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Polydor, November 2010

Eight months after the release of Ellie Goulding’s chart topping debut album Lights, seven tracks have been added to the album creating Bright Lights. After the success of Goulding’s Elton John cover, ‘Your Song’, and with Christmas looming this re-release is coming at an opportune time for the singer.

The first ten tracks of the album remain unchanged from Lights. Beginning the album is fan favourite ‘Guns and Horses’ to the sultry indie pop singles ‘Starry Eyed’ and ‘Under the Sheets’. Through the electro pop ‘Wish I Stayed’ and ‘Your Biggest Mistake’ and to the original finale ‘Salt Skin’.

The added tracks retain the tone of the album, progressing where it left off, but sounding lyrically unpolished and yet over-produced. New track, ‘Human’ talks to the inner fear in every person of aging and the legacy of your life with a catchy and ironic chorus “I would give my life, / To be, / Human”, a rare deviation from the subject of relationships.

For those of you who were not initially a fan of Ellie Goulding’s previous offering, over exposure has probably built at least a tolerance if not an immunity to her irritating voice. The added tracks may also be an added incentive to check out the album with tracks like ‘Little Dreams’, a feisty dreamscape of electro with the forceful repetition of “You can break everything, / But so, I can take anything”.

Whereas ‘Believe Me’ is surprisingly reflexive in the lines “You can’t change the world with a song” but quickly scuttles back to the safety of relationship talk “I can’t stop this music travelling around with me, / It’s playing for you”.

New track ‘Home’ begins with more melodic spiralling vocals as the electro beats come in adding to the passion of the song. This track shows a greater range for Ellie Goulding vocally in her progression through the album and 2010.

Though Bright Lights finishes on a considerably more sombre tone with Goulding’s rendition of ‘Your Song’. The delicate use of her vocals (rather than spiralling and wailing), on top of the simple use of a piano (rather than electro indie) make this a heart warming rendition. Though many would argue the barrage of sentimental covers in recent years, particularly at Christmas, has caused hollowness and shallowness in this tradition.

Ellie Goulding – ‘Starry Eyed’

Also posted on InQuire Live.