Lights

Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Mar 8, 2011
    60
    The results are moody ("Lights"), pretty (the Top Five U.K. hit "Starry Eyed") and uniformly catchy. On first listen, Goulding can sound innocuous: Dido with dancier beats. But there's darkness here. And lots of sex.
  2. Devoid of a true soul or sense of honesty Lights can be a pretty hollow listen. You could argue that away from the aforementioned hype-led anticipation that this album would surprise and charm; yet without the vested interest of big wigs and shareholders Lights might simply not be here.
  3. Unfairly or otherwise, Lights will be consumed by many with the weight of expectation hanging heavy around it. For the most part, the strength of the songwriting should keep the doubters at bay.
  4. It's an impressive attempt to drag folk music out of the hayloft and onto the dancefloor and it marks the emergence of a smart, sincere and talented new pop star.
  5. Starry-eyed debut hits more often than misses.
  6. It seems that six of the ten tracks are great collaborations, and the other four are not. As a result, Lights sounds incomplete and inconsistent, and doesn't work as a whole.
  7. 50
    The result is that most of what makes Goulding's work appealing, such as her voice and instrumentation, is lost underneath generic synthesizers that turn these songs into standard pop fare.
  8. You certainly don't reject it outright though, not immediately, as almost every song at least knows the function of a chorus and everything has a glittery and palatable radiance, but such anodyne, airbrushed electro-pop leaves you searching for the magic ingredients.
  9. There's no getting around the fact that Goulding's appeal is aimed squarely at the middle of the road.
  10. 40
    Lights does have its moments: the strident "Uner The Sheets" and the odd sounds of the Frankmusik-produced "Wish I stayed" stand Out. But when they're placed next to the overwrought, cliched ballad "The Writer" or the dodgy Europop of "I'll Hold My Breath" it adds up to a rather bland listen. [Apr 2010, p.92]
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 96 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 20
  2. Negative: 1 out of 20
  1. Apr 27, 2012
    10
    Ellie Goulding's debut album is strong in it's own way. The lyrics are as charming as her tender voice and the production is also consistent.Ellie Goulding's debut album is strong in it's own way. The lyrics are as charming as her tender voice and the production is also consistent. Strong recommendations for Starry Eyed, The Writer, This Love and Everytime You Go. Full Review »
  2. Apr 28, 2015
    8
    Lights is an exceptionally strong debut. The production is lush and wonderful, and the songwriting is generally quite good. But Ellie's uniqueLights is an exceptionally strong debut. The production is lush and wonderful, and the songwriting is generally quite good. But Ellie's unique voice is what really sets Lights apart from other synth pop that would be otherwise indistinguishable. Ellie sort of reminds me of a more upbeat version of Dido, another favorite artist of mine, so this album really appeals to me, especially since the quality is more or less consistent all the way through. Standout tracks include Lights and Guns and Horses. Full Review »
  3. Feb 4, 2015
    10
    I've been listening to this album for close to 3 years and it hasn't gotten old. Listen to the second song on the album; if you like that thenI've been listening to this album for close to 3 years and it hasn't gotten old. Listen to the second song on the album; if you like that then listen to the rest. The songs get slightly weaker as you go down the album, but still great for a repeat listen. Full Review »