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Ellie Goulding, "Lights" (Interscope/Cherrytree Records)
Yes, Ellie Goulding's debut album "Lights" is full of electro-dance beats and some tracks even make use of Auto-Tune, but it's not another overproduced dance album: She's got artistic heft. Her voice drips with emotion and her lyrics are honest and straight forward, both ingredients that make for a top-notch album.
The songs are as appealing as Goulding: She's telling her lover she isn't sticking around on the drum and electric guitar-fused "Every Time You Go," and she's pleading — in a lovely cry — that he stay around on the eerie-sounding "Salt Skin." And on one song she sings: "We're under the sheets and you're killing me."
Even when Goulding is not saying it in her own words, she is still convincing — check out her brilliant cover of Elton John's "This Song," which was produced by Ben Lovett of Mumford & Sons.
Besides that tune, the 25-year-old co-wrote every track on the 11-song set, working on most of the album with producer Starsmith. She's won over the United Kingdom: She's multiplatinum there and has two Top 5 hits. She also performed at the reception for the royal wedding.
Now America just needs to catch on.