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BADLANDS by Halsey review

Adam Usry, Staff Writer

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BADLANDS Overview

      The current pop sensation, Halsey, released her first studio album BADLANDS. was released to the public on August 28th, 2015 for purchase. BADLANDS (Deluxe) is available on ITunes, Google Play, and all streaming services like Spotify or Pandora. The 20 year old from New Jersey, with her unique voice, (which is a little reminiscent of another pop singer, Lorde) along with her techno/pop instrumentals, makes for an unforgettable album. From “Castle” till the end of “I Walk The Line”, listening to the deluxe version of BADLANDS is definitely a joyride.

BADLANDS Track by Track Review

  1. Castle- This first track is a great opener for the album with an eerie feel over the lyrics. Simply put, Halsey is headed to the top, and no matter what anybody says she’s going to do this in her own way. In the song, Halsey includes an opposing view from “an old man” who sits on an imaginary, musical throne. if you’ve heard artists in recent years, they love to say, how they are on top of the “game” of pop, or rap.
  2. Hold Me Down-  Halsey brings out her struggles with men who critique her over her music, specifically those who thought they were better than her. Through her powerful yet emotional lyrics, this song is no doubt one of the best from the album.
  3. New Americana- From the beginning to end of this song, “New Americana” hooks you into its lyricism and its meaning. The main point Halsey attempts to hit, is that we (as a newer generation) have been changed by the media and music as a whole. Besides the lyrics, the beat behind the song sounds wonderful in itself.
  4. Drive- With an intriguing beat and the producer, Lido’s vocals in the second verse, this song is one of the most memorable on the album. Halsey becomes more personal in the song, describing driving with a boy, with no direction on where they are going.
  5. Hurricane- Through this song, Halsey describes her independence as a woman, who is strong whether or not men attempt to control her. Her lyrics provide a strong feeling for the listener, because of the change in her tone near the end of the song.
  6. Roman Holiday- One of the reasons this song is one of the best on the album is the fact that the lyrics are so reminiscent of Halsey’s younger teenage years. She includes personal moments about being in love, with the listener. The beat to this song is upbeat and fun to listen to as well, which makes it one of the best songs off BADLANDS.
  7. Ghost- One of Halsey’s more popular tracks before and during BADLANDS release, this song is still glorious. Halsey has a very slow start to the song then jumps right into a depressing, fast-paced verse. Halsey describes how the relationship has basically turned into a search for what her partner used to be. This song’s instrumental is one of my favorites, as it provides a more techno feel.
  8. Colors- One of the most personal songs on BADLANDS, Halsey describes a past relationship that turned sour after she became too much like her partner. She has a very interesting and metaphorical set of lines that describes the song perfectly, “You were red, and you liked me because I was blue/ But you touched me, and suddenly I was a lilac sky/ Then you decided purple just wasn’t for you”. One big point that is great about the instrumental is the sound effects, plus the clicking of the instruments in the background.
  9. Colors Pt. II- This shortened, instrumental version of Colors is very psychedelic and trippy, the beat adding a lot to this aspect.
  10. Strange Love- This song revolves around the “conspiracy” of love between Halsey and supposed ex-boyfriend Matty Healy, Since Halsey is obviously fed up with everybody asking about them, she lets her feelings go in this track, which makes the song more emotional.. The instrumental  is just amazing all around and one of my favorites from the album.
  11. Coming Down- This chilled, slowed down song seems to be about Halsey and  a relationship she knows will end soon. With intricate and meaningful lyrics, the instrumental provides a great relaxing vibe to the song.
  12. Haunting- The beginning of the song is very creepy in the beginning including Halsey. The song is very heartfelt and one of my favorites, Halsey has a beautiful voice in this song especially, with the notes she hits. The chorus has several high notes that Halsey hits in an odd but relaxing way. The instrumental is very chilled out and relaxing.
  13. Gasoline- One of the most powerful songs, if not the best on the album. This song describes Halsey in a crazed state of mind where she asks the listener if they are “insane like me”. Mainly this song is one of the greatest because of the struggles that she talks about in the song, along with the chorus, which is amazing in itself, because of her view on what everyone says about her is really moving. Not to mention, the instrumental has a cowbell and other sound effects, which automatically makes it amazing.
  14. Control- Halsey succeeds at giving the listener goose-bumps in this song. If you listen to the chorus alone, it’s enough to make  love it. Basically, Halsey is in control of the world (kind of like Castle) and she is proud of scaring everybody on her ascent to the top. The instrumental build-up is part of why the chorus is so energetic and lovable.
  15. Young God- This is another favorite of mine as Halsey’s voice is just so powerful and relaxed. Halsey talks about how she and her lover are young gods because of their rebellious nature, or even because they are so free. The instrumental is chilling, with a very relaxing feel to it.
  16. I Walk The Line- A Cover of one of Johnny Cash’s most popular songs, this is amazing, not only because of its great instrumentals, but Halsey’s vocals over it is perfect.

BADLANDS Final Verdict

         Overall, BADLANDS should make the listener become addicted to Halsey and her amazing voice. She has such a powerful album that is not worth missing or overlooking. With a lot of different themes and different vibes to each song, this album is worth five out of five stars.

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