Lights - Ellie Goulding
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. Dec 19, 2011
    70
    Goulding is able to take the best parts of all of her contemporaries' styles and make them her own, coating everything in the breathy flutter of her voice.
  3. Mar 14, 2011
    80
    Goulding's crackling voice is capable of affecting a prostrate pose in the midst of the swirl that suggests the latter's folk-tinged vulnerability.
  4. 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.
  5. Mar 7, 2011
    70
    On this debut full-length, already a U.K. No. 1, she glides through blippy anthems ("Starry Eyed"), pumping disco ("Animal"), and delicate grooves ("Lights") with a pixie-ish voice that's one notch sweeter than Metric's Emily Haines.
  6. Good news: Lights is an expectations-passing collection that should see fans of the singer's material to date elevating her to superstar status.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Outside of its immediate context, Lights is a sometimes great, always promising debut. It's an album about leaving home, and it works best when the contrast between the folk singer and the pop production chimes with the tensions between the pull of home and the allure of the city.
  11. Aspiring to find a middle ground between her folk background and the burgeoning success of electro-pop is an enterprising objective, but it is one which Goulding predominantly succeeds in through her genuine sincerity.
  12. 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.
  13. Starry-eyed debut hits more often than misses.
  14. There's no getting around the fact that Goulding's appeal is aimed squarely at the middle of the road.
  15. 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.
  16. 67
    Warbling like a sanitized Bjork over coffeehouse-ready club beats, she pulls her weight on the first half before lights grows dim. [11 Mar 2011, p.76]
  17. 80
    Lights feels like the product of a distinctive personality, following a peculiar vision rather than ticking genre boxes. [Apr 2010, p.90]
  18. Goulding is packed with intriguing contradictions and you can sense most of them on Lights.[Apr 2010, p.107]
  19. 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
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 80 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 18
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 18
  3. Negative: 1 out of 18
  1. Dec 17, 2014
    7
    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 mismoEllie 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. Full Review »
  2. Jul 18, 2014
    10
    Surprisingly outstanding, this album manages to find a perfect balance between a classy electro-pop and a well-crafted indie-folk style: oneSurprisingly outstanding, this album manages to find a perfect balance between a classy electro-pop and a well-crafted indie-folk style: one coudn't imagine a more impressive debut album. Full Review »
  3. Aug 14, 2013
    2
    No. Just no. It's not very impressive when one song ("Lights") is such a huge number one hit, and all the other songs flop. It kind of misleads you...