She's really outdone herself this time: On Friday, Ellie Goulding debuted "Army" — the third and final promotional song from her upcoming new album, Delirium (due out Nov. 6) — and it's absolutely glorious. The epic tune also reportedly serves as Delirium's official second single, which I think is an incredibly smart move. With its slow build to an explosive climax and its enchanting lyrics about love, "Army" definitely feels like the sequel to "Love Me Like You Do," Goulding's stellar contribution to the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack that premiered in January and went on to become one of the biggest hits of her career.
Like all worthwhile sequels, "Army" takes what worked about the original and turns up the volume, creating a piece that feels both warm and familiar, and yet, wonderfully new. Delirium's fiery lead offering, "On My Mind," is still doing quite well at pop radio, but when it starts to fade, "Army" will make an excellent follow-up. So, what exactly makes "Army" so undeniably appealing? Well, for starters, Goulding co-wrote the tune with modern pop maestros Max Martin, Savan Kotecha, and Ali Payami — three of the most sought-after and talented hit-makers in the industry — but there's more to it than that.
Simply put, Goulding delivers her most impressive vocal performance to date in "Army." She spends the majority of the song's second half repeatedly belting out the triumphant hook with all of her might and effortlessly improvising — none of which would work if the performance felt emotionally hollow — but it doesn't. To the contrary, the 28-year-old artist sings the "Army" lyrics with unwavering conviction. It's clear that the track's "us against the world" narrative means a lot to her.
I forgot to mention one very important part of "Army's" appeal: listening to it makes you feel powerful. No matter where you are, suddenly, you feel as though you're standing at the top of a very tall mountain with a crisp fall breeze whipping through your hair! Or, you may feel as though you're in the mall getting glamor shots taken in front of a giant industrial fan. Either way, the tune is practically guaranteed to make you feel like a million bucks.
"Army" is available on iTunes and Spotify now.