Monday, January 14, 2013

Best Albums of 2012: Halcyon

Best Albums of 2012

Song: Only You
Artist: Ellie Goulding
Album: Halcyon

If you're not completely sick of her yet, here is another Ellie Goulding track, but trust me...  it's from one of the best albums of the year, her fairly well-received sophomore set "Halcyon."

While I liked Ellie okay from her previous work, with this record, she nailed a mix of forward-thinking production and lush, melodious, folk-pop. Mesmerizing.  Emotional.  Amazing.

2012 was specifically fantastic for Ellie as she saw what was originally a bonus track for her debut album, become a bona fide US radio smash over the summer, "Lights" got to number two on the Billboard Hot 100 after thirty-three weeks on the charts.  It's at 55 weeks now.

As that "promo" still marches on, her album "Halcyon" hasn't had a hit near "Lights" magnitude, but second single "Figure 8" is out there; and first single "Anything Could Happen" is being used prominently in the promo marketing campaign for the second season of HBO's "Girls."

"Anything Could Happen" was one of my absolute favorite songs of the year, and I loved it even more when I heard the album version as it had a deliciously ecstatic added series of "I know it's gonna be's!!!" to the already euphoria-inducing pre-final chorus.  O-M-G right?

"Halcyon" the album also delivers at a pleasing ratio.  It is a touch front-loaded, with the best hat-trick of the record starting with track two, the downtempo "My Blood," a real gut-wrencher that's as gorgeous as it is poetically tragic.  It's a mesmerizer.  Then "Happens" happens, pop at its most powerful... and then the dark, grooviest of "Halcyon's" tracks, "Only You" comes in to blow you away... straight away.  It's a stunner.

The album does meander a bit towards the end, yet remains confidently on the list of best albums of the year because even when the songs are "just okay," they are still pretty gorgeous in a background music way.  But things get bombastic toward the end with the over-the-top strings'n'beats future-pop of "Atlantis," which is honestly "My Blood"-level amazing.  "Dead in the Water" ends the album on a melancholy, spacey note.  Again, quite beautiful.  Modern pop bliss.

Great record.


Only You
My Blood

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