Halcyon is a commendable second studio album by Ellie Goulding, an ever-growing U.K. artist. As well as working with a number of varying producers to create this record, there have also been collaborations with the likes of Calvin Harris and Tinie Tempah, which certainly add to the record’s growing popularity.
The musical direction of this new album is certainly different to that of her previous record; Lights, which Goulding recognised herself: “It started to sound very dark and very weird. This album is going to be even more emotional.” But there is no surprise that this record has changed the way Ellie Goulding is perceived yet again by her fans, as she continuously changes the style of her music through the various influences that surround her in the music industry.
The opening track off the album, “Don’t Say a Word”, resonates a haunting melody sung by Goulding, escalating further and further until the song eventually picks up pace. A slow start but a good one nonetheless, building tension as the song explodes and progresses onto the next. Additionally, the track immediately demonstrates the change in Ellie Goulding’s style, a move away from the electronic sound that dominated Lights to this new ‘tribal and anthemistic’ sound.
The rest of the songs on the album follow in similar vein and style, although there are a number of tracks which stand out more so than the others: “Figure 8”, “Hanging On”, “Anything Could Happen” and “Explosions” as they really show Goulding’s potential and vocal range. However, at times it all still feels a bit much as the backing tracks seem to overpower her own vocals.