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CD REVIEW: Ellie Goulding's Lights

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THE DEAL: Brit songstress Ellie Goulding releases U.S. version of Lights album.

THE GOOD: From the moment it kicks off with "Lights," the disc makes it clear that an indie form of electro pop is its cornerstone. Songs are so catchy, almost infecting from that point on. There's the synth heavy/dance-floor cozy single, "Starry Eyed," followed by "This Love (Will Be Your Downfall)" and "Every Time You Go." But others, like "Guns and Horses" and "The Writer," take down the disco ball using softer, crisper sounds without all the extra snazzy production effects. Goulding's vocals are fresh and able to forego the emotional haul of her slightly melancholic lyrics. She reminds me a little bit of Nina Persson of The Cardigans. The album's bonus track features a cover of Elton John's "Your Song." The most stripped down number on the CD, this sad piano tune is Goulding at her most acoustic and she does that well, too.

THE BAD: The hype is that Goulding mixes pop and folk. I'm just not seeing the whole folk element. Don't go in expecting it or you might be disappointed.

THE VERDICT: Nominated for "British Female Solo Artist" and "British Breakthrough Act" at the 2011 BRIT Awards, it'll be interesting to see how Ellie Goulding breaks her teeth into the states. Lights is a pretty darn impressive debut.

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