After winning the BBC Sound of 2010 poll, it quickly became clear that Ellie Goulding wasn't your typical popstar. Her songs sparkled and shimmered rather than bludgeoned you through the speakers, and she quickly won fans and plaudits.
However, as time has gone on, her idiosyncrasies have been stealthily expunged, and she's gradually morphed into just the kind of artist she initially seemed to be the welcome antidote to. Previous album, 'Halcyon', featured zeitgeist-chasing dance-pop in abundance, and then she went through the 2010s pop act rite of passage that is a guest vocal spot on a Calvin Harris club-friendly banger.
The main problem with this is that her voice is too wispy to hold its own versus the maximalist rave-pop of the day. Throughout 'Delirium', her vocals are often double-tracked in an attempt to circumvent this, but it largely fails, and the singing is forever fighting for attention amid a swamp of crashing beats and over-zealous synths.
On top of this, 'Delirium' just hasn't got the songs. If you like listening to fey exhaling over the same uninspiring backing track 16 times in a row, then you're in luck, but for the rest of us, it's a largely fruitless exercise. Put one of the singles on in a club at 2am when you've imbibed enough vodka to tranquilise a small horse and it's a sufficient distraction from the cruel realities of life. It's difficult to find anything else in 'Delirium' that'll make it worthy of your time though.
Words: Joe Rivers
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