November was indubitably a huge month in pop music. A number of artists like Justin Bieber, Adele, and One Direction each released new albums that are all getting a great deal of hype in the music world. In addition, Ellie Goulding’s Delirium was released on a New Music Friday with a whopping 23 tracks on the deluxe version. The album features the 2015 top hit “Love Me Like You Do,” which was featured the on the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack back in February. However, this album is filled with a lot more than just the big movie hit.
Delirium is one of those albums you don’t have to listen to in order; however, it’s best to listen to the wistful, wordless introduction track and its progression into “Aftertaste” before listening on. The two songs are nicely juxtaposed, contrasting a ballad with a more upbeat tune, and this foreshadows the variety of styles throughout the album.
In an article on Music Times, it says, “Ellie… has stated that she is trying to step away from indie and EDM to become a bona fide pop star.” This is made clear as Ellie’s last album, Halcyon Days, released in 2013, could be classified as indie pop/synthpop. New album Delirium falls under the category of plain old pop. Without being cliché, this album is definitely pop first and foremost because all the tracks are incredibly catchy. You’ll be whistling the choruses to “On My Mind” and “Around U” after each play. It also seems like each track is about the great or the no-so-great parts of a romantic relationship, which is standard for the genre. In addition, the album cover features the top half of her body in a somewhat provocative pose, which is in congruence with the often-sexualized portrayal of pop artists.
So how has her sound changed? Overall, her vocals haven’t changed much with her standard doubled lead vocals and her own voice harmonizing the backing vocals. The instrumentation is also quite similar to her other albums. It’s important to note that Ellie was a contributing writer on each of the tracks, and thus had a great deal of creative control. It seems like she wasn’t pushing for an entirely new sound, but rather a change in how the album was to be marketed. She desires to be known as a pop artist in the music scene, perhaps on a quest for more recognition.
Each song on the album was artistically produced by her producers with a number of electronic instruments. There isn’t really one song one would identify as a “banger,” but they’re each high-quality and deserving of a listen or two. The single releases of “On My Mind,” “Something in the Way You Move,” “Lost and Found,” and “Army” were decent picks in incentivizing listeners to check the album out. Overall, this album would be great to play as ambient music at a small party or to sing along to in the car.
Key Tracks: Don’t Need Nobody, Codes, Army