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Ellie Goulding’s ‘Delirium’, couldn’t quite reach the mark

Ellie_Goulding_-_Delirium_(Official_Album_Cover)British pop sensation Ellie Goulding dropped her third studio album, “Delirium,” on Nov. 6. Goulding has stated that her goal was to create “a big pop album,” but she was just shy of that mark. With several popular singles, including “Love Me Like You Do” from the “Fifty Shades of Grey” soundtrack, Goulding’s album is successful overall, though there are a few glaring downsides as well.

The first single from Goulding’s album was “On My Mind,” released September 17. The song is much more upbeat and highlights more of Goulding’s range than “Love Me Like You Do.” The single also offers an insanely catchy beat which really does stay on your mind. The accompanying music video sticks with viewers too. The video features jumpy cuts between scenes and cartoons, and, at one point, shows Goulding riding a horse through a casino.

The next music video and single combo released was for “Something in the Way You Move,” the third album track. The video is made up entirely of footage of fans dancing to the song. “Something” features a much more prominent dance beat but a less intense vocal performance on Goulding’s part. While it does offer another look at Goulding’s master of a higher vocal register, the song remains subdued while still danceable.

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“Lost and Found,” the third single and 14th track on the album, creates a different sound entirely. Though the single features a similar dance beat, Goulding’s voice really comes to life. The song captures an almost Indie vibe, rather than a traditional pop tune.

The fourth single, “Army,” unfortunately falls flat when compared to the other three singles. While the verses themselves flow well for the most part, the chorus doesn’t quite stack up. If the excessive vocalization wasn’t bad enough, the second chorus also features backing vocals that are slightly distorted and sound mechanical. This noise is detracting from the strength of Goulding’s voice and giving the whole section of the song an uncomfortable alien feeling.

The rest of “Delirium” had its high and low points. “Aftertaste” contained a few unclean vocals and focused almost entirely on the higher end of Goulding’s register, again, but still had strong lyrics, making the song a success in my book. “Don’t Panic” is also exceptional, boasting a much different melody than the other songs. As a whole the track feels much more fluid and put together, giving it an almost haunting quality. “Paradise”, off the deluxe version of the album, represents Goulding’s style the best. Her smooth singing gives the track a very mellow feeling while the backing beat still makes you want to dance.

On the flip side, the intro, and title track, “Delirium”, is a little too long for a song made up entirely of eerie music and vocalization. While the song does create a really cool vibe, it gets boring about halfway through. “Code” has a great beat but it kind of sounds like someone banging a lid on a pot. It’s very sharp and almost jarring on the first listen, which steals the success from this song. “I Do What I Love,” also off the Deluxe version of “Delirium” has empowering lyrics – the strongest on the album – but falls short in performance. The vocals are aggressive in a way that match the lyrics but not Goulding’s voice, which creates a harsh vibe people don’t really look for in a pop song.

Top Tracks: “On My Mind,” “Scream It Out”

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Grade: C+

Verdict: While there are still some kinks to iron out, Goulding has definitely found a style that works for her and she’s comfortable enough to experiment with new sounds. “Delirium” is definitely a success.

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