The leader of the next generation of misfits, bad kids and preppy throw aways has risen to the throne. Her name is Halsey, and her debut album Badlands is everything and more that you want it to be.
With Badlands Halsey is offering us a biting comments about youth, politics, love, lust, celebrity and everything in-between. Fusing elements of industrial dark pop and glowing synths Halsey has created a collection of songs that could very well be the anthem of the new generation.
Castle which uses a sick industrial kick and even a church choir is the perfect opener for the album. Singing about her ascent to the throne through the dirt and hard work that it’s taken to get where she is Castle is starts the album off strong.
Two of my stand out tracks from the album are the songs New Americana and Colors. New Americana uses huge military marching band drums and cold synth to carve out Halsey’s views on the privilege elite. The track is a call to arms to the new generation “high on legal marijuana, raised on Biggie and Nirvana we are the New Americana“. In comparison to the dark pop edge of New American, Colors which starts with an ominous tick-tock beat and sickly sweet vocals explodes in the chorus into a fully saturated rainbow of synths and big beats. It kind of comes out of nowhere and takes you by surprise in its expansive warmth, it’s a standout and I need to hear it live.
If there’s one thing you could say about Halsey it’s that she’s not on to hide an insecurity or indeed give any fucks about what others think. Strange Love is a no fucks given mind you own god damn business love song. As Halsey sings about what other see as a strange relationship “They think I’m insane, they think my lover is strange, but I don’t have to tell them fucking anything” she’s making a commentary on the questions she gets asked. Really it’s her life, she can sing about it on stage if she wants but she doesn’t have to answer those types of questions for anyone. Fuck the haters.
The track Gasoline which (to my ears at least) sounds like it’s got some type of asian inspired guitar plucks throughout it is a raw all cards on the table kind of song no fucks given track. “I think there’s a fault in my code?” Halsey sings in the chorus embracing any flaws people may see in her and coming back swinging.
Halsey has truly arrived in the game with her debut Badlands and y’all better get her throne ready for her. Queen of the Badlands Halsey is ready for everything that you got for her. A defiant, strong, rebellious album of epic proportions Badlands is ready for your ears now.