Ellie Goulding

Bright Lights

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AllMusic Review by Jon O'Brien

Having lived up to the hype bestowed upon her via the BBC Sound of 2010 and Brits Critics Choice awards she garnered at the beginning of the year, electronic-folk vocalist Ellie Goulding then fell into the increasingly popular trend of reissuing relatively new albums -- in this case, her chart-topping debut Lights. Reissued several months after the original album's release, Bright Lights adds a pretty generous amount of material, with seven previously unreleased songs joining Lights' initial ten. Of course, the whole project was spearheaded by her faithful, if unimaginative, cover version of Elton John's "Your Song," her biggest hit thanks to its use on a John Lewis TV advert, which sounds out of place alongside the rest of her more adventurous material on this album. Of the other new tracks, "Human" and "Animal" are smothered in the same lush acoustic/synth production and programmed beats that Starsmith incorporated throughout the original album, "Little Dreams" and "Lights" echo the sparkling electro-pop of Little Boots and La Roux, "Home" is a folk-oriented offering which showcases her gorgeously fragile vocals, and "Believe Me" is a glossy, dancefloor-friendly number co-written with former Longpigs frontman Crispin Hunt. There's nothing here as immediate as "Starry Eyed," as interesting as "Under the Sheets," or as delightfully melancholic as "Guns and Horses," but the majority of the new tracks are more memorable and more infectious than the rather repetitive, non-descript second half of Lights. So while it may not offer anything particularly new, Bright Lights is a consistently enjoyable addition to her catalog, suggesting that Goulding is becoming a more accomplished songwriter, which if nothing else, bodes well for album number two.

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