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Ellie Goulding's 'Halcyon'

Ellie Goulding's 'Halcyon' © Retna Ltd Ellie Goulding's 'Halcyon'

Ellie Goulding
Rating: 3.5 Stars

This U.K. songwriter has proved quite versatile in her brief career, scoring a sleeper hit in the U.S. ("Lights"), collaborating with Skrillex, and even singing at Will and Kate's royal wedding afterparty. At its best, the flaxen-haired 25-year-old's second album intertwines elegant chamber pop, electronic beats and her distinctive, fluttering soprano into a thrilling hybrid: "Anything Could Happen," "Halcyon" and her cover of Active Child's "Hanging On" all nail that precarious, emotionally charged balance. But EDM production flourishes sometimes push the meters too far into the red. A talent this dynamic doesn't need excessive bluster to make its impact felt. - Kurt B. Reighley

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