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on August 25, 2011
I leafed through August 2011's "100 albums for $5" and found her album, gave Lights a listen and decided to go for it. This is my first purchase of Ellie's work, and I must say that it exceeded my expectations. In the era of autotune and rap, this is a refreshing and welcome voice. Ellie's voice is lighter and cuter than fellow English singer Adele's, who has too strong of a voice for me to appreciate. Her songs all have a catchy beat (except for Your Song) with mature lyrics, helping Ellie establish herself and forge her own path in the music industry.

At first, I clearly found the first half of the album vastly superior to the second half. However, upon several more listens, the difference is much greater.

Track breakdown:

Lights (Single Version) - This song has a bazillion remixes for a reason (dubstep is popular for some reason, but I particularly enjoy the Fear of Tigers remix). This song is spectacular, showing off Ellie's incredible vocal range and voice. Keep in mind that this is the Single Version of Lights, not a remix. Regardless, this song is a shoo-in for contender for favorite song on the album.

Guns and Horses - Faster-paced than Lights and just as catchy, Ellie continues to prove that she has talent and a good handle on balancing emotional strength with this song.

Starry Eyed - This song gushes more romantically than the previous two. A nice but short song.

This Love (Will Be Your Downfall) - Takes a bit to rev up, and it's a slower song than Lights. The lyrics are cautious and questioning. A decent song.

Under The Sheets - Definitely aimed at a female audience (I identify with the male gender), still a pretty nice song. I love how Ellie coos (I can't think of a better word for it, but her voice goes super-high) closer to the end of the song! It's the perfect thing to autotune.

The Writer - A slow, soft song with very powerful emotion. The superior lyrics make this one of the best (or at least most powerful) songs on this album!

Animal - As the title hints, this song is quite opposite the one before it. This is a faster, rougher song, especially because of the lyrics.

Every Time You Go - This is a decent song. Ellie is kinda all over the place in this one. Not bad, but not outstanding.

Your Biggest Mistake - I LOVE this song! Probably my favorite on this album next to Lights. Ellie is again all over the place on this song, but it's more structured so that she builds up to the chorus. Speaking of which, the chorus has two parts ; Ellie's "Oh-oh-oh-oh-ohhh~" in the second half completes the chorus to make an incredibly catchy song. This song demonstrates masterful (not abusive) use of autotune. Love it!

Salt Skin - A huge change from the previous song, this is the most 'chilling' of all the songs on this album, if it can be called that. Not bad, but not outstanding.

Your Song - I personally believe she sounds better when not performing acoustic solos (which this song is). This is a great song, but it's not among my favorite of hers.

Human (Amazon Exclusive) - A fantastic song to round out the album. It takes a bit to wind up, but Ellie's emotional desperation bursts from this song. While the chorus is a bit repetitive, it doesn't detract much from the song. She also coos wonderfully in this song towards the end.

Overall, Lights is a steal at $5, and still worth seriously considering if you like "adult pop" (as opposed to teenage pop) with a more feminine-sounding singer (while Ellie has a relatively lighter voice at times, she should not be compared to artists such as Selena Gomez). Ellie's voice and the catchy beats will almost assuredly keep you coming back for more.
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on March 16, 2010
23 year old Ellie Goulding, originally a Folk/Pop singer who embraced a more electronic sound, came out tops of the BBC's sound of 2010 poll, and won the critics award at the Brits, all without releasing an album.

So is she any good? I'm usually wary of over-hyping but I'll say her album is a pleasant surprise! Ten tracks (a number that seems de rigeur these days) comprising shiny Pop songs with a faint whiff of Folk. Opening "Guns and horses" is a good example, with her pixie-like voice a cross betwen Lykke Li and Björk.

The twitchy "Starry eyed" features reverb and vocoder effects, nice guitars, and an incredibly infectious chorus (as well as the catchy refrain "Next thing, we're touching"). "This love (Will be your downfall)" is a haunting ballad of undeniable charm (awash in sweet harmonies), while "Under the sheets" features swirling synths to dizzying effect.

Her Folk roots shine through on "The writer" which is a lovely guitar ballad. Also guitar festooned is "Every time you go" which starts off with finger snaps. "Wish I stayed" is an echo laden midtempo Pop song not as densely layered as much else.

There is absolutely no filler on this album. "Your biggest mistake" is lovely guitar Pop, "I'll hold my breath" a lovely guitar ballad, and closing is the midtempo "Salt skin" with lovely harmonies and skittery beats.

Definitely one to watch in 2010.
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on March 12, 2011
Her voice is different, echoes voices of the past, yet has a distinct sound that you can't stop listening to. The album, overall, is well put together with exceptional songs like "the lights", "starry eyed", and my newest favorite, "your biggest mistake". I am still getting to know the rest of the album, and so far, the rest of the songs have me interested. What I like about Ellie is her willingness to experiment, and try different sounds.. Her album, Lights, is a great listen, and will even force you to sing out loud as you most definitely get wrapped up in her enchanting vocals! Pick it up!
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on May 9, 2011
Ellie Goulding represents an incredible mix of styles. She's like Bjork mixed with Radio Head and Jewel (the good parts of Jewel). She's a self-professed lover of folk songs who doesn't mind mixing electronica in. The best song on the album is probably "Lights." It's got a clear dance beat that feels perfectly placed. The rest of the songs take a little more getting used to, but reveal their complexity in amazing ways.
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on March 21, 2011
"Lights" by Ellie Goulding is an example of original pop music at its best. Why?

Most of today's female pop singers (like Katy Perry and Ke$ha) exist thanks to stellar production values and spectacle. While I do enjoy this kind of music, it's never truly original or personable in my eyes. Ke$ha's 'We R Who We R' sounds quite similar to her first hit 'Tik Tok.' And how much more whipped cream do we need to see shooting out of Katy Perry's bra?

Ellie Goulding is interesting to me because she seems to be a hybrid of a songwriter like Feist and a pop princess like Britney. Her voice is striking and original (no autotune here) and it sounds like the kind of voice you'd hear on an acoustic folk album. It has lots of character. The unique thing about "Lights" is that it takes Goulding's voice and backs it up with some truly great pop/electronic beats.

The songs manage to be catchy and fun - while still offering up some original and well-crafted lyrics. I haven't (honestly) bought a pop album in years that I can listen to from the first track to the last. I don't feel like this album has any "filler" and I love that Goudling is down-to-earth artist (she wrote each of the tracks on the album).

By the way, I wasn't as impressed with the album by solely listening to the 30 second preview clips. The songs have great build-up that can only be experienced by listening to them from beginning to end.

I think this album will be enjoyed by both fans of indy pop/rock and mainstream popular music; it serves as a great example of a fusion between the genres and I can only hope that more singers like Ellie Goulding come onto the music scene in the years to come!
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on May 3, 2015
I'm going backwards listening to Ellie's remarkable talent. I started with her performance on Zedd's Clarity.
I think Rapunzel arranged to have Ellie's voice spun from gold. I am most definitely a Gouldigger.

Ellie can maneuver her voice like few others that I've heard, and it's a gorgeous instrument.
On occasion I'll see comments about her that aren't screaming excitement. I feel that although it would seem
that she generally is playing to a younger crowd, (I'm certainly not in her demographic), her voice and ability
are based on the talent and expression of someone far beyond her years.

Careful, you can get hooked on Ellie Goulding's material.
BIG fan.

(Adding 6/1: After just a few listens, not anywhere near as many as I'd planned by this point I can say this;
if you don't give this album 4+ stars, regardless of comparisons to her own work, even excluding Lights from
the mix....then you're not really an Ellie fan. She sings EDM and the like, and people complain about over production
on her voice, and either her or her management's fear of her voice. That's so illogical and shows naivete about the
genre. This is a beautiful, serenading, and celebratory album showing a nice range of her capability. It IS on the
poppy side sometimes. Don't blame her music for trying to be popular. Her voice is angelic at times.)
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on February 1, 2013
Ellie Goulding's Lights is a delightful album from a delightful English pop singer. Goulding is very charming, talented, pretty, and sexy. I can feel her charm cracking my cynical, unhappy shell! The electronic pop song Lights is slowly becoming a chart topping hit. I think it's going to be heard in the soundtrack for Spring Breakers(2013). Goulding filmed a music video for Lights in 2011. The music video has a lot of flashy, neon lights and Matrix-style camera work. The song is about her fear of the dark..or aliens...or both. To be frank, the lyrics are abstract. Goulding has made guest appearances on TV and radio shows in many countries. Reporters in the UK ask her critical questions about her style of music. US DJ's ask her more casual questions such as "Do English people eat fish and chips?" Goulding's second album has already been released. I wish Goulding luck in the future.
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on July 21, 2012
First off, let me start by saying I'm not a huge Pop Fan, I mean I like it and find a song every so often that makes me go, "ooh, I like that" and I have to go get it. For some reason when I heard the song "Lights" by Ellie I told myself, "Wow, I really like that song" and I came on here and listened to every single preview of her songs and they all sounded pretty good, but..I'm very fickle with my money and could not force myself to cough up the money in case it was one of those horrible gambles where you buy a CD based on one really awesome song and then the rest of the CD sucks.

This wasn't one of those cases. I fought myself for a week and finally purchased the digital "Amazon Exclusive" version of the CD. (make sure you get this one so you get the extra track "Human", it's great!).

The best way to describe how I feel about this CD is that, I've listened to it for two days straight since I got it and I still love it as much as I did to begin with.

It's a different kind of pop, not like every single song you hear on the radio. I was confused when I saw the reviews saying "refreshing" "dazzling", well..now I get it. It's kind of the only way to describe it, it's got that refreshing different feeling, but at the same time the music is so calm, while still being fast at points that it feels refreshing and relaxing.

Dazzling? Well, i swear every song feels like it's covered in stardust. I can't fully explain what I mean by that, you'd literally have to listen to the CD to understand, it's so hard to explain.

I put this on while I'm writing e-mails at work, while I'm driving to and from work, while I'm cooking and I enjoy it so much. It puts me in a fantastic mood every single time it gets to a chorus of one of her songs.

It feels uplifting, sad, hopeful, everything all in one.

Ellie's voice is just icing on the cake, it's gorgeous, almost folky feeling, yet not too much and the way she ends words adds more to the "stardust dazzling" effect in most of her songs.

Bottom Line, this isn't like most Pop CDs that you occasionally hear one good song on the radio, buy it on a whim and regret buying the CD every time you look at it, such as "Relapse" by Eminem. Albeit that's not really pop, but you get where I'm going, I love Eminem for when I'm in a frustrated or bad mood and just want something I know all the words to, I hated that CD, one good song.

Anyways, if you like the song "Lights" and the previews sound pretty good to you, you'll love this CD.
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on July 9, 2013
I discovered her listening to Pandora, & instantly loved the tune "Lights", that they played. I went to Amazon, listened to the rest of the music on the cd, & liked them all & bought it! I am a senior citizen & have all the rock music I want/bought over the years. This is the 1st purchase of a newer singer in many years. That reflects how much I enjoy her! Music tastes are very personal, indeed, but she worthy of a serious checkout, at the very least!
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on March 17, 2010
I first became aware of Ellie Goulding's vocal talents not through the usual channels, but through dubstep remixes by the likes of Jakwob that appeared on the scene even before the first inkling of the commercial availability of "Lights". I immediately adored the versatility of Goulding's voice, by turns lilting and powerful, with a clarity and delicacy that truly tickles the ears. The complete album delivers on the promise of these early tracks ("Under the Sheets" and "Starry Eyed" in particular). What we see in the LP that was not as apparent in the early "singles" is that Goulding is just as good with Autotune switched off. You will be humming along to the memory of the gorgeous harmonies of tracks like "The Writer" days later ("I'd rather pretend // You'll still be there in the end"). And that's just the beginning. This is a must-have for 2010.
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