'Brightest Blue' Shows a Shift to Goulding’s True Form
“Moving away from empty lyrics and mundane production which she described as ‘cringe,’ Goulding decided to flex her own abilities as a singer-songwriter on her first album in 5 years.”
Holding nothing back, Ellie Goulding is unapologetically herself on her latest album, “Brightest Blue.” After feeling unfulfilled as an artist after her previous album, Delirium, Goulding has shifted the focus to herself on her double album. Her songs range from euphoric dance anthems (“Tides”) to mellow piano ballads (“Woman”).
Her experimentation with her vocals and production on the first side of the album produce a slightly uneven record, bouncing between the upbeat and the downbeat tracks. What stood out most was her devotion to herself as well as her extended metaphors. The color blue can be associated with gloominess, and melancholy feelings. The “blue evolution” Goulding refers to on the title track is finding a place of peace and harmony within yourself.
Along with the color blue evolving throughout, Goulding has shown her personal evolution over the course of the album. “Think I’m gonna reinvent myself again” she sings on the aptly named opening track “Start.” Moving away from empty lyrics and mundane production which she described as “cringe,” Goulding decided to flex her own abilities as a singer-songwriter on her first album in 5 years. Instead, severe, yet simple lyrics like “how can I bleach you?” punctuate the album with authenticity and rawness wrapped up in Goulding’s signature style.
The second side of the record, referred to as “EG.0” contains the pop singles that Goulding has become known for over the years. Collaborations with artists like the late Juice WRLD, Lauv and blackbear compliment her own sound, but add nothing new to the album as a whole. “Brightest Blue” was a clear ending song for the release, and the “Overture” just made the release feel so much longer than it needed to be. Songs from EG.0 have become popular radio songs like “Close to Me” and “Hate Me,” but would have been better off as singles than included on the album. A high point breaking away from the similar is the upbeat “Sixteen,” in which Goulding sings of a simpler time and relationship with bright production.
Overall a strong release, Goulding returns to the music scene with a delightfully authentic album that she is proud of. Fans can take solace in piano melodies and relatable lyrics.
STREAM “BRIGHTEST BLUE” HERE