The new Ellie Goulding album, 'Delirium', is extremely long. It is also extremely good.
And somewhere within it — true to Ellie's stated aim of making a big pop album — is what's basically the best Britney Spears album in a very long time.
In an ideal world it would be Britney making great Britney albums (and maybe she will next time round) but for the time being if you want a Grade A popstar banging out hits from people like Max Martin, Ellie Goulding's the best bet.
So if you would like to 'ride roughshod' over the creative process and make your own Britney album out of 'Delirium', or perhaps if you just like the idea of a really brilliant Ellie Goulding album but you're in a bit of a rush, follow these steps.
1. Get the album
This is 'Delirium'!
It's 22 tracks long in its deluxe version, which is not exactly brief, especially when you consider that it's been released in Q4, when the days are shorter.
2. Take some bits out
You would assume that a 22-song album would have a fair number of duffers among its tracks.
It's true that some tracks are easy to whip out — the Calvin collaboration 'Outside' is good but doesn't really feel like it has a place on 'Delirium', while the intro track 'Delirium' isn't necessary for what we're trying to do.
Elsewhere there are actually relatively few fillers, so cutting 'Delirium' down to a reasonable, 11-song album length is fairly tricky. So you'll have to accept that you're chopping out some decent tunes. But you're keeping the best and we can't get emotional about this, so lop off about half the songs please.
3. Rearrange it
Ellie probably spent a really long time deciding on the sequence for 'Delirium', but we've already binned off half the tracks so it's a bit too late to be worried about that.
Among the decisions we made: 'Keep On Dancin'' should open the album, because it starts like albums should start (ie it's a bit mysterious but really good and hints at what's to come), 'On My Mind' should be track two because it's The Hit Single, and so on.
At the track 6 / track 7 point we decided the album should slide gracefully into a more downbeat and organic second half, meaning that you'll find 'Lost & Found' — one of the best songs on the album — is at track 6. Don't panic, track 6 is often the best song on an album. ('Don't Panic' is now track 10.)
HEY LOOK EVERYONE THIS IS A GREAT ALBUM!
But there's more!
Because you've already got the songs for next year's Q4 repack! Simply enjoy this edit of 'Delirium' for twelve months, then in about November 2016 chuck all the songs you've deleted onto the end of the playlist.
Everyone's a winner.