Halcyon - Ellie Goulding
Halcyon Image
Metascore
69

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

User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 127 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
    70
    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
    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]
  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: 26 out of 28
  2. Negative: 1 out of 28
  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. Expand
  2. 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 Expand
  3. 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 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
    Expand
  4. 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 totally throws off the flow. Expand
  5. 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.
  6. 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's incredible how I never get tired listening to it. Expand
  7. 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 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!
    Expand

See all 28 User Reviews