Ellie Goulding Lights, Album, Polydor, March 1 **
She's the nation's new pop princess, with the Brit Awards' Critics Choice and the BBC Sound of 2010 awards already cluttering up her mantelpiece. The hype's been huge – so huge, in fact, that no one seems to have realised she hadn't even released an album before this week.
Singles Under The Sheets and Starry Eyed further fuelled the excitement. Floor fillers to the last beat, they seemed to back up the media whirl and were enough to send the likes of Little Boots and La Roux into a deep depression.
If you liked them, chances are you'll find something to like in Lights – it's more of the same girlish, whimsical electro-pop - but sadly it's not quite the complete package we'd hoped for.
Goulding has spoken about wanting to meld folk and pop, and if she's managed that it's neither as horrible nor exciting as the ambition sounds. The influence of her sometimes producer Frankmusik is all over it – her vocal's breathy and covered in house beats that without, would leave her sounding like less maudlin Dido.
It's a glossy, well produced slab of electro-pop but ultimately, with the exception of the afore mentioned singles, forgettable. A cruelly ironic title, it's heavy of style, but light on substance.