Ellie Goulding â€™s debut Lights reached the U.S. in 2011, but it didnâ€™t take off for over a year. Now, Goulding is new pop royalty, and Halcyon presents a stark contrast to her introduction. Where Lights possessed an almost naĂŻve view of the world, Halcyon shows her to have matured. Songs like â€śMy Bloodâ€ť and â€śDead in the Waterâ€ť take hopelessness to new heights. There are some nods to EDMâ€”as on the Calvin Harris â€“produced bonus track â€śI Need Your Loveâ€ťâ€”but most of the al- bumâ€™s songs maintain a perfect balance of analog and digital. After a full listen to Halcyon, itâ€™s dif- ficult to fathom that anyone could have overlooked her talent the first time around. Choosing to follow her heart instead of her Bill- board chart position, Goulding has crafted a perfect masterpiece with pop sensibilityâ€”clearly, itâ€™s easy to bypass the sophomore curse when youâ€™re the valedictorian.
By Kathy Iandoli
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