Halsey’s new album blows listeners away

Madeline Dupre

I’ve been listening to Halsey’s first album, Badlands, since it came out. On repeat. And I know that people say insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, but with this album, I learn something new with every re-listen.

After her first EP, Room 93, Halsey’s debut album, Badlands, continues to show that she is going to be a big name in the future of indie pop. Her lyrics have masterful depth and she creates a distinct atmosphere for every song. It’s hard to pick a favorite track because every track evokes a feeling different from the others and it’s hard to choose a favorite emotion. Her songs explore feelings of being so powerful it’s frightening or the mixture of apathy and confusion or of being in love but also saying goodbye. There aren’t any “happy” songs on the album, and there aren’t any “sad” songs, either. The reason this album works so well is because each song has a mood and sticks to it. Each song is its own unique experience.

But behind this depth are some incredible dance tracks. On songs like “Colors,” which may be the best song on the album, the music behind her chorus (which has lyrics like “And now he’s so devoid of color, he don’t know what it means”), give the listener the feeling of that moment after you finish spinning in a circle and your cheeks hurt from smiling so hard. It’s dizzying. These songs explore the depth and complexity of emotions in a way that feels natural. Looking at just the lyrics of “Colors” seems like it’d be a sad, post-breakup song. But the dance music and some key lyrics (“You’re ripped at every edge but you’re a masterpiece”) show how much more complicated her feelings are. Halsey’s true gift is her ability to convey a feeling so strongly through her music.

And the incredible thing is that there is that kind of depth on every song on this album. “Control has the contrast of being both frightening and makes the listener feel empowered; “Roman Holiday” is about escapism; “New Americana” is about what it means to be young in today’s society; I could go on. And the great thing is that those are just my interpretations; anyone could listen to any song on Badlands and have a different experience from me. It’s a complex album with moving lyrics and electronic background music, and it exemplifies the direction that pop music should be going towards.
Badlands seems to explore the emotions that are less easily verbalized. It’s an album that is simultaneously easily accessible and difficult to comprehend. I absolutely adore this album and plan to listen to little else for the rest of my life.