The Bottom Line
Ellie Goulding won the BBC Sound of 2010 poll as well as the Brit Awards' Critics Choice Award for 2010. This marked her as one of the key artists to watch for the new year and new decade. "Lights" is her breakthrough single in the US. It showcases her strong but vulnerable vocals in a pleasing electronic pop setting. However, there is something missing that would make the song truly memorable.
- Ellie Goulding's vulnerable vocal style
- Pleasing electro-pop setting
- Repetition that is not particularly memorable
- Written by Ellie Goulding, Richard Stannard, and Ash Howes
- Produced by Richard "Biff" Stannard and Ash Howes
- Released January 2012 by Interscope
Guide Review - Ellie Goulding - "Lights"
"Lights" is a pleasing, catchy slice of electro-pop. Ellie Goulding's voice has an edge of sadness and vulnerability that sets the song apart from standard dance pop. However, ultimately the song does feel more repetitive than revelatory. Perhaps it is an issue with the structure of the song or words that don't truly draw the listener in to create resonant feeling.
Ellie Goulding is an artist with tremendous promise. At home in the UK her debut album reached #1 and generated two top 10 pop hit singles. She proved she is a strong interpretive singer by covering Elton John's classic "Your Song" for a major hit. However, there is a feeling she has not yet reached her potential. The production work on "Lights" was led by Richard Stannard who is still best remembered for shepherding the Spice Girls' "Wannabe" into a worldwide smash hit.
"Lights" works well on radio and in the club. However, it is unlikely to be the song you go home remembering best. In a pop music world dominated by distinctive vocalists, it is too easy for a song like "Lights" to feel polite and get lost in the shuffle.