A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Halcyon is Brit newcomer Ellie Goulding's sophomore effort. It has a lot of mature content concerning breaking up and lost love, but the exceptional music and vocals are what really capture your attention. The unedited version of "Hanging On" features "f--k" a few times, but otherwise the album is clean. Because of the mature themes and focus on relationships, the album is best for teens and up.
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What's the story?
Is it any good?
Like the mythical halcyon bird, Goulding glides above the anthemic music and rich electro-pop, charming the wind and sea into calmness. The music on Halcyon is emotional, with dramatic lyrics and sweeping synth-tricks and tribal booms that drive much of the album. Paired with Goulding's striking upper register that mimics the spunk and style of Dolly Parton but also the depth and vulnerability of Enya, the songs here are unlike any other music by a female artist. "Don't Say a Word" is both gritty and twinkling, and "Anything Could Happen" and "Only You" show that Goulding has the vocal capability to be intense and raw like her fellow countrywoman, Adele.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why so much music is about breaking up and the end of relationships. Why is this topic so interesting to artists?
Is Ellie Goulding a typical pop star? Why or why not?
What makes Goulding's music unique? Can you think of other pop artists that stand out from the pack?
For kids who love powerful female vocalists
Our editors recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.