Ellie Goulding – Halcyon Nights

Polydor Limited

Release Date: October 12th 2022

Reviewed by: Joshua Andre

Ellie Goulding– Halcyon Nights (Amazon mp3/iTunes)

Track Listing:

  1. Don’t Say A Word
  2. My Blood
  3. Anything Could Happen
  4. Only You
  5. Halcyon
  6. Figure 8
  7. Joy
  8. Hanging On
  9. Explosions
  10. I Know You Care
  11. Atlantis
  12. Dead In The Water
  13. I Need You Love (with Calvin Harris)
  14. Burn
  15. Goodness Gracious
  16. You Are My Everything
  17. Hearts Without Chains
  18. Stay Awake (with Madeon)
  19. Under Control
  20. How Long Will I Love You
  21. Tessellate
  22. Ritual
  23. In My City
  24. Without Your Love
  25. Hanging On (with Tinie Tempah)
  26. Midas Touch (with Burns)
  27. Flashlight (with DJ Fresh)
  28. The Ending
  29. Beating Heart
  30. Mirror (from Hunger Games: Catching Fire)
  31. Bittersweet

It’s amazing at how God speaks to you when you are quiet. When there is no noise and no distractions. 2020 basically had no distractions… as we all were at home trying to beat the pandemic (currently COVID-19 is in our community and I guess we just have to live with it!)… and when we’re alone with our thoughts, I guess that’s when we can hear God much clearer. For me personally, I’ve been branching out and listening to all types of music (for Jon’s and my blog series about influential artists!)… and one album I had been listening to heavily throughout the pandemic, was Ellie Goulding’s Brightest Blue. Now I myself don’t know much about Ellie’s music (and I still don’t, aside from a few singles here and there, like “Love Me Like You Do”, “Burn”, and “Still Falling For You” to name a few!), however in 2021 when I reviewed her 2020 album, Ellie was present on Jon’s blog series of influential artists of all-time list (we ultimately ended up not writing about her though!);but this meant that I decided to take the plunge one day and listen to her music- starting with the latest effort Brightest Blue. The result is an EDM and dance and inspirational experience unlike any other, and truly one of the most shining lights of 2020. Not a fan of Ellie though? I’m certain that 19 tracks of dance/pop goodness will convince you of Ellie’s brilliance and her ability to speaks works of comfort and wisdom to each one of us when we need it!

Since that time, Ellie has released her latest album Higher Than Heaven, and while we will review the project at a later date this year, I want to briefly touch upon her 2022 reissue of Halcyon, now called Halcyon Nights. The 32-track album celebrates 10 years of the 2012 album Halcyon, with the original album and rare demos, remix tracks, B-sides, and everything an Ellie Goulding fan could want for and dream about. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a massive fan of Ellie’s dance/pop/club/experimental/laid-back/chill music (is this an entire genre all on it’s own?), even after listening to Brightest Blue, and so I approached this new-ish release with trepidation and dread. Because who in their right mind listens to a 32 track album? that’s crazy, am I right?

Thankfully, because this isn’t a brand new album per se, and includes songs that some of us have heard before and other songs that people have been aching for and clamouring for, for some time; this means that Halycon Nights is an album that you van place on in the background while you do the dishes, while you cook, while you vacuum, while you watch a movie, while you make your bed and do your chores, while you study, while you eat dinner… you get the picture. You don’t even need to be a fan of Ellie’s music or know what she’s singing about lyrically in this album to fully appreciate the musical genius of Ellie’s project and her 2022 re-issue. Not that Ellie sings super superficial songs (sometimes she does), but the purpose of Halcyon Nights is for celebration, for dancing, for letting your hair down and hopefully for having this album be an album that can be used as a soundtrack for a part in your life. Get what I mean? Yes, the songs drag. I mean, it’s 32 songs! The latter part of the second disc falls flat melodically somewhat- and as I’ve read the only review online of Halcyon Nights from a listener who seems to be more of an Ellie Goulding fan than myself, what other reason do I have than to defer to the expert in the room? I could do a song-by-song analysis of each of the 32 melodies and speak about the lyrics in depth. What good would that do though, when the targeted audience for this album are die-hard fans, who know the lines to every song? Halcyon Nights is a project for partying- and let’s leave the introspective lyrics for Higher Than Heaven shall we?

32 tracks is definitely a mouthful. It’s definitely too much in terms of number of songs- and insane for the casual fan (like myself) to examine and digest. But as I’ve listened (or more like had the album on in the background) to Halcyon Nights for a while, I can say that this release, from me knowing nothing much about Ellie Goulding, is near flawless, as we are presented with a celebration of love, life, and everything else in between. To tell you the truth, I’m not really a fan of dance/pop and EDM. But this album has me moving my toes and my feet, and all the while listening to many of the thought-provoking lyrics in some of these melodies. With such a strong track list as well as hit songs and underrated soon-to-be-classics, we are presented with one of the most underrated deluxe edition albums of 2022, yet also one of the strongest. So what more could you ask for on an album like this? Just… take a listen! No more questions… because you all have to trust me, alright?

8 songs to listen to: My Blood, Anything Could Happen, I Need Your Love, Burn, Goodness Gracious, You My Everything, Beating Heart, Mirror

Score: 4.5/5

RIYL: Carly Rae Jepsen, Dua Lipa, Selena Gomez, Jessie J, Jennifer Lopez, Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Alicia Keys

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