The anticipation has certainly built up as fans have patiently waited for global pop star, Ellie Goulding to release her third studio album, “Delirium.” The album was released on Nov. 6 and is Goulding’s first full-length work in three years.
“Delirium” is an expansive 21-track collection of mainstream dance-pop songs that are jam-packed with punchy tunes. To help make the album possible, Goulding teamed up with some of the biggest names in the business. Max Martin has been creating memorable hits since Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC and now in more recent years, Taylor Swift. Greg Kurstin and Ryan Tedder have also worked with some of the best in the business, like Katy Perry, Beyoncé and Adele.
As an artist, Goulding has been defined by her well-known ‘club bangers’ that have filled previous albums, “Lights” and “Halycon.” The same dance-floor-heavy sound dominates “Delirium,” except this time the ambitious UK native is clearly commanding a bigger stage. Though Goulding’s past work has always felt somewhat cinematic, this time around the instrumentation is certainly a bit more forceful.
In a field already dominated by such larger-than-life personalities, it can be difficult to stand out as a distinct individual artist. Although Goulding has certainly established herself in the world of pop music, “Delirium” will unlikely carve out a niche in the field.
“Delirium” is sure to produce a handful of major hits, however, 21 tracks is just slightly over the top for an album of this nature. Goulding’s voice is certainly not her shining instrument and remains average, while her music is generally all-out bombastic.
The album’s first single, “On My Mind” is a catchy tune where Goulding questions why a past fling keeps revisiting her thoughts. The song possibly stemmed from tabloid rumors surrounding her sexual rendezvous with tattooed artist, Ed Sheeran. If the song is in fact about Sheeran, Goulding hits him with a low blow, singing, “Next thing that I know I’m in the hotel with you/ You were talking deep like it was mad love to you/ You wanted my heart but I just liked your tattoos.”
Standing out among the pop anthems is the beautiful ballad, “Love Me Like You Do,” from the “Fifty Shades of Gray” soundtrack. Goulding’s voice is innocent as she effortlessly sings the sensually-obsessed lyrics that, when taken in context of the film, subtly reference BDSM.
“You’re the color of my blood/ You’re the cure, you’re the pain…You’re the fear, I don’t care/ ‘Cause I’ve never been so high,” she sings. “Love Me Like You Do” is the album’s biggest highlight and demonstrates that Goulding can thrive in more than just fast-paced, upbeat club music.
The rhythmic beat on “Keep On Dancin’” is accompanied by background whistles and electronic synths, producing an overwhelming abundance of different sounds. “Something In The Way You Move” is a catchy, dance-floor track filled with hypnotic synths and electronic pulses.
“Don’t Need Nobody” fuses slight moments of R&B with pop, while songs, “Don’t Panic” “Around U” and “We Can’t Move to This” stick to the album’s dominant poppy production.
As an ode to her best friend, “Army” is one of the rare moments Goulding reveals her personal life, as she sings about her teenage adventures back in her hometown.
“16 and you never even judged me/ All the nights we’ve been drunk on the floor/ And yet you understand/Yeah like no one can,” she sings.
“Delirium” is by no means a terrible album, though the songs are slightly bland, generally lacking depth. Unless you are intently listening, the songs tend to all blur together. Although many of the songs are unfortunately forgettable, a number of them will undoubtedly be heating up the dance floor at clubs around the world.