Ellie Goulding’s “Delirium”

photo: hamadamania.com
photo: hamadamania.com

Delirium: A state of violent excitement or emotion.”

AKA, what we all are feeling after listening to Ellie Goulding’s new album Delirium. Pop takes the front seat, and Goulding’s vocals keep a tight grip on the steering wheel. Pulling off a 16-track album is hard (21 on the deluxe version!), but Ellie does it and does it real good. Calling this a comeback is an understatement.

Happy-go-lucky hooks, heavy dance beats, and simple lyrics are Ellie’s forte. She has perfected pop in her own way. But, we knew this was coming. We all felt the electricity of her “Fifty Shades of Grey” contribution, “Love Me Like You Do”, which is also featured on the album. Then she brought back her dance vibe with “On My Mind” and “Something In The Way You Move” and her simplistic beauty on “Army”. Releasing a new single every week for the past month made fans more and more hyped for Delirium.

The secret ingredient behind this album could be from the helping hand of musical genius, Max Martin. Martin helped Goulding on “On My Mind” and also “Love Me Like You Do”. His specialty? Pop. Ever heard of Taylor Swift? Yeah…

Delirium is amazingly upbeat in the coolest ways. A lot of electronic and dance influences are heard. Which is expected from someone who used to date electronic King, Skrillex, and who’s worked alongside dance demolishers, Diplo and Calvin Harris.

Photo: fuse.tv
Photo: fuse.tv

“Codes” is radio ready any day now. Everyone can relate to this song, Ellie just makes it possible to dance to our confusing feelings. “Stop talking in codes, let me know what’s up…I need a love to celebrate,” is sung in a punchy tone as the chorus slowly becomes engraved into your skull. “Don’t Need Nobody” is on the same jam-level. It could easily be a club banger. We hear Ellie a lot harder than we’ve heard her before. A sick hip-hop sound proves she can really get down. “Nobody” is simple lyrically but the musicality is on-point with today’s music scene. While, “Don’t Panic” touches more on Ellie’s dance side, taking hints from pop/dance experts like, Walk the Moon.

A standout gem on the album is, “Army” written about Goulding’s best friend she met in college. She let her fans know why she wrote this song and how much it means to her by a post on her Instagram when the song was released.

army ellie

“Army” is guided by a guitar in the beginning but slowly builds into a glorious ballad providing gospel-like lyrics: “When I’m with you, I’m standing with an army.” Goulding’s vocals are in their usual pretty wavering state as she climbs into the nooks and crannies of every single note in the most facile way. This is definitely my new favorite ballad by Ellie. Hello, wedding song, anyone?? Another emotional yet upbeat song is “Lost and Found” reminiscent of something you would hear on an old Fleetwood Mac album. Proof that Goulding still knows how to keep things light and fun.

Watch this live version of “Army” performed at Abbey Road Studios.

Delirium is a big YES. Cheers Ellie, you’ve managed to knock my socks off yet again.


The new “1989”

image via: stereogum.com

“Ryan Adams? Who’s that?” -Says almost every teenager this week as Adams’ album 1989 hit the web. When I first heard Ryan Adams was going to be covering Taylor Swift’s entire album, I knew it would be beautiful, because her lyrical content is extremely strong, especially on this album. But I expected a fully acoustic album from start to finish, instead, Adams completely re-vamped each song, truly making it his own.

With Bono-like vocals, 1989 is a little bit country, a little bit rock, and even a little bit folk. Songs like “Style” take on a whole new level of rock, that you don’t hear in your head when listening to Swift’s version. While the uppity “Shake It Off” is transformed into a soft easy-going song that you could sip your Chai Tea too at a nearby corner Starbucks. Soft electric guitars cruise through the entire album with subtle grace and beauty. “Bad Blood” remains almost the exact same but is transformed into an acoustic version, keeping a similar beat.

image via: stereogum.com

I have to applaud Adams, for following what I’d like to call a “passion project”. I can only imagine how difficult this was to work on. You would be constantly reminded of the original versions, which could be extremely distracting.

Adams recently told Zane Lowe on his Apple Music radio show, that he’s been a Swift fan for a while, “A lot of those songs are pretty flawless, they’re so well written, they’re so clean.” His recent divorce with actress/singer Mandy Moore most likely contributed to his newfound love for poetic lyrics, as heard in pretty much every Swift song. Once Adams set his mind to this project, he did it, “I bought a four track cassette recorder and I was like, ‘I’m gonna make 1989 like Nebraska style…Just acoustic guitar, bunch of spring reverb, just me.”

He truly made 1989 his.


“I Know Places” – Vance Joy cover

Recently, Taylor Swift tweeted about a cover of one of her 1989 songs, “I Know Places”. A story of a secret relationship, hidden from the public and the unity found within it. Ms. Swift thinks it might be her favorite cover she’s ever seen…and I HAVE to agree. The second I plugged my headphones in and watched the full video, I was obsessed. Vance Joy does a phenomenal job at giving emotion to every single word in the song. Almost as if, “I Know Places” became re-born again through the mouth of Joy himself.


Joy takes a romantic twist on the song, making it all acoustic, using his voice and string plucking fingers to create a gorgeous new song that Ms. Swift is certainly proud of. The chorus is gentler, filling every gap of the guitar chords. Joy’s voice wavers in the most beautiful way as he makes his way to “I know places we can hide.” Near the end, he sings “Just grab my hand and don’t ever drop it, my love,” and it is breathtakingly soft and perfect. The song almost takes on a whole new meaning than the one Swift gave it. Hers is powerful, slightly dark, and loud. While Joy’s could count as a love ballad, something you could hear at a wedding, the elements of love are more prominent with the easygoing pluck of every guitar string. I actually prefer Vance Joy’s cover to the original. I think you will too…


Taylor On Top


Want to know what pop domination looks like right now? Then you should be reading from Taylor Swift’s book, or maybe looking at her saturated personal Polaroids that litter every new album booklet representing her latest creative endeavor into the royal doors of the pop kingdom. The internet blew up last Sunday night/Monday morning with celebrity reactions, lists of favorite songs, and positivity towards Swift’s fourth album, titled “1989.”




Debuting at number one on the Top Albums chart on iTunes, this album flew up every list, not to mention six out of the top ten songs on iTunes also belonged to Ms. Swift.

“1989” seems to be home for Swift. She seems to be more in her element, even though this album is something completely different from anything you’ve ever heard from her. Pop beats are sprinkled on every track, along with late 80’s esque synths, drum beats, and  trance-like vocals. “1989” is a pop dream dipped in emotions, honest lyrics, and a couple ex-boyfriends…[some things never change.]

Songs like: “Bad Blood” [supposedly about her beef with pop competition Katy Perry] “All You Had To Do Was Stay,” and “Out of the Woods” [possibly about Harry Styles] focus heavily on a constant drum beat and repetitive choruses that hook your ears from the first listen. Swift has an extreme talent for making songs what I call “radio ready,” you hear it a million times and you’re still going to sing every word while sitting in your car.


The closing track “Clean” features dream-like vocals, twinkling pop sounds, and a slower side of Swift providing raw lyrics: “and the butterflies turned to dust that covered my whole room.” Swift’s voice always sounds better when she slows down and sings in her natural key, which is what you hear on several tracks off this album, including the poetic “This Love” and the pretty, story-like “Wildest Dreams.”

Swift has admitted in several recent interviews that this album is her best yet, and possibly the most true to herself. Swift told Good Morning America, “I think you have to stay true to who you are, at the same time challenge who you are to explore all the different aspects of what you can create.” “1989” is a grown up project for Ms. Swift, she recently moved to New York [as you hear on the title track and electronic infused “Welcome To New York”] and is now a woman. Have a seat on the throne Taylor, I have a feeling you’ll be here awhile.


gif from giphy.com

All photos via bing.com