Ellie Goulding's 'Brightest Blue' Is Part Pop Juggernaut, Part Diary Entry
Published Jul 14, 2020It's been a long road for Ellie Goulding fans who have patiently waited over five years for the British pop singer to release her fourth studio album, Brightest Blue. Separating this album into two parts, Goulding has categorized seventeen tracks into either side A (Brightest Blue) or side B (EG.0). By doing this, she's provided a space for her high profile collaborations to exist on EG.0, while allowing herself to show more vulnerability on Brightest Blue.
Side A begins with the familiar sound of a live audience before entering into the appropriately titled first track, "Start." Almost instantly the album turns into a diary entry, with Goulding providing herself constant affirmations throughout the entire record. This thought is continued on her previously released single "Power" and displayed again on "Love I'm Given." It's here where Goulding gives her fans an uplifting powerhouse track with an important lyrical message of personal growth and satisfaction. The song challenges the singer vocally and is the album's most impressive track.
The remaining songs on side A are a respectable attempt at self-reflective pop music, but the album doesn't see another highlight until the acoustic-laced track "Bleach." The song's moody undertone connects perfectly into Goulding's piano based "Flux," which brings listeners back to the feeling of reading a best friend's diary.
Concluding side A is the title track "Brightest Blue," which explores a multitude of sonic characteristics ranging from a gospel choir to heavy synthesizers. Her conclusion summarizes the first half of the album perfectly and proves that Goulding refused to let any musical barriers hold her back.
Transitioning into side B, EG.0 begins with a dramatic symphony challenging the album's narrative during "Overture." It's here where Goulding shuts the door on what we've heard so far and introduces us to her alter ego (EG.0 being a play on "ego"). Listeners are given bonafide club hits like "Close to Me" with Diplo and Swae Lee, and "Hate Me" with the late Juice WRLD.
While EG.0 holds Goulding's mainstream radio hits, it's Brightest Blue that has evolved Ellie Goulding as a songwriter. She's created two distinct spaces on this record, which allows her to continue her musical evolution while simultaneously maintaining her pop throne as pop royalty. (Polydor)