Album Review: Ellie Goulding – Halcyon

Lights, Ellie’s debut album, one of my all-time favourites. I expressed in reviews earlier this year that I was very happy that she was releasing new music again, but I was getting a little worried after not liking ‘Hanging On’ or ‘Anything Could Happen’, but I can confidently say that my expectations have not been let down by this brilliant second album.

Halcyon: “Halcyon” is a name for a bird in Greek legend generally associated with the kingfisher. There was an ancient belief that the bird nested on the sea, which it calmed in order to lay its eggs on a floating nest. Two weeks of calm weather were therefore expected around the winter solstice. This myth leads to the use of halcyon as a term for peace or calmness.

^ for those who were unsure what Halcyon meant.

Fortunately, Anything Could Happen is my least favourite track from the album. Which is kind of like what happened with Lights, I really didn’t like Under the Sheets or Starry Eyed, but then loved the album and eventually came around to both songs. So I dunno, maybe the song will grow on me like that, but for the meantime I just think it’s so-so.

Halcyon is different ball game to Lights, it’s more confident, complicated and louder. It’s less guitars and shy vocals to more thunderous beats and projection. The transition comparatively reminds me of Florence + the Machine going from Lungs to Ceremonials. Halcyon even tickles that harp even now and then.

It’s full of strong tracks like the killer opening ‘Don’t Say a Word‘, ‘My Blood’, ‘Only You’ and ‘Figure 8’. Thankfully it also has a sentimental side with songs like ‘Joy’, ‘I Know You Care’ and ‘Dead in the Water’. I was really happy to hear Hanging On without the really unnecessary rap from Tinie Tempah, I much prefer it without.

I don’t understand the inclusion of the single ‘Lights’, which was a bonus track from Lights. Why???? Not needed.


Apart from Atlantis, which in my opinion the only weak track, Halcyon is another great album and positive step forward for Ellie. Although Gouldings not the greatest vocalist, she finds ways of utilising her voice really well. Halcyon reconfirms Ellie Goulding as a great british artist. I bloody love the regular edition album cover – she’s getting very good at flicking her hair eh?

Favoured tracks: Don’t Say a Word, My Blood, Only You, Figure 8, Joy, Dead in the Water.



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