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Ellie Goulding - 'Under The Sheets'

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Fraser McAlpine | 14:20 UK time, Monday, 16 November 2009

Ellie Goulding

This was supposed to be a review of La Roux. I was supposed to be having a bit of a think about her success in 2009, maybe mentioning their vintage '80s synthpop credentials, Elly's quiff, and perhaps another little dig about the shrillness of her voice at times. So, in an act of TOTAL REBELLION, I've decided not to bother.

We all know what La Roux sounds like by now, right? Well they still sounds like it on their new single 'Quicksand', and that is because 'Quicksand' was also their first single, a year ago.

(Here's the video. Call that a pineapple, Calvin Harris? THIS is a pineapple!)

SO, here's what we're going to talk about instead. Ellie Goulding's immaculate frostypop masterpiece.

(Here's the video. In the House of Many Ellies, the housework magically does itself.)

It's not thrillingly retro, it's not home-made or the product of a tiny scene of London hipsters. Ellie does not have brilliantly-sculpted hair, or a bacofoil kimono. What she does have is a ghosty warble of a voice which sounds passionate and scared and bolshy and elvish all at the same time.

And it is put to great use here. From the first "like all the boys, boys, boys, boys" to the final go around on the pleading chorus, Ellie's voice dominates. There is barely a second of music which does not feature her vocal in some way, either as a muffled pixie choir, a lead instrument, or a soft, tumbledown wail in the background.

There are points where she sounds like a speeded-up and blended Florence album, there are bits where her throatal vibrato threatens to jellificate the entire song, and there's no doubt that prolonged exposure could rot your teeth, even though she clearly knows the Tooth Fairy on a first name basis...but this is a bewitching listen.

Five stars Download: Out now
CD Released: November 16th
www.elliegoulding.co.uk
BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)

PS: The Siobhan Donaghy revival starts here, people!

PPS: See Ellie performing at BBC Maida Vale, right here!

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