song, did they not have her twist on them. Songs like We Can’t Move To This, with its sample of a 112 song, Don’t Need Nobody and Holding On For Life are proof of this. All three have all the components of a successful, memorable pop song but it’s Goulding’s voice that puts these songs, and all of her pop record, on a level above all of the other pop songs and albums. One moment, her voice can be hauntingly beautiful and, the next moment, it can be sleek and effortless. It makes her songs sound cool without sounding like she’s tried too hard. 

It’s evident that Goulding is now in a truly happy place in her life, as the lyrics of the songs on Delirium are a whole world away from her sorrowful, broken-hearted (but still wonderful) lyrics of the past. This time her lyrics are fun, sassy, cheerful and can slightly tongue-in-cheek during songs like I Do What I Love or Keep On Dancin’, co-written by One Republic’s Ryan Tedder who is responsible for penning various hits for other artists, as well as a personal favourite song of mine – The Script’s Flares.

Overall, Delirium is going to be one of those records that it very hit-and-miss with people, depending on whether or not they want to let go of Goulding’s previous electronica sound. She may lose some fans for her change in style, and she may gain some for it. Delirium offers both pop songs that ooze charisma, and clever ballads that fit in with the overall sound of the record but change the tone slightly, offering a rest between all of the super upbeat, pop bangers. Yes, Ellie Goulding has delivered a record that is undeniably pop, but she’s done it in a manner that is truly unique to her.

(everything below was typed on my phone notes on Friday 6th so I’m sorry if I’ve repeated myself from what I’ve said now and I’m sorry for any bad iPhone grammar or sentences that don’t make sense)

So I actually typed these as I was listening to the song I was writing about. They won’t be really grammatically correct because they are genuine first impressions typed as I listen to each song for the first time ever but in the review I’ll give you a proper insight, this is just my reactions contained into actual sentences rather than me being like AHHHHHH ELLIE. I think I use the word good so much, not because I’m being bland but because when I genuinely enjoy something I just sit there like SO GOOD WHY SO GOOD. 

Intro (Delirium): Sounds so angelic, reminds me of Halcyon with the vocals and the music. Hauntingly beautiful, the kind of thing where people say it gives you shivers down your spine and hairs stand up on you.

Aftertaste: The start follows on perfectly from the intro then when Ellie’s voice comes in it breaks down a little and all focus is on her, I love how upbeat and fun the song is and it builds up again and it’s just SO GOOD. The melody is so catchy, like so so catchy. It’s my first listen and I’ve already picked it up to sing along.

Something In The Way You Move: No first impression since I’ve heard this before!

Keep On Dancin’: I actually didn’t hear the play of this on Annie Mac but I heard the Live Lounge version. I love how simplistic this is, the whistling parts are really really catchy then the music builds and this is just siiiccckkk. I’m sitting at the bus stop trying not to dance like an idiot because that’s all this makes me wanna do. Appropriate considering the name. I’m gonna stop typing and listen to this properly cos it’s too good! the backing vocal part just came in and it’s so Ellie, I love when she uses her voice like this. when it stops then starts up again, I’m ready to burst. This is such a fave. Oh wow. Oh wow Ellie, you’ve outdone yourself.

On My Mind: Again, not my first listen so can’t do a first impression but I can really, really see how well this fits in the album now!

Around U: This is so different from the very start! Reminds me of Charli’s sound in her latest album, Sucker. It’s so different it’s weird to even get thoughts out about it but it’s not a sound you’d ever see Ellie doing yet it works so perfectly and by the time it’s the chorus it feels like she’s been writing music in this style for years because it’s so good, it just works. I’m liking this more and more as it goes on, potential favourite? Ohmygod, this bit where the beat slows down. So good. So so good. Ellie stop, too amazing!! I think I wanna be Around U myself so you can sing this to me because soooooo good!

Codes: The very start is giving me Halcyon album vibes, then when it comes in it’s a bit of a sing-rap and I love that in general but now Ellie’s doing it, wow. Blowing me away. The chorus is so good, it’s so Ellie yet at the same time it’s also a new area of pop music that she’s never really gone into before. I really like this middle eight. A lot. This is such a catchy and genuinely fun song. The outro is really unexpected but works so well and ends it perfectly.

Holding On For Life: This album is meant to be Ellie’s move to proper pop music and this song is the epitome of that. It’s so reminiscent of all her previous music but is pure pop. I’m liking this more and more as it goes on. The middle eight definitely shows the whole thing I just said of it sounding like her own music but pop. I don’t wanna repeat myself in every impression but I just love this. My music taste has changed so much lately but I’ve still loved Ellie through it, and now that her style and sound has changed it’s actually so fitting with my newer taste. The song is so pretty but so fun at the same time.

Love Me Like You Do: So because I already have the single version and the Fifty Shades album version, iTunes hasn’t downloaded this as part of my Delirium album. Not happy. This always happens.

Don’t Need Nobody: HELLO, WHAT IS THIS. THIS IS GOOD. This beat is sick, Ellie’s sing-rap over the top is even better. This is a treat for me, I liiiiike this *smirk face emoji*. The whole sound of this song is so me, I could listen to this on repeat for the rest of my life. The middle eight is so different to the rest of the song, it’s so pretty but it doesn’t take away from how cool the song is.

Don’t Panic: This sounds so good after Don’t Need Nobody. I think I heard a snippet of this before, it sounds like I’ve heard a bit before? I really like this, it’s one of those ‘anthem’ sounding songs with amazing vocals and a good, strong beat. I’m trying to listen to this instead of write because it’s so good, I’m really liking the middle eight though, and the chorus is so catchy. I like this, I didn’t think I really really would initially but it’s grown on me for the duration of the song, I love. the backing vocal sounds at the end remind me of the Halcyon album, love.  

We Can’t Move To This: I love the music of this, Ellie’s voice is so simple and effortless here. She sounds so beautiful. The chorus is so different to the verse but it’s so good, I love music produced like this. I’m obsessed with this already! Why so good! I keep stopping typing cos I wanna listen to this because it’s such a fave already but I love the middle eight through to the ending. The end is so sudden but that’s not a bad thing, I really liked that song. Like a lot.

Army: Heard this before, again. I love this song tho. Shoutout Becca when I hear this song. You wouldn’t think this would sound well after We Can’t Move To This but it really does.

Lost and Found: I think this is the last song of the ones I’ve heard before. Tt was my fave of the four that came out on iTunes before though. I love this, I’ll talk about it in the actual review though.

Devotion: The guitar on this is pretty, this sounds so good after Lost and Found. When the music and vocals come in, it sounds SO different but SO good. Again, it’s the style of music I love so much now and Ellie’s just so happened to convert to this style. I love it. this song is so cool, the parts in it contrast each other but they just work together, the beat compared to the guitar. Ellie’s voice is so gorgeous on the chorus then it goes back to being this really cool song with amazing production. I love the ‘devotion’ bits after the chorus. Ok, this middle eight. Hello. I like this. Ok so that was amazing, potential favourite.

Scream It Out: So pretty, so so pretty. Then it builds up which changes everything and makes the song a million times better than it already was. Something about the chorus reminds me of a song I’ve always loved, no idea what it is at all, but it’s making me love this even more. It sounds kinda Christmassy, or is that just me? I really like this, I’m trying to listen to it rather than type because I just wanna listen to this, I love it lots.

The Greatest: Ellie’s voice is so pretty. Why so pretty? Why does she look so pretty and sing so pretty? This song is so Ellie, it’s like if you took a song like explosions and made it upbeat and proper pop. The chorus is sooooo good, this is such a feel good song already. I love the beat and her vocals in the back as part of her music, that’s such an Ellie thing to do and I love when she does that. I really like the middle eight. I keep saying this! they tend to be the parts of songs that I really enjoy, no idea why. Awh you guys, I love this. I really love this. I have no other words apart from I love this because I really do.

I Do What I Love: WELL HELLO. This is cool. This is siiiccckkkk. Omg these lyrics, I love Ellie, preaching such truth. This song is so sassy and cool, it has such a good vibe. I think this is gonna be the song I blast in my earphones as I sashay down the street as though I was parading down the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, because this song is making me feel like such a sassy bitch who can’t be stopped. I think this song defines me. I love Ellie so much, she’s just so me. Never heard anything so cool.

Paradise: Another song that I feel is so Ellie but so proper pop, knowing that it’s what she intended to do. it’s really uplifting! It’s so different to I do what I love so I’m having a hard time shifting my mood from the fierce, sassy bitch but this song is just so effortless. Like there’s no huge vocal runs or lots of production [neither of those things are bad anyway] but it’s just as amazing as a song that would have those things. This is the Ellie I know and love, this is definitely Ellie doing 100% pop. I really like this song, I’m enjoying it so much. it’s making me feel so happy! 

Winner: The mood has completely changed this this one but this is so beautiful. I love the music in the chorus but Ellie’s voice is what does it for me in this song. I always find that Ellie’s voice is so hit and miss with people, some people find her voice annoying but I can’t understand how because for me her voice is just my favourite ever to listen to. This song is so beautiful though, I’m just gonna listen to it to really appreciate it because it’s one of those songs that needs real appreciation.

Heal: I like the intro, again reminding me of the Halcyon album. This is so cool already, it reminds me of the kinda music I listen to on SoundCloud. I really like the vibe of this song, it’s so cool! Again, this is the style I really really like at the moment so this song is sucha treat for me. I really like the chorus, Ellie’s voice!!! I really like the middle eight, yet again. This is such a cool, chill song that I could listen to over and over again. The outro is really nice, I love hearing Ellie’s voice like that!

Outside: I will never get tired of this song. It’s another that I’ve heard before, a year ago now I think it came out, so that’s it for my first impressions! I’m glad she put this on her album though

These impressions probably make me sound like one of those delusional fangirls who never say a bad word against their ‘idols’ and, trust me, there’s nothing more I hate than people like that but I can’t fault the album at all right now. It’s the first time I’ve listened to it too so I guess there’s the rush and excitement of that but I think it’s my new favourite album, my previous favourite being halcyon by her too, and it’s one of those where I’ll never skip a song because I genuinely enjoy listening to all of them so much.

So that was the first instalment of my Spotlight On series. I hope you enjoyed it and I urge you all to buy Delirium because it’s my faveeeee!



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