Album review: Ellie Goulding - Delirium
PUBLISHED: 17:15 15 November 2015
Striking former elfin-folk singer shoots for planet power-pop, says Stephen Moore.
Goulding says she was aiming to make “big pop” with this third album, which reveals no shortage of ambition for a girl who started out singing nuggets of intimate, folksy pop.
And Delirium sure does deliver on scale, her collaborators helping her fire out a gleaming, precision-engineered album of power-pop.
But with 16 tracks on the standard version and a credibility-stretching 22 on the deluxe edition, she’s bitten off more than she can chew.
Yes, there’s good stuff in here and 50 Shades soundtracker Love Me Like You Do fuses the album together with caramelesque, cloying verses and a big-hitting ‘80s power ballad chorus.
Don’t Need Nobody’s treated and chopped vocal underbed and the whistled motif in Keep On Dancin’ are neat turns that inject some interest, while Goulding manages to stamp her personality on latest single On My Mind, which marries a mellifluous guitar riff to robotic electro and hip-hop vocal delivery.
Trouble is these glints of promise are almost submerged under a swamp of semi-anonymous buffers.
Lost And Found is dismal, cynical Europop, the UK garage/dubstep fissures striking through Devotion are pedestrian, Around U is bubbly, glossy and teeth-rottingly sweet, and both album sign-off Scream It Out and Army’s stab at transcendent, orchestral-synth balladry feel pallid and undernourished.
C’mon Goulding, you can do better.