Halcyon - Ellie Goulding
Halcyon Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 138 Ratings

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  • Summary: The second release for the British pop singer was produced by Jim Eliot.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. 83
    Halcyon could have gone for easy crossovers. But the album is slightly too weird for that--and that's what makes it good.
  2. 80
    Her second album, however, belatedly delivers on all Goulding's latent promise.
  3. 75
    On Halcyon she marries thoughtful ruminations on young love to whooshing synth riffs and hard-edged machine beats; the album claims electronic dance music as the natural province of sensitive singer-songwriters.
  4. Oct 8, 2012
    An ambitious work by an artist intent on developing her total sound, Halcyon finds Goulding poised at the edge of artistic and career possibilities.
  5. Oct 22, 2012
    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]
  6. She makes a half-decent dance diva on "I Need Your Love", but I'd ask whether that doesn't defeat the object of being Ellie Goulding, though I still don't know what that object is.
  7. Mainly, Halcyon sees Goulding's quirky-as-usual vocals lazily spliced into factory-standard chart dance.

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 29
  2. Negative: 1 out of 29
  1. Oct 10, 2012
    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. Collapse
  2. Nov 11, 2013
    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! Expand
  3. Oct 9, 2012
    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 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
  4. Nov 7, 2012
    Her Voice Is Amazing! Very Creative Lyrics! Do I Smell A Grammy Nomination?
  5. Apr 13, 2014
    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 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
  6. Feb 2, 2014
    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. Expand
  7. Mar 31, 2013
    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!

See all 29 User Reviews