by: Joseph Struhs
Move on over Lana Del Rey - the New Americana is here. Halsey’s much-anticipated debut album, “BADLANDS,” dropped last week, and I’ve been playing it on repeat. And singing along with it.
It’s the same Halsey from the Room 93 EP - ghostly, haunting, sad, and plenty of sex and drugs and rock ’n roll. But this album brings a new dimension to Halsey as an artist. We’ve all been on the edges of ours seats since the drop of her first single “Ghost,” and now we, as listeners, are finally able to catch a vision of where this all has been headed: to the “BADLANDS.”
“BADLANDS" is being marketed as an exploration of a dystopic fantasy world, but the lyrics are so raw and painful, one can only wonder how autobiographical this album is. There’s a lot of different flavors, and I could go on about different artists that share slivers of similarity, but it boils down to this: Halsey as an artist stands very much on her own.
"My favorite thing about the record is that it's not a radio record. None of the songs are hits,” touts Halsey. I very much disagree. As alternative and dark as the record may be, there are a number of tracks that would hold their weight in the commercial pop scene, especially in a music landscape that is now being dominated by what the YouTube generation wants. In the words of Kanye West from last week VMAs, “Listen to the kids.”
I can especially see this gem hitting the airwaves:
Honestly, it’s difficult to play favorites with an album that’s been so artfully assembled. I recommend listening to “BADLANDS” in its full glory from beginning to finish, as the record was intended to be listened to. Warning: don’t expect something plastic and sugarcoated. Listening to “BADLANDS” is gonna hurt, but in a mesmerizing and beautiful way.