Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Ellie Goulding - Halcyon - Album Review

Since I discovered the sound of this young British lady, I just can't get enough of listening to her innovative sonorities. Despite fame came to Goulding last summer with her massive hit Lights, but published in 2010, I still appreciate her humbleness and perseverance along her style. I think it may be the precious advice of her boyfriend Skrillex, who actually collaborated with some huge music gods (see Matt Bellamy and friends).

Halcyon is the result of such hard work and with this album it seems that finally Ellie was able to match the huge expectations gravitating around her. At first listening, it may seems a Florence + The Machine album sprinkled with eerie and ghosty sonorities but with a more dancy side. What caught me the most in this work are definetely drums and synths. The perfect tools to make Ellie's unique and shy voice sounds far more precious. A good example is Don't Say A Word which may sounds quite chaotic at the start, but gets clearer and clearer thanks to polite drums which give an electro folk background.

Halcyon is full of tracks that might turn into stunning hits. My Blood is one of that. Nothing special actually if it wasn't for a great chorus climax during which Goulding's voice morphs and reaches very new dissonancies. Another nice track is marchy and synthsfull Anything Could Happen chosen as leading single. But by far my fav track is Figure 8, produced by Mr. Mike Spencer (producer of newbies like Kylie or Jamiroquai), which alternates heavy dubstep drums to shy harp chords embellished with Goulding's voic. Very similar to Atlantis too.

But Halcyon gives us also two good collaborations: one with London rapper Tinie Tempah in Hanging On...wow to Goulding's in alt singing alteration. And the other with house master Calvin Harris in I Need Your Love. A+.
Only You gives addiction: with her (autotuned) voice Goulding's instill notes directly to the brain and you just can't help but repeat the track once again.
Failed try to balance the track with ballads like Explosions and I Know You Care...great for those who suffer of insomnia.

In the end Halcyon definetely consecrates Ellie Goulding as the alternative ethereal European lady which was actually still missing in the scene. A good new music perspective.

TheMusigger rating: 4/5 
The single: Figure 8


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Bjork - Hyperballad

Sometimes I think it's good to stop and look back at the start. I think it's a mantra which is very true in music since our favourite styles are actually the fruit of the musical stock we collected in our life. That's why I decided to write something about one of the most ecleptic and yet avanguardist contemporary artist: Bjork.

I think the biggest talent of Bjork is the capability to use the right sounds to address the feelings she wants to deliver with the lyrics of her songs. It was 1995 when Bjork published her masterpiece Post. A very fertile period made of deep evolutions: rock bands like No Doubt and U2 gain huge success, hip hop makes its massive entrance in the commercial panorama (remember Coolio and his Gansta Paradise or Shaggy's Boombastic), boy and girl bands bands become teenagers' idol. 
But eveolution also means leveraging and building up on the past. Indeed Bjork was able to combine tradition and avantgarde like no other artist before.

Hyperballad is a fabolous example of her artistic vein. Hyperballad isn't a love song, perhaps is a songs about love and relations. A world of morbid routine made of private neurosis in which the only way to evade from the other is a made-of-destruction research of oxygen. Bjork sings about her private ritual, followed by house music impulses in contrast with the acoustic arrangement of the song. A never broken balance which proceeds until the end, when the track explodes with a liberating conclusion with high dance intensity.

In Hyperballad Bjork reaches her huge expressive talents, that will be hardly repeated in her next efforts. The consacration of an artist. Enjoy Hyperballad.