Review: Delirium by Ellie Goulding

Delirium by Ellie GouldingEllie Goulding describes her third album, Delirium, as a bit of an experiment, as she pursues a more decidedly pop direction. Then again, does anybody remember the time when she was described as a cross between a folkie and an electronica maven? This was bound to happen at one point or another, right? Halcyon, her second album, embraced the many facets of dance, removed any hint of tentativeness that hovered over her debut. So, no, I am not dismissing Delirium because it’s a pop record. I am dismissing Delirium because it’s a boring one. Her previous efforts saw Ellie at least try to put something interesting in her songs, making them the rare pop song that appealed to both the kid who listens to top 40 exclusively and the man who claims to be a tastemaker. Even “Love Me Like You Do” – the smash hit off Fifty Shades of Grey – had that ominous feeling, that whomp you don’t exactly expect from a movie theme song that’s not a dystopian young adult fantasy. On the other hand, Delirium, her grand experiment, turns out to be nothing more than her following the numbers. A bit of a distorted drop here, some kids yelling along there, an interesting jittery jump elsewhere (as is the case in “On My Mind”). Take it apart, mix it with a lot of others – like you would on your iPod or on the radio – and it works. Put them all together, and it gets lost in a haze of everything else. [NB]3/5

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