Halcyon - Ellie Goulding
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 142 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 8 out of 142

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  1. Oct 10, 2012
    10
    This album captured my soul right on the first listen. Never before have I experienced so many emotions, from despair and sadness to hope. This album deserves the same success, if not more, than what Adele's 21 has achieved.
  2. Oct 9, 2012
    10
    This is a crafted and adventurous piece of work from such a young musician. She has clearly invested a lot of time into this and has built upon what was good about her previous record. It's an album that screams for your attention and from the first to the last song, it maintains it.
  3. Oct 9, 2012
    9
    A very likable album. Ellie is one of the better singers out there at the moment, and the music her beautiful vocals are set to unique instrumental backgrounds, some a lot different from previous album Lights. It's pop flirting with electronic music, and at that, it does a very good job.
  4. Oct 9, 2012
    10
    I know people throw out 10's left and right, but there are probably only two other albums I've heard in my life I would rate a 10. Halcyon is really amazing. Every single song sounds of QUALITY! You can tell she invested a lot of time on each track to make sure they are all perfect. It's a lot more mature than her first album and a million times better. The main track list is a little moreI know people throw out 10's left and right, but there are probably only two other albums I've heard in my life I would rate a 10. Halcyon is really amazing. Every single song sounds of QUALITY! You can tell she invested a lot of time on each track to make sure they are all perfect. It's a lot more mature than her first album and a million times better. The main track list is a little more low tempo than the bonus tracks, so if you want the upbeat stuff, definitely get the deluxe version.

    Best Pop Album of 2012 and one of the best records period. It blows everything in recent memory away IMO.

    Favorite Track - My Blood
    Favorite Bonus Track - The End
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  5. Oct 13, 2012
    10
    It was always going to be difficult for Ellie coming back to the UK, after such a long absence whilst she unexpectedly smashed America, but she hasn't disappointed. 'Halcyon' couldn't be much different from her debut album, but it that was always going to be the case given how much her life has changed since she penned 'Lights'. Indeed, 'Halcyon' has very much captured a specific moment inIt was always going to be difficult for Ellie coming back to the UK, after such a long absence whilst she unexpectedly smashed America, but she hasn't disappointed. 'Halcyon' couldn't be much different from her debut album, but it that was always going to be the case given how much her life has changed since she penned 'Lights'. Indeed, 'Halcyon' has very much captured a specific moment in her life, based around the break-up with Radio 1 DJ Greg James, yet this is not your typical heartbreak album.
    Tender yet resilient, emotions displayed on the album certainly contrast each other, with the earlier tracks such as 'My Blood' and 'Halcyon' displaying optimism and drive only to give way to much softer and deeper tones of 'I Know You Care' and 'Explosions'. This album definitely has a versatility to it and it will no doubt act as plenty of material for dance artists such are the strong drum beats that provide the backbone to many of the tracks.
    But all-round this is a fantastic and busy album, which has given Ellie Goulding the chance to start afresh and show how she has grown in confidence as an artist to wear her heart on her sleeve. Up there with the best.
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  6. Oct 16, 2012
    9
    I became relaxed, almost in a state of trance while listening to this album. The combination of Ellies beautiful voice and powerful yet simple production makes the album a great everyday album. My only gripe is the track on the iTunes bonus that featured the rapper. Man does that track stick out like a sore thumb. After 13 tracks of melodic singing, having a random rapper come in totallyI became relaxed, almost in a state of trance while listening to this album. The combination of Ellies beautiful voice and powerful yet simple production makes the album a great everyday album. My only gripe is the track on the iTunes bonus that featured the rapper. Man does that track stick out like a sore thumb. After 13 tracks of melodic singing, having a random rapper come in totally throws off the flow. Expand
  7. Feb 2, 2014
    8
    An awesome album! Great compositions and nice variety. Considering you get 21 tracks and there's a nice balance between upbeat and more gentle songs, it's a must for fans of the artist. Great vocals and nice rhythm. It's the kind of album that gets better the more you listen to it.
  8. Nov 23, 2012
    8
    Great sophomore album from Ellie Goulding, who is another talented singer coming from UK. She has a great voice and her album has this weird 'electropop' vibe. The version that I bought has the single 'Lights' in it, one of her best singles.
  9. Oct 13, 2012
    8
    The hype surrounding English singer-songstress Ellie Goulding is well rewarded, since Halcyon in fact delivers. It's an endearingly soothing blend of genres from indietronica to folktronica to pure soul and dream pop, boosted by Goulding's dazzlingly soft Dolly Parton-esque vocals that's capable of putting deep listeners into a trance. In fact, the first minute of opener "Don't Say a Word"The hype surrounding English singer-songstress Ellie Goulding is well rewarded, since Halcyon in fact delivers. It's an endearingly soothing blend of genres from indietronica to folktronica to pure soul and dream pop, boosted by Goulding's dazzlingly soft Dolly Parton-esque vocals that's capable of putting deep listeners into a trance. In fact, the first minute of opener "Don't Say a Word" could make one believe they've purchased a bluesy folk record. The lead single, "Anything Could Happen", as well as the second single, "I Know You Care", are the album's most accessible and friendliest tracks. However, its true colors shine within its weirdest tracks, such as the stomp-clapping 'folk-tronic' "Only You", the dubstep driven "Figure 8", and the vocally mesmerizing closer "Dead In the Water". Harris's appearance could be well considered "I Need Your Love", but is mediocre in comparison to the rest of the album. All listeners should at least give Halcyon a listen. Expand
  10. Nov 7, 2012
    9
    Her Voice Is Amazing! Very Creative Lyrics! Do I Smell A Grammy Nomination?
  11. Mar 21, 2013
    10
    Why a 10? Every single song is worth a listen, that's why. Actually...that one with Calvin Harris is pretty generic with nothing noteworthy about it; even Ellie's voice can't save it. The album does go through a range of emotions, but much of them fall under "sad". It's no wonder 'Anything Could Happen' is the only single, most of the other songs would bum people out. However, the qualityWhy a 10? Every single song is worth a listen, that's why. Actually...that one with Calvin Harris is pretty generic with nothing noteworthy about it; even Ellie's voice can't save it. The album does go through a range of emotions, but much of them fall under "sad". It's no wonder 'Anything Could Happen' is the only single, most of the other songs would bum people out. However, the quality shouldn't. The soundscapes created by 'My Blood', 'Only You' and 'Figure 8' are simply incredible. You will get lost in the music, and you'll love every second of it. Expand
  12. Oct 29, 2012
    8
    Halcyon is a really good bittersweet pop album. Congrats to Ellie who has done a really good work. The record is luxuriously epic and Goulding's vocals are amazingly aggressive. Highlights are "My Blood" and "I Know You Care". Thumbs up !
  13. Nov 17, 2012
    8
    Intense, dark and emotional, Halcyon shows less of Ellie's folk side and instead focuses on heavy beats and dark lyrics. However, there's still elements of Ellie that appeared on Lights; specifically the synths. Stand out track: Figure 8.
  14. May 20, 2013
    10
    Canciones excelentes y un ritmo conmovedor y a la vez impactante, ahora muestra mas tenacidad a la hora de interpretar y de escribir. Ellie Goulding la mejor en el DREAM POP.
  15. Mar 24, 2013
    5
    A Few Good Songs... But Sadly More Bad Than Good! I Feel Like Ellie Gould Do Alot Better! But Still Not A Bad Album...
  16. Mar 31, 2013
    3
    When you have a natural vocal talent, like Ellie Goulding does, it needs to be harvested correctly.
    This is where Goulding's second album Halcyon falls short. Over-produced on the majority of tracks, with needless sampling and vocal effects. The irony is that an 'effect' in terms of music production is supposed to enhance the dynamic range, stereo field, or audio aspects of a signal, and
    When you have a natural vocal talent, like Ellie Goulding does, it needs to be harvested correctly.
    This is where Goulding's second album Halcyon falls short. Over-produced on the majority of tracks, with needless sampling and vocal effects. The irony is that an 'effect' in terms of music production is supposed to enhance the dynamic range, stereo field, or audio aspects of a signal, and the vocals on Halcyon have in fact been completely ruined by over-production.

    There are standout tracks, Explosions, Halcyon and JOY where Goulding's stunning vocals can be truly appreciated, however there are tracks such as Only You, Hanging On, and the first track Don't Say A Word which completely wreck the mood, and have moments which just completely bewilder me.

    Being a big fan of her debut album Lights, this was a massive dissapointment for me to listen to, and it makes me concerned with the direction that Goulding is going in.

    Blame Skrillex!
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  17. Apr 19, 2013
    10
    Never before have so feel such emotions. Turn the Halcyon and feel it. Very emotional album. Each song is like a piece of a broken heart but it is a very pleasant feeling when you are finished listening and your heart is fixed. I love this album and Ellie's voice like an angel. My favorite songs are My Blood, Anything Could Happen, Figure 8 and I Need Your Love.
  18. Apr 20, 2013
    10
    Very good album, i very much liked it. The lyrics were amazing, she has a great voice and is very talented, Anything could happen, Only you, My blood and explosions are my favourites
  19. May 5, 2013
    10
    One of the BEST albums I've ever heard!!! Highlights are: My Blood, Halcyon, JOY, I Know You Care, I Need Your Love, and Ritual. This album is WAY better than her previous album Lights. Love you Ellie!
  20. Jun 14, 2013
    9
    Second album from the British singer-songwriter. I like this album and even dare to say, that this is maybe even better than Lights; the album, not the song, nothing beats the song >w< anyway. I mostly enjoyed the album, but far some reason I don't like Atlantis that much, maybe because the high-pitched chipmunk vocals, but other than that it is okay song. This is also a nice contrast toSecond album from the British singer-songwriter. I like this album and even dare to say, that this is maybe even better than Lights; the album, not the song, nothing beats the song >w< anyway. I mostly enjoyed the album, but far some reason I don't like Atlantis that much, maybe because the high-pitched chipmunk vocals, but other than that it is okay song. This is also a nice contrast to her previous album, that was more light and delightful, when Halcyon is dark and sad yet beautiful. I also think this album deserves more than meta-score of 69-out-of-100, in my opinion the album is great and almost perfect. She deserves more recognition.
    Favourite songs from the album: My Blood, Halcyon, Anything Could Happen, Figure 8, I Know You Care, JOY, Explosions, I Need Your Love, Lights, Stay Awake & High For This.
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  21. May 28, 2013
    10
    A great piece of work from ellie goulding, a very talented artist with a very good voice, i love the songs, the songwrititng is excellent, anything could happen is just brilliant
  22. Dec 17, 2014
    8
    Ellie ha definido su música gracias a su divertido y cómodo estilo de canto, siendo sincero, su delicadeza a la hora de cantar, pero así mismo su dureza a la hora de expresarse, me ha encantado.
  23. Jan 6, 2014
    9
    Loads of fun and beautiful to listen to. The songs grow on you, and you feel like you are getting to know Ellie Goulding as person. I love this album.
  24. Dec 3, 2013
    8
    I love it. It's so deep, fresh and so good that I never get tired of it. It's perfect in every way. Tracks like "Hanging On", "My Blood", "Anything Could Happen", "Figure 8" and "Explosions" are literally PERFECT, the lyrics, the sound, the music that is in the whole álbum is excellent. It's true that there are some songs that are no so good in the record, but they fit amazing in it. It'sI love it. It's so deep, fresh and so good that I never get tired of it. It's perfect in every way. Tracks like "Hanging On", "My Blood", "Anything Could Happen", "Figure 8" and "Explosions" are literally PERFECT, the lyrics, the sound, the music that is in the whole álbum is excellent. It's true that there are some songs that are no so good in the record, but they fit amazing in it. It's incredible how I never get tired listening to it. Expand
  25. Dec 5, 2013
    7
    She have a very unique and special voice. Hoping that her next album she plays with different kind of tone but currently her music are great and beautiful. Notably her lyrical sense, amazing.
  26. Nov 11, 2013
    10
    New reviewer reviewing my top cds of 2013 -gets at ten because it has so many great songs, enough for two cds and they are dance to dramAtic bubble bath enjoyable romantic an her voice is so sweet love ellie!
  27. Apr 13, 2014
    9
    Throughout the vast album, Ellie explores and dives into melancholic and heart-broken ballads, original and minimal covers, powerful and stylish electronic songs and flourish and gay pop tracks. Her voice is immaculate and fits with everything she tries to perform. Though the cd as a whole may turn a bit long, every tune is enjoyable and meaningful. Favourite songs? Apart from theThroughout the vast album, Ellie explores and dives into melancholic and heart-broken ballads, original and minimal covers, powerful and stylish electronic songs and flourish and gay pop tracks. Her voice is immaculate and fits with everything she tries to perform. Though the cd as a whole may turn a bit long, every tune is enjoyable and meaningful. Favourite songs? Apart from the underestimated Anything Could Happen and the excellent I Know You Care, the brilliant masterpiece Only You. Goulding has made it again. Fantastic work that must be listened, enjoyed and loved. Expand
  28. May 14, 2014
    10
    Ellie Goulding is a massive talent, but people haven't seen it yet. 4 years since her debut and already Hollywood aimed for her. Halcyon is the best album in this overloaded era of music. This is so weird, so nice, so full of sentiments... Her voice is fully naked and this means to be a great singer, although her lives sound almost with the studio. Go Ellie! I can't wait to see you highly!
  29. May 10, 2014
    8
    I love this album. She has a unique voice and the music is awesome. I really love lots of the songs, everyone is very unique but they all stray in the same sound. I really like her music, but it does seem like Ellie Goulding is a bit of a jerk in real life. Whatever, her music is still great.
  30. Jul 18, 2014
    10
    This is definitely one of the most beautiful pop record of the 2010s: Ellie's vocals are here at their best, whereas the songs are always intense and well-crafted.
Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Oct 24, 2012
    66
    Goulding can certainly inhabit a soundscape. Her next step is to inhabit just one.
  2. Oct 22, 2012
    60
    There is improvement in the songwriting....But halfway through you might well weary at the album's unrelenting, full-bodied tone. [Nov 2012, p.91]
  3. Oct 22, 2012
    80
    Halcyon casts a formidable spell. [Nov 2012, p.96]