By Scarlett Constand
The Tower (Grosse Pointe, Michigan)
Passionate spirit and an in-your-face attitude combine to create impressive tracks on Halsey’s debut album, “Badlands.”
Halsey was a previously-unknown supporting act for popular pop artists, such as Imagine Dragons, but the 20-year-old is now headlining her own tour before opening for The Weeknd later this fall. The New Jersey native’s album debuted at no. 4 on the American iTunes charts on Aug. 28 and peaked at no. 2 before slipping to its current position at no. 19.
“Badlands” includes hits like “Hurricane” and “New Americana,” and the sound of the album is the essence of alternative-pop; synthesizers and strong beats back Halsey’s raw, electric voice to make the album’s songs come alive.
Lyrically, “New Americana” is blatant and unabashed, making the song exciting and relatable to Halsey’s young adult fanbase.
“Viral mess, turned dreams into an empire / Self-made success, now she rolls with Rockefellers.”
The lyrics from “New Americana” illustrate the importance of how young people need to toil in order to feel confident with themselves. Halsey describes our generation as the new embodiment of the US, or the “New Americana.”
The theme of “Badlands” is ultimately clear: be yourself; however, it is sometimes over-apparent and causes some songs to be too similar lyrically and in sound, like “Strange Love” and “Young God.”
Halsey makes up for this shortcoming with songs like “Control” and “Gasoline,” with a dark mood that makes them iconically killer.
“Badlands” is far from a disappointing debut for Halsey. Her stellar and unique sound ensures her success in the music business, as well as guaranteeing she’ll continue to impress and improve.
Photo Credit: “Badlands” by Halsey album art