We hear a lot of my daughter’s music around the house these days, and she plays no song more often than the new one from Ellie Goulding. Goulding is English, kind of a folkie singer-songwriter who got mixed up with dubstep and Skrillex, grew pop ambitions, and whose songs marry a big drum sound with colorful synths and front her wispy soft voice seducing with sneaky melodies. Like in much of the music world these days, credits on the tunes are something of a mashup of original writer, producer, fixer writers, Ellie and her friends. This is the pop music machine, and Burn is her first single to reach number one on the British pop charts, but I like her music. It is defined by her qualities and talents. What got me thinking about it today was the MGMT album, which sounds like it should be pop music, maybe it wants to be pop music, but isn’t at all poppy. Maybe MGMT, who started out as popmeisters, have withdrawn, but it sure feels like these guys should be marrying whatever other ambitions they have with their skill making popular sounds. Making pop noise without pop pleasing form (and, importantly, craft) seems like a waste. Burn is certainly not a waste and has a big pop form, and while that commerciality may be suspect, I really like the way the production’s prettiness turns anthemic, and when the big drums pound toward the end my heart lifts in a good way.