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Where did it go WRONG?
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JosephStyles
post Jun 23 2020, 11:00 PM
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Okay let's debate. Ellie's career right now isn't in the strongest position, but at which point did things really start to go pear-shaped for her - to the point where Power's become her lowest-charting single yet? I've included a selection of potential moments that you guys generally cite as being downhill moments for Ellie, so please, take your pick and, most importantly, tell us WHY!

My choice is Hate Me being a single. Though it got support and wasn't a complete flop, it didn't feel like the sort of big hit that she really could've done with at that point. Close to Me and Sixteen did reasonably well (and I don't think either of those are miles away from your typical Ellie pop single either), but Hate Me felt especially like she was pandering to a trend that was miles away from her as an artist. It had diminished radio support and I'm sure that led to Worry About Me suffering a similar fate (though I find that a FAR worse song and that was definitely the final nail in the coffin). Perhaps Worry About Me may have been snubbed entirely, or a C-C-C sort-of affair had River not given her a #1 in between? Mere speculation on my part but nevertheless, that's when I felt things really started going downhill for Ellie.

(perhaps it's a bit odd to say things went downhill before a #1 hit but I think we all know the situation with River and Alexa! laugh.gif)
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Andrew.
post Jun 23 2020, 11:12 PM
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Interesting topic. Ironic that the moment I begin to stan Ellie is when she starts flopping :')

I think all the options you put are responsible in some way. On My Mind was a hit but when you consider how HUGE she was, coming off a 4x platinum album they probably would've wanted it to better. It wasn't a song that sells loads of albums and in Q4 2015 you still needed very strong pure sales to hold up in the chart, I remember at the time her debuting behind Little Mix with Delirium was a shock. Army did fine but nothing else took off from the album, everyone says Something In The Way You Move should've led but I acc wonder if Lost and Found would've been huge and helped the album out. But Delriium still went platinum, it wasn't so bad an underperformance that she couldn't have come back from. The three year break is what really damaged her imo, Ellie isn't an act with a massive fanbase, she sells albums over time not in the first week so there was little casual interest and not enough stans to get it high on iTunes which does make a song more visible. And although I adore Close To Me, it's a fantastic pop song, both it and Sixteen aren't really what you come back with after 3 years. Pop had moved on and Ellie wasn't the golden girl.

Hate Me just didn't register although due to the TikTok I've heard it more outwith my own listening than any other song from Brightest Blue. I think the problem with doing a trap song is that style of music is sooooo far from what people perceive as Ellie and it wasn't really taken seriously. The initial performance of the singles showed she lost her pull to the casuals. Worry About Me which I also unashamedly love actually sounds more appealing to the GP but there was just no hype and it obviously didn't appeal to people who like Ellie. But who's to say the singles from Side A of the album would've done any better? Power is magical but it doesn't sound like a hit to me even forgetting about the damn mess we've had to endure

I acc think she should've released something in October 2019 when Hate Me had become a semi-hit in the US because of TikTok and there was some interest at least laugh.gif
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Jord
post Jun 23 2020, 11:44 PM
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Ellie kinda knew how she was as an artist with her first two eras but since then she’s kinda regressed at a time other females have either debuted and become big names in the industry (like Dua) or shown major progression in their careers (like Ariana, Gaga) So she’s kinda gotten a bit lost and side tracked.

Then there’s the fact we had quite a gap between Delirium and Close to Me. But Close to Me just wasn’t really lead single worthy in any way and was quite the confusing choice. Things would then just get worse and worse with each release. It’s unfortunate now that Power the genuine best track she’s done in ages is struggling so bad but she’s kinda hit a point where her fans she made with her first two albums especially are kinda not feeling the new sound by her but she’s also not really winning many new fans idk.

It’s kinda like she’s majorly regressed tbh she feels like a debut artist not someone who’s been hugely successful at one point and is ten years into her career. It’s a bit like she’s lost her identity more than anything. But her songs themselves lately most of the time have just felt so fodder like and beige and as though anyone could be behind them. It’s not impossible that she could claw back and get another hit though but it would take a lot of work or a major project that showcases her in a different light what then translates into winning over a new fan base or winning back her previous one.

I also think she could’ve been in a better position if we got an album after Close To Me the constant flow of singles but nothing to follow them up on is concerning. For all we know we could’ve had a killer album back in 2018 what’s now left on cutting room floor. She needs to just get this album out though and move on.
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Frenchie
post Jun 24 2020, 06:23 AM
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I think the main issue was the gap between Delirium and Close To Me. The music industry shifted so much in those years due to streaming and you couldn't just release a song and it debut really high in the charts. I think the fans she had back in 2015 maybe grew up and moved on to other artists in the three year gap.

Obviously the songs she's released recently haven't helped. Even though I've enjoyed all the songs that she has put out, they were definitely attempts at "Spotify hits" (I'm guessing this was mainly the labels choice) which kinda failed.

I don't really see her being chart successful again at this point, and I'm not looking forward to the album flopping hard. sad.gif
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Bjork
post Jun 24 2020, 08:03 AM
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regarding Hate Me, you all looking at it from a UK perspective, but in the US it was huge, obviously 100% due to Juice Wrld not Ellie
even right now the song is still in the top 200 on Spotify in the US and the total number of streams the song has had are gigantic
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gooddelta
post Jun 24 2020, 08:45 AM
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Everything about the last two years has been wrong. And you can sort of tell she feels that way about it too. I bet if and when she writes an autobiography she won’t look back at all fondly on this era or the hoops the record company seem to be making her jump through to score streaming hits at the complete expense of her artistry.

It’s a shame because I think she could still be scoring low top tens at least with big pop songs like Burn or Love Me Like You Do, there was no need to go down the rap feature route on almost every single. It may have helped her rack up streams but at what cost? Her happiness and her own musical desires and ideas being completely silenced or diluted presumably, though I’m very interested to hear the album if it’s more like Power and hopefully less like everything else she’s released since post-Delirium.
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Slick
post Jun 24 2020, 08:52 AM
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I think she's quite unrecognisable as an artist now, compared to her first two eras. As others have touched upon, she seems to have lost her USP and taken to desperately clamouring to make a song that will be a hit, rather than making music that she wants to make (ironic really, because it's not working.)

I think it probably started with 'On My Mind' which is the first time I remember her getting a lot of criticism for her musical direction. I did really enjoy that album though.
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gooddelta
post Jun 24 2020, 08:53 AM
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On the poll btw I voted Close To Me being a single as I think she’d have been fine leading with a killer pop song with no feature despite the long gap between eras. But I feel the root cause runs much deeper and longer, as it feels like she’s had a musical identity crisis for years and is quite clearly not releasing the singles she would release if she had full control over her career. The likes of Burn and Love Me Like You Do worked as they still felt authentic and like an amplified version of the poppier moments on Lights and Halcyon but songs like Sixteen and Worry About Me just don’t ring true at all, and feel so engineered for success, yet without really ticking any of the boxes needed to achieve it.
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JosephStyles
post Jun 24 2020, 10:23 AM
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QUOTE(Bjork @ Jun 24 2020, 09:03 AM) *
regarding Hate Me, you all looking at it from a UK perspective, but in the US it was huge, obviously 100% due to Juice Wrld not Ellie
even right now the song is still in the top 200 on Spotify in the US and the total number of streams the song has had are gigantic

But has it done any good for her as an artist? It has its fans but clearly it sent her further down the hip-hop inspired pop route with Worry About Me which derailed things further (and they clearly expected Hate Me to be bigger than it was in both the US and UK). Not to mention the very sad death of Juice WRLD being the reason it got a new lease of life.
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Scene
post Jun 24 2020, 11:56 AM
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I'm no expert on Ellie's career since I've never really been a fan (although I've enjoyed LMLYD and Sixteen). From an outsider's perspective, she began her career as one of those quirky British females of the late 00's/early 10's - in the same vein as Marina, Little Boots etc - and seemed to be on the border of indie and pop. She still had a bit of uniqueness to her music when she launched her second album but perhaps it wasn't deemed successful enough for the label's liking so they re-released it with the more accessible pop 'Burn'... maybe that is where it all went wrong for Ellie despite the song's massive success? She was also enjoying success with Calvin features around that time IIRC. Then she found huge success with her Fifty Shades Of Grey single which probably also played a part in Ellie/her team chasing pop trends with her next album.

I see people say she's clearly not releasing the music she would like to but do we know this for sure? Couldn't she have cut ties with her label if she was that unhappy with the music direction? Maybe she values success over critical acclaim idk.
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Bré
post Jun 25 2020, 05:03 PM
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I really believe that, even though it was a massive hit, 'Burn' was the moment where she jumped the shark. It just felt like at that moment she sold her soul to chase generic pop hits and lost what made her unique in the first place. And that strategy could only work for her for so long.

(edit: I realise this is basically restating what the last post said lol)
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blacksquare
post Jun 25 2020, 05:30 PM
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Waiting years after an underperforming album is going to be difficult for most artists to come back from. They could have at least attempted to re-release 'Delirium' the following summer and try another 'Halcyon' resurrection.

Her career, while more successful, has had similar issues to Charli XCX — mainstream success has been both a blessing and a curse, and they essentially became two artists in one trying to find somewhere to fit. Charli has found her niche but Ellie hasn't.
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blacksquare
post Jun 25 2020, 05:38 PM
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I'll always be annoyed by the 'Delirium' abandonment — there are numerous singles there (none called 'Army', which should have been an instant grat). 'Something in the Way You Move' was the perfect summer follow-up to 'Love Me Like You Do', and 'Lost & Found' has always sounded like an album seller. 'Codes' still sounds like a hit. Oh well.


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JosephStyles
post Jun 25 2020, 08:56 PM
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I say all the time that Delirium deserved SO much more. I don't think On My Mind was a bad lead single (it's popular with the general public even if Buzzjack hates it...!!) but they should have followed it up with a more commercial, less divisive second single (ie. Something In the Way You Move). The campaign could easily have gone on for longer after that, and with a re-issue like blacksquare said, I think we'd be looking at Delirium in a better light now.
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Andrew.
post Jun 25 2020, 09:05 PM
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QUOTE(JosephStyles @ Jun 25 2020, 09:56 PM) *
I say all the time that Delirium deserved SO much more. I don't think On My Mind was a bad lead single (it's popular with the general public even if Buzzjack hates it...!!) but they should have followed it up with a more commercial, less divisive second single (ie. Something In the Way You Move). The campaign could easily have gone on for longer after that, and with a re-issue like blacksquare said, I think we'd be looking at Delirium in a better light now.

It was popular with the GP then but is it really particularly well remembered? I think Something In The Way You Move or Lost and Found would’ve done just as well or better but would’ve sold the album! Army wasn’t really pushed a lot until 2016 so there was nothing but On My Mind to sell it in Q4 which meant it couldn’t hold up to the likes of Little Mix and 1D who released at the same time.
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blacksquare
post Jun 25 2020, 09:34 PM
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I think 'On My Mind' performed as it did solely because it was the new single from Ellie Goulding following 'Love Me Like You Do' — perhaps people liked it but they clearly didn't like it enough to buy the album. I genuinely think ‘Something in the Way You Move’ and ‘Lost & Found’ would have been hits as well as album sellers.

This post has been edited by blacksquare: Jun 25 2020, 10:04 PM
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Liam.k.
post Jun 25 2020, 10:07 PM
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I can see why 'On My Mind' was picked as the lead even though I prefer other songs which would have made even greater lead singles. I do think 'Army' as second single was more damaging - a second-rate copy of 'Love Me Like You Do' that only performed as well as it did because of the ITV advert which was broadcast in every ad-break. The era just seemed to be dropped after that. Such a shame as 'Something in the Way You Move' and 'Lost & Found' were right there.

Regarding the question, I agree that we can trace back where it went wrong to 'Burn' and it was just a series of bad decisions since then. I quite liked 'Close to Me' but it was clear she was chasing streaming hits from this point - it was almost like she was spinning a wheel and went with whatever style or genre it landed on.
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JosephStyles
post Jun 25 2020, 10:07 PM
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I've posted this before on here but Ellie's Summertime Ball set last year mostly went down like a lead balloon (not helped by the fact it sounded oddly quiet). I Need Your Love and Burn got muted reactions, Love Me Like You Do obviously got a huge one, but On My Mind got the second best crowd response! It went down really well, so yeah, I'd say it's pretty well remembered (and bearing in mind this is more likely to be a casual audience rather than Ellie stans)
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HarryBorelli
post Jun 25 2020, 10:31 PM
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I think it has to be the long wait between the two eras and tbh i dont think she had many releases in between so she didnt have much there so people wouldn't miss her when she came back
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slowdown73
post Jun 26 2020, 11:36 PM
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I think there are a mix of reasons for her decline. The newer songs just haven’t been as good or consistent. A long delay between the latest release and her last album and its harder for artists to keep up the momentum after 2-3 albums as most artists realistically have a 3-5 year window of success.
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