Who Is Halsey?
Undoubtedly, when you first think of Halsey, fans are always driven to the “Closer” feature with the Chainsmokers back in 2016. But beyond that, they’ve dominated an entire industry with their biggest hits, landed nominations for the Grammys, MTV Music Awards, Billboard, and much more! Halsey has come such a long way from the 2014 Tumblr girl to now becoming a pop icon sensation. Their newest album If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power takes on a darker side of a topic; to be in love and the horrors of pregnancy. Moving away from their previous sound, Halsey described the record as:
“The album [they] always wanted to make.“
Halsey introduced the album via an Instagram story of a billboard sign with the album date. Another huge surprise to fans – it’s produced by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, from the heavy metal, alternative rock band Nine Inch Nails. Not only did Rolling Stone rank them at No. 94 of the 100 greatest artists, they were also inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2020 after being nominated in both 2014 and 2015. To Halsey, they were legends to the star; getting to work alongside them was a dream come true!
IICHLIWP is a powerful album featuring an IMAX film, which includes amazing visuals to accompany a good portion of the album side-by-side. The record focuses on the adrenaline of getting what you want, seeing the lines between self destruction, and upholding yourself in the midst of it all. If you are really into the horror genre, this is a film worth seeing. The horror of it all is the body, mind, and spirit that continues to radiate throughout the songs. As for myself and lovers of this album, this is Halsey’s best album up to date. It reminds you of a hauntingly beautiful gothic horror movie, transporting you into their mind from beginning to end.
Another reason to love this album is the production quality. NIN producing it gave a more cinematic feeling, which draws you in. With the opening tracks, it welcomes you like a haunting gothic fairytale, using punch-punching lyrics such as:
“Jesus needed a three-day weekend/To sort out all his bullS***.”Bells in Santa Fe – Halsey
The above lyrics set the tone as to what type of album you will be listening to. It’s no ordinary Halsey record; it’s the record of the year. As you listen, you notice a shift between the soft haunting melodies to reverberating screams and screeching sirens. Songs like “Honey, You Asked For This” and “Lilith” allow you to hear Halsey in a raw, raging gear to release your inner demons. Reznor and Ross spent the most time experimenting with sounds different from their own, fully seeing the potential for more.
“It’s not a happy ending.”Bells in Santa Fe – Halsey
The not-so-happy ending did have a bit of sweetness to finish, from the solid, soothing melodies that make your mind want to listen again to how amazingly the album completed a full circle. In the final lyric that helped close the album, Halsey expressed their last moment by saying:
“You will bury me before I bury you.”Ya’aburnee – Halsey
Another cool thing about the album is that it contains no features – it’s a solo masterpiece that entails you to change your thoughts about Halsey’s commitment to art. Throughout the IMAX film, there’s minimum dialogue to allow the music to capture the entirety of the album.
IICHLIWP is a masterpiece, and for people who haven’t heard of Halsey, this is a great introduction to give them a go!
“If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power” by Halsey is available on all streaming platforms, including the IMAX film. Catch Halsey’s new radio show, “Halsey: For The Record”, as part of Amazon’s new Amp radio app.