Ellie Goulding’s ‘Brightest Blue’ Unveils a New Maturity

(Courtesy Polydor Records)

(Courtesy Polydor Records)

By Paige Lee, Arts Writer


Ellie Goulding’s newest album “Brightest Blue” was released this last month on July 17, 2020. “Brightest Blue” is Goulding’s fourth studio album. Although it was originally going to be released in June, the date was pushed back due to COVID-19.

Now that the album is out, there is a ton to talk about. Goulding has been famous for many years now. The late 2000s and early 2010s especially were reigned by Goulding with hit songs like “Anything Could Happen,” “Lights” and “Burn” topping the charts. However, “Brightest Blue” is an album that seems to challenge Goulding’s past popularity — this album seems to have many themes of fame, change and Goulding finding herself.

“Brightest Blue” is an album that is composed like a play — the album feels like it is telling a story to its listeners. On top of that, many of the songs seem to contain quiet moments of reflection and realization.

Interestingly, the album also has several thought-provoking interludes shoved between the full-length songs. At times where the full-length songs begin to feel repetitive, the interludes are there to gracefully re-center the album.

Favorite Tracks

“Woman” was one of my absolute favorite songs on this album. Goulding sings about the aftermath of confrontation and how it can leave a person wondering what comes next. “Woman” feels both self-assured and humble. “Flux” was also absolutely amazing to me. It sounded like the beginnings of somebody who was letting go of what was not good for them. “Flux” is beautiful and melancholic, and Goulding’s enchanting voice does so much to hold attention in this song.

“Tides” is another great song on the album. “Tides” is lively and exciting. It conveys a feeling of starting anew and embarking on an adventure. “Slow Grenade” was a duet with singer-songwriter Lauv. This track had a great beat and was attention-catching. Lauv and Goulding’s voices went together very well in this one. “Bleach” is unforgettable as well. This song tells of a difficult breakup and Goulding’s fight to have her thoughts back.

Above all, I loved the interludes in this album. “Cyan” is beautiful and thought-provoking. In only sixty seconds, “Cyan” conveys power and confidence. “Wine Drunk” is great too. This interlude is oddly still and feels as if the singer is prepping for change in her life. Of all of the interludes though, “Overture” is my favorite. “Overture” is stunningly beautiful, especially with the full orchestra and choir. The song has a perfect build-up and a fantastic ending to it. This dramatic interlude contains just the right amount of intrigue for me. I ended up listening to the one-minute song on repeat quite a few times while trying to analyze all of the sounds that I was hearing.

Thoughts on the Album

“Brightest Blue” is the most mature album Goulding has made so far. It’s an album full of confidence, growth and change. The record is full of wonderfully compressed thoughts and ideas as well. Every song beautifully conveys emotion interestingly, and the songs on the album manage to be spaced out just right to keep the flow just right.

“Brightest Blue” is thought-provoking and different from every previous album Goulding has produced. This album makes it sound like Goulding has discovered who she is. In my opinion, this album is inspiring and exciting because of the personal journey it conveys.

“Brightest Blue” ends on a strange note with the track “Hate Me.” An album that is otherwise full of confidence and readiness to move on ends with a song all about refusing to move on. I actually enjoyed the use of this song at the end of the album though because in my opinion, it teaches a lesson — that you can learn and grow and discover yourself yet still have moments of doubt. It conveys that uncertainty is normal and completely okay. In my opinion, that humility only makes “Brightest Blue” better.


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