Ellie Goulding – Brightest Blue

Ellie Goulding - Brightest Blue



3.4/5 Pros

  • The album illustrates a lot of potential
  • Some really nice pop tracks Cons

  • Too many confusing songs
  • The core album and the bonus part feel like an album and an EP of another time
  • Ridiculous overture for the EG.O. add-on

Ellie Goulding was quite an active artist during the 2010’s. With Brightest Blue, the Brit is back in the record stores. The album has been released on 17th July 2020.


Ellie Goulding – About the Artist

Elena Jane Goulding was born on 30th December 1986 in Hereford, England. She started writing songs at the age of 15 and signed her first record deal at the age of 22. While her debut single Under the Sheets just made it to the 53rd spot in the charts (2009), she had two top five hits in the UK the year thereafter, Starry Eyed and Your Song. Both songs were also quite successful in Ireland. The corresponding album, Lights, even topped the US charts. Her following albums, Halcyon (2012) and Delirium (2015) performed very well, too. However, the latter one no longer made it to the top of the UK charts. A re-release of Halycon, Halycon Days, also featured one of her biggest single hits so far, Burn (2013). However, her 2015 Love Me Like You Do topped the charts in several markets. A 2019 non-album single, River, topped the UK charts again, but did not record any other chart placement in a major market. Brightest Blue is Goulding’s fourth studio album.


Ellie Goulding – Brightest Blue – Track by Track

The album includes 18 tracks and lasts 56 minutes. Thereby the album is split into two parts: the first thirteen songs  are the main album, the remaining five ones are some sort of appendix called EG.O. Apart from the intro, all songs of that part have already been published.

1. Start (feat. Serpentwithfeet)

Wise title selection, just in order you miss that the album is incepting… Hmm, I don’t really know that Start shall be exactly. It is a slow electro-pop track, not really catching me. The collaboration with Serpentwithfeet is quite nice, though.

2. Power

Okay, we know this one, very likely. Radio stations played the track and again. Nice composition – especially the chorus is a smash!

3. How Deep Is Too Deep

That you’re doing nothing wrong, cause you give me just enough
Waiting for another one you don’t have to love
You hold me so tight say it’s getting too deep for you
But how deep is too deep

Hmm, hard to really say. A slow electro-pop track. It is definitely nice storytelling. Maybe I am too far away from the genre to really love the song – but it is definitely not a bad one!

4. Cyan

I only knew I would be the strongest version
Of what I was first given
The strongest dose of the love I was given
Sometimes I had to trample with tears in my eyes
Over the things I knew I couldn’t help
Until I was strong enough to carry them with me instead
A route with pain, a route with joy
There should be no delusion of that magnitude
You should know the truth
I am not locked in my bones
I have been changed forever
And it makes the love you’re given change too

Cyan is a narrative element, an intermission. Quite intense arrangement, one minute roughly. Atmospheric.

5. Love I’m Given

Love I’m Given definitely gets me! Cool, melodic, modern pop track. Definitely like that one!

6. New Heights

New Heights is very slow, very melancholic. Maybe the track which confuses me most so far. I rechecked multiple times whether I have another stream running – the arrangement is sometimes just having too many sounds in parallel. No, not my one.

7. Ode To Myself

Why not singing a song to the most important person in your life – yourself?! The song is again on the confusing side to me. It is not dance-pop, it is not super-deep…. Overall, I do not see the clear reason why I should listen to it… Sorry

8. Woman

Yes, as an old guy, I may not understand Ode To Myself, but I understand ballads. The piano ballad has a lovely atmosphere. Goulding’s voice gives a very special atmosphere to that track.

I faced my fears ’till I made it here
Now I don’t know where to stand
But I know it’s not over
If I’m losing touch
If I love too much
I’ll just leave it up to chance
That’s just the woman I am

And the song is about herself as well 🙂

9. Tides

That’s a song to make your hips move. Tides has a touch of club sound. Unfortunately, just when I am in the mood to move, it stops for a quiet intermission and gets worse thereafter. Bad luck.

10. Wine Drunk

Wine Drunk is another 50 second intermission, this time with distorted voices. Hmm, I felt the first one was way better.

11. Bleach

Bleach will not turn Ellie Goulding to a legend of pop, but it is a pretty solid pop track with some R&B touch – just the stuff you need when you sell your music in the radio.

12. Flux

Power is the key track of the album so far, definitely – but the ballad Flux is definitely a very good episode of Brightest Blue as well. Goulding is really great in these kind of songs. Good!

13. Brightest Blue

Right before we come to the EG.O tracks, here is the album title track. It feels a bit like Power me – in a very reduced and significantly less powerful version. With that, it just becomes too average.

EG.O Songs
1. Overture

Here we are, the second part of the album, the extra tracks, the appendix – however you like to call it. It starts pretentious – this Overture features an orchestra and a choir.

2. Worry About Me (feat. Blackbear)

The step from the Overture to Worry About Me feels like a big kiss in the *ss – or driving against a wall full speed. Worry About Me has nothing to do with the track before, so it just takes a but to recover from that confusing. The song itself is a typical radio track – one of these ones which sells well and which makes me asks why radio stations play it. Feels unspecific.

3. Slow Grenade (feat. Lauv)

I criticized the track before – Slow Grenade definitely has some catching elements. But overall, this collaboration is a bit too thin as well. Bad luck, as this one really feels to have some potential.

4. Close To Me (feat. Diplo & Swae Lee)

Okay, this was a radio success already. And it is definitely not a bad one. Much more catchy than the song before.

5. Hate Me (feat. Juice WRLD)

Just say I am too old, it’s fine. To me, Hate Me starts so nice, feels like a modern and good pop track… and than there is that Juice WRLD hip hop part, which to me spoils the whole song. I just do not feel a connection between these elements. Okay, without that, it would have been a two minutes shortie… So maybe it was the story, which is just a two minute one. Feels sad to me.


Ellie Goulding – Brightest Blue – Spotify

Here is the Spotify link to Ellie Goulding’s fourth album:


Ellie Goulding – Brightest Blue – My View

Brightest Blue is a sad album to me. It has so good elements, so good quality – in too short periods of the album. Ellie Goulding definitely proofs that she can do really good and modern pop music – but then she is using too many elements, which are just spoiling it. Adding an EP with radio pop and a ridiculous overture at the end does not change anything. If Goulding defines her concept, her style, she will be brilliant (again). She illustrates it so much in some of the songs. So far we are in the upper average ranges – with something economic rating agencies would call a positive outlook.


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