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Showing 1-10 of 454 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 553 reviews
on December 3, 2016
I'm just going to put this out there: Halcyon is the best album of Ellie Goulding's career to date and one of the best records created in the last ten years by any artist. I feel I should mention that I bought this album on its release date in October of 2012 which is a different album than is currently being sold. My review is based on the original track listing.

Halcyon is different. It's different from her first album and it's different from every other top 40 album. Halcyon moves slightly away from its electronic-based predecessor, Lights, in favor of a unique blend of real instruments with modern EDM producing techniques that not only complements Ellie's distinct vocals but creates an uncommon tone that is refreshingly cohesive throughout the entire album. Nowadays, in the age of digital music, the vast majority of artists only release LPs to distribute their hit songs. The rest of their records are filler and that's where Halcyon breaks the trend. Each song is special and frequently utilizes Ellie's talent of putting poetry to music; another lost art.

There are no bad songs on this record. "Don't Say A Word" sets the stage for the album as being darker and more mature in both its writing and subject matter. "My Blood" is one of the standout tracks that is able to captivate me completely. "Anything Could Happen" is an upbeat song that I suspect was written with a more sinister viewpoint making it a lot more interesting to listen to. Other standout tracks include "Halcyon", "Figure 8", "Hanging On" (which is a fantastic cover originally sung by Active Child), and "Dead In The Water" but, as I already mentioned, there are no bad songs on this album. However, "I Need Your Love" does sound misplaced. It doesn't fit the cohesive nature that the rest of the album has constructed. It's not a bad song but it's definitely evidence that Ellie's label insisted it be included since it was a hit song at the time of Halcyon's release.

While the lyrics on this record are amazing, I can't quite decide if I think the music is even better. Nearly every song includes an arrangement using piano, bass, guitar, drums, and a few synthesizers. It's a simple sound that is a lot more rich and complex the more you try to isolate each instrument. The producers also included synthesized vox that helps develop the extraordinary sound found throughout the record.

Ellie Goulding's album, Lights, is awesome and fun to listen to. Her album, Delirium, is okay. Halcyon, on the other hand, stands head and shoulders above either one. It's my go-to album on a rainy day when I just want to sit inside, relax, and let some music pass my time. It really does get better with each replay.
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on June 11, 2015
This Halcyon Days 2013 Standard Edition by Ellie Goulding is an amusing music collection with songs containing lots of heart. Stay Awake is one of the songs that I enjoy from this cd, however there are also more satisfying songs on the Halycon Days 2013 Standard Edition including the popular hits Anything Could Happen, I Need Your Love (feat. Calvin Harris), and Burn. This music assortment is good for those who enjoy dance and electronic music fusions.
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on October 16, 2012
**** 1/2

I've probably listened to this album twenty times, and I'm still trying to figure it out. When I first started listening to it, all I wanted to do was immerse myself in the intoxicating sounds. First and foremost, that ethereal, old-soul soprano. Second, the lush, shimmering production: The sweeping, orchestral touches, the more subdued acoustic moments, and the experimental and occasionally even spastic electronica that comes and goes throughout the album.

But then after listening to many of the tracks over and over again, I finally started listening more closely to the words that Ellie is singing. And I discovered that so many of them were sad tales about broken relationships. "Anything Could Happen" sounds at first like a techno gospel song, with her vocals so soaring and powerful at its peak, when she sings "I know it's gonna be" eight times in a row, each time sounding like she's reaching harder for the divine. But then you realize what follows, when she sings "but I don't think I need you." These surprise lyrics change the tone of the song entirely.

Something similar happens on the next track, "Only You," a throbbing, electronic blues song. The song at first listen seems to suggest lust and longing, until you pay closer attention to the lyrics. "Only you could see/the emptiness I feel/when you're with me." The title track, "Halcyon," immediately wears it's melancholy on its sleeve. "When it's just us/You show me what it feels like to be lonely" she sings soberly. And when she claims "It's going to be better" it's clear she means when the relationship is over.

As much as the juxtaposition of Ellie's folky voice and songwriting with cutting-edge electronica drives much of the album, tracks like "JOY" and "I Know You Care" prove that her music can be just as compelling without bells and whistles. And they also make it impossible to ignore the broken heart that was clearly the creative inspiration for this album.

So, after twenty listens, I'm still not entirely sure what to make of "Halcyon". Is it a groundbreaking pop album? Is it a glorious, shimmering break-up record? I'm still not sure. But there's no doubt about this young woman's talent. "Halcyon" shows impressive growth from "Lights" (which I already really liked). Ellie Goulding is the real deal.
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on January 1, 2017
Ok, so I bought these CDs a little while back and I absolutely love the songs, my friend introduced me to Ellie with the original Halcyon and its probably still my favorite CD(s). I gave this product only 3 stars instead of 5 because of one issue- the manual only has 20\28 of the songs' lyrics in it, including Lights. Explosions, one of my favorite of her songs is in the manual but with less than half the lyrics!..... I don't even know if other songs are missing lyrics but its INCREDIBLY aggravating... This would be an angry review if I didn't like Ellie's music as much as I do.
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VINE VOICEon December 8, 2012
Ellie Goulding reminds me of a more commercial Bjork. She truly tries to stretch the meaning of music with her more flashy, stylistic approach to pop music, mixing genres and embracing industrial sounds to create something truly unique and all her own. I applaud her for that, because in this day and age the radio is basically a sea of similarly sounding pop stars who don't understand the concept of progressive thinking. With a sophomore album like `Halcyon', Ellie Goulding really identifies herself as the future of music.

She makes me excited for what the future of music holds.

Building on the foundation she crafted with `Lights', `Goulding takes a remarkable step forward. The album isn't without the occasional hiccup (the inclusion of `Lights' at the end was unnecessary and somewhat redundant and the she suffers in some areas with too much repetition, lyrically) but overall this is a tremendous effort all around with some serious highs to more than make up for the minimal lows.

Getting those lows out of the way, aside from the pointless `Lights' inclusion, I could have done without `I Know You Care', which is far too repetitive and somewhat droll. `Atlantis' follows it up with a little more heft but it lacks depth and the repetitive chorus isn't as catchy as it wants to be. `I Need Your Love' sounds a little too desperate to be a club track, like leftover Rihanna, so I'm not entirely sold on it despite it growing on me a tad. I really wanted to LOVE what she does with `Hanging On', a song originally done by Active Child and, well, it is currently my favorite song so she had pretty large boots to fill. Her cover is a better rendition than what she did on her previous album (covering Elton's `Your Song') and so I applaud her for giving it a go and somewhat succeeding, but while Ellie has a great vocal gift, her range is too limited for the song. That isn't a knock on her range, for she certainly has a lot of it, but that song requires near operatic range, and so you can feel Ellie reaching quite a bit in parts, which is a shame. The song is too big for her. She should have either stripped it back and toned it down to fit her vocals or passed on the song entirely.

But that is all there is to be said in a negative fashion. The rest of this album is near perfection.

`Don't Say A Word', `My Blood' and `Anything Could Happen' open this album with such aggressive power. They collectively show off not only Ellie's vocal abilities but her creative spirit and set a perfect foundation for the evolution taking place on this album. They help unfold the layers to her vision. They blend the melodic musicality that makes her so special with the hard hitting beats and triumphant experimental qualities that color outside all the lines and make this album so inspired. `Only You' has a constant jab that embeds the song in your eardrums, and `Figure 8' is just a jarring fusion of haunting presence and dynamic energy. It literally explodes in the chorus.

`Explosions' is impeccable pop with attitude and `Dead in the Water' is a beautifully strung ballad. `Joy' plays with an almost theatrical center (stripped down beautifully) and `the title track, `Halcyon' unfolds like poetry, which is such a splendid addition to the album (very singer/songwriter in tone and texture).

In the end, this is a great album, one that any artist should be inspired by and aspire to create for themselves.
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on January 8, 2016
I'm still struggling with this one. To this day, I STILL listen to Salt Skin, and Every Time You Go every single day.
She layers her harmonies and vocals so much, it's just amazing.
Now, that being said; I'm not getting the feeling that Halcyon is as poppy as her earlier works.
I understand and appreciate that. But that's not what I want to listen to. Ironically, even though
I carefully listen to her voice, I don't really care about lyrics, I care about what makes my shoulders move.

I have to give this album 4 stars just because her talent alone doesn't deserve merely 3.
I'll jack it to 5 when I start going through withdrawal, like I do with the two songs listed above.
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on August 18, 2014
Even if every other song on this album sucked (which they do not), "My Blood" alone would carry the album through with a solid 5 stars. While still imbuing her music with catchy, instrumental beats and vocal surges, Ellie Goulding has definitely amped up the lyrics. Every song is fraught with meaning and emotion, and there is a good balance of catchy numbers like "Anything Could Happen" and "I Need Your Love" and soulful tunes like "Dead in the Water" and "Halcyon."

Though I found her first album to be fun and catchy, the second one really does as it should and shows great musical and emotional maturity. Give it a listen!
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on March 13, 2013
Ellie Goulding got my attention a month back during the Super Bowl (That God of War commercial was dope). After some Youtubing and finally hearing "Explosions" I had to buy the album. I'm not a fan of modern Pop music but this girl is different. Her vocals are raw and she is one of the few who sounds really nice singing in an English accent. Her song writing, especially, has captured me; she speaking so softly at times then hits you with an epic line that takes a few minutes to completely grasp. A wholly impressive singer/songwriter (which in my opinion puts her in an elite class with Ell Varner, Adele, Keri Hilson, and the like, and yes I put unproven artist in "elite" categories, I'm a dreamer).

Halcyon is a complete album and it didn't take me long to adapt to her sound and put this thing on repeat. I recently joined the rest of the world in picking up Adele's 21, but this is an even more complete album in my opinion. I don't usually like to suggest which way artist should go with their craft, but I hope she keep exploring this electronic-mixed-with-traditional-instruments sound she has going. Her and her producers have weaved the sounds so seamlessly that the electronic elements, that so often sound more like a gimmick, mix beautifully with her voice and traditional instruments. In short, her production is amazing.

If you like anything you've herd of her in the past, I have to recommend this album. I was blown away frankly, and I'm so happy I found her so randomly. This is a women I'll be following throughout her entire career.
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on October 18, 2012
I had already heard the song lights, and liked it. I went to purchase it on amazon and noticed she had a new album. Since lights was also included on this new album, I decided to check it out first. To be honest, I wasn't expecting much....but, I was blown away. It's quite different from anything I've heard before. Ellie Goulding has an absolutely amazing voice, and you really find that out on this new album, if you didn't already know. I don't normally buy many albums, but there are just so many good songs on Halcyon, I had to buy it. I also checked out the extra songs on the deluxe version, and they were all great. So, I bought that version. There really are some great songs on this album, especially Atlantis, Hanging On, Ritual, In my city, Without your love, and of course, Lights.
This is just the kind of album where you can lose yourself. There's not much else to say. Check it out.
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on September 25, 2014
Ellie Goulding is an absolutely stunning artist. I love how beautifully she has mixed electronica with folk music. Her unique voice is capable of the most haunting and chilling melodies, and also very powerful and full.

This is a wonderful album, however, I almost docked one star because if you buy the vinyl release, this album does NOT come with all the songs released on the CD. They did come with the digital download that comes with the vinyl purchase, but I feel like all of the songs that were released on the album should be included on the vinyl. I do realize that the missing works are from her previous album, but they were really amazing and I really wish they had been included on the vinyl, perhaps on a double vinyl release. I would have been willing to spend another $5 or so to have those songs on this record.
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