Commercial performanceEdit

Halcyon debuted at number two on the UK Albums Chart and at number one on the UK Download Albums Chart,[1] selling 33,425 copies in its first week, 10.3% less than the opening figure for Lights.[2] The following week, it fell to number seven on sales of 11,082 copies.[3] Following the Halcyon Days re-release in August 2013, the album jumped from number twenty-six to number three on sales of 15,883 units, achieving its highest chart placing since its debut.[4] By September 2013, the album had sold 353,088 copies altogether in the UK.[4]

The album debuted at number eight on the Irish Albums Chart.[5] The Halcyon Days reissue propelled the album to a new peak position of number seven on the Irish chart for the week ending 29 August 2013.[6] In the United States, the album debuted at number nine on the Billboard 200 with 34,000 copies sold in its opening week.[7] Elsewhere, it reached number three in New Zealand, number eight in Canada,[8] number sixteen in Australia, number twenty-two in Germany, number twenty-three in Switzerland, number twenty-seven in Belgium and number eighty-five in France.[9]

On the 65th week of the UK charts, Halcyon successfully reached number one and is her second album to reach number one on the UK charts following Lights. The album too reached a new position of 1 in the Irish and Scottish charts and jumped from 18 to 14 in the Belgian (Flanders) charts.


Weekly chartsEdit

Chart (2012–14) Peak
Australian Albums Chart[10] 16
Austrian Albums Chart[11] 51
Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders)[9] 14
Belgian Albums Chart (Wallonia)[12] 28
Canadian Albums Chart[8] 8
Czech Albums Chart[13] 49
Danish Albums Chart[14] 37
Dutch Albums Chart[15] 48
French Albums Chart[16] 85
German Albums Chart[17] 8
Irish Albums Chart[6] 1
New Zealand Albums Chart[18] 3
Norwegian Albums Chart[19] 23
Polish Monthly Albums Chart[20] 90
Scottish Albums Chart[21] 1
Swiss Albums Chart[22] 7
UK Albums Chart[23] 1
Billboard 200[7] 9

Year-end chartsEdit

Chart (2013) Position
Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders)[24] 53
Belgian Albums Chart (Wallonia)[25] 162
Irish Albums Chart[26] 16
New Zealand Albums Chart[27] 23
UK Albums Chart[28] 10
US Billboard 200[29] 118

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 69/100[30]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 [31]
The Daily Telegraph 4/5[32]
Entertainment Weekly B+[33]
The Guardian 3/5[34]
The Independent 3/5[35]
Los Angeles Times 3/4[36]
NME 5/10[37]
PopMatters 7/10[38]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5[39]
USA Today 3/4[40]

Halcyon received generally positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an weighted average score of 69, based on 17 reviews.[30] The Daily Telegraph's Neil McComick wrote that Goulding's voice is "really something special", concluding, "[A]s luxuriously epic as Enya yet with the kind of dynamism of Florence + the Machine, Goulding's poetically opaque lyrics gain real dramatic weight. On a big, bold album, Goulding gives the expression 'singing like a bird' a whole new dimension."[32] Melissa Maerz of Entertainment Weekly commented that the album has "harp solos, digitally tweaked cyborg harmonies, and at least one tribute to bodily fluids ('My Blood'). But they're anchored by giant, disco-ball hooks and the type of dance beats you might find on a NOW That's What I Call Music! comp."[33] Mikael Wood of the Los Angeles Times remarked that on Halcyon, Goulding "marries thoughtful ruminations on young love to whooshing synth riffs and hard-edged machine beats; the album claims electronic dance music as the natural province of sensitive singer-songwriters."[36] Michael Cragg of The Fly referred to the album as "a bold and confident step forward".[41]

AllMusic editor Matt Collar stated that Goulding "dresses up her powerful lark of a voice with a delicately laced veil of digital effects." He continued, "An ambitious work by an artist intent on developing her total sound, Halcyon finds Goulding poised at the edge of artistic and career possibilities."[31] In a review for Rolling Stone, Will Hermes expressed, "If the songwriting doesn't quite measure up to U.K. art-pop divas like Kate Bush, the hooks always go to town, and her voice—Dolly Parton-dazzling in the upper register—mates gorgeously with electronics".[39] PopMatters' Geoff Nelson concluded, "On Halcyon Goulding amplifies her music genealogy, both who she is and who she's been, in what is an often successful attempt to transition to iconic stardom [...] The outcome is a bit flawed and a very loud version of her biggest and smallest self."[38] USA Today's Jerry Shriver viewed that on Halcyon, Goulding "presents an edgier, more aggressive showcase for her swooping, stratosphere-piercing vibrato", while noting that "[h]er tone, balanced between girlish and womanly, is appealing, as is her clear intent to be an Artist. One wishes, however, she'd frolic in the heather now and then for contrast."[40] Despite calling the album a "well-crafted, stylish piece of work", Andy Gill of The Independent felt that "it's hard to love songs that try to hide."[35] The Guardian's Rebecca Nicholson opined that the album "isn't nearly as wet as its predecessor", but added that "the main flaw of Halcyon is that it occasionally feels a bit too much—and that's something Goulding, perennially painted as the timid type, may not be so sad about."[34] Hayley Avron of the NME critiqued, "Mainly, Halcyon sees Goulding's quirky-as-usual vocals lazily spliced into factory-standard chart dance. On 'Joy' and 'I Know You Care' her artistry is briefly allowed to breathe, away from the desperate bombast of the suffocating backing tracks."[37]

Halcyon received mixed reviews from Swedish music critics. At the website Kritiker, which assigns a normalised rating out of 5.0 to reviews from mainstream critics across Sweden, the album received an average score of 2.6, based on seven reviews.[42] Peter Lindholm of Metro gave the album three out of five and compared it to Florence and the Machine and Adele, while noting that the album contains "bombastic electropop and orchestral ballads".[43] Mattias Dahlström of Dagens Nyheter, rating the album two out of five, praised Goulding's vocals and observed "more complex arrangements", but dismissed the album's music as "anonymous radiopop".[44]


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  2. Jones, Alan (15 October 2012). "Official Charts Analysis: Mumford & Sons enter 2012's Top 10 sellers". Music Week. Intent Media. Retrieved 15 October 2012. Template:Subscription required
  3. Jones, Alan (22 October 2012). "Official Charts Analysis: Jake Bugg beats Leona Lewis to No.1 by 8k sales". Music Week. Intent Media. Retrieved 23 October 2012. Template:Subscription required
  4. 4.0 4.1 Jones, Alan (2 September 2013). "Official Charts Analysis: Avenged Sevenfold sell 21K to land first No.1 album". Music Week. Intent Media. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  5. "Top 75 Artist Album, Week Ending 11 October 2012". Chart-Track. Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Top 75 Artist Album, Week Ending 2 January 2014". Chart-Track. Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Caulfield, Keith (17 October 2012). "Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Score Top Billboard 200 Debut, Mumford Still No. 1". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 17 October 2012.
  8. 8.0 8.1 [[[:Template:BillboardURLbyName]] "Ellie Goulding – Chart history: Canadian Albums"]. Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Template:BillboardURLbyName. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Ellie Goulding – Halcyon" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
  10. "Ellie Goulding – Halcyon". Hung Medien. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  11. "Ellie Goulding – Halcyon" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 October 2012.
  12. "Ellie Goulding – Halcyon" (in French). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
  13. "TOP50 Prodejní: GOULDING ELLIE – Halcyon" (in Czech). International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
  14. "Ellie Goulding – Halcyon". Hung Medien. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  15. "Ellie Goulding – Halcyon" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 October 2012.
  16. "Ellie Goulding – Halcyon" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  17. "Ellie Goulding, Halcyon" (in German). Media Control Charts. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
  18. "Ellie Goulding – Halcyon". Hung Medien. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  19. "Ellie Goulding – Halcyon". Hung Medien. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  20. "Top 100 – monthly chart" (in Polish). Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. October 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  21. "2014 Top 40 Scottish Albums Archive". Official Charts Company. 11 January 2014. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  22. "Ellie Goulding – Halcyon". Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
  23. "2014 Top 40 Official UK Albums Archive". Official Charts Company. 11 January 2014. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  24. "Jaaroverzichten 2013 – Albums" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  25. "Rapports Annuels 2013 – Albums" (in French). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  26. "Best of 2013 – Top 20 Albums". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  27. "Top Selling Albums of 2013". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  28. Lane, Daniel (1 January 2014). "The Official Top 40 Biggest Artist Albums Of 2013". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
  29. "2013 Year-End Charts – Billboard 200 Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  30. 30.0 30.1 "Halcyon – Ellie Goulding". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  31. 31.0 31.1 Collar, Matt. "Halcyon – Ellie Goulding". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  32. 32.0 32.1 McComick, Neil (5 October 2012). "Ellie Goulding, Halcyon, Pop CD review". The Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  33. 33.0 33.1 Maerz, Melissa (3 October 2012). "Halcyon (2012)". Entertainment Weekly. Time.,,20635710,00.html. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  34. 34.0 34.1 Nicholson, Rebecca (4 October 2012). "Ellie Goulding: Halcyon – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  35. 35.0 35.1 Gill, Andy (6 October 2012). "Album: Ellie Goulding, Halcyon (Polydor)". The Independent. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  36. 36.0 36.1 Wood, Mikael (9 October 2012). "Review: Ellie Goulding adds a sensitive touch to electronic dance music in 'Halcyon'". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company.,0,1019280.story. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  37. 37.0 37.1 Avron, Hayley (5 October 2012). "Ellie Goulding – 'Halcyon'". NME. IPC Media. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  38. 38.0 38.1 Nelson, Geoff (9 October 2012). "Ellie Goudling: Halycon". PopMatters. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  39. 39.0 39.1 Hermes, Will (9 October 2012). "Halcyon". Rolling Stone. Jann Wenner. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  40. 40.0 40.1 Shriver, Jerry (9 October 2012). "Album of the week: Ellie Goulding's 'Halcyon'". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  41. Cragg, Michael (5 October 2012). "Ellie Goulding / 'Halcyon' (Polydor)". The Fly (magazine). MAMA Group. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  42. "Ellie Goulding – Halcyon (2012)" (in Swedish). Retrieved 11 December 2012.
  43. Lindholm, Peter (18 October 2012). "Recension: Ellie Goulding – Halcyon" (in Swedish). Metro (Sweden). Metro International.!YfGwia5qex6Jo/. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
  44. Dahlström, Mattias (10 October 2012). "Ellie Goulding: "Halcyon"" (in Swedish). Dagens Nyheter. Bonnier Group. Retrieved 11 December 2012.