Arts

Halsey Bursts Onto the Scene with the Relatable “Badlands”

A Hypnotic, Catchy, and Addicting Record for Millennials

By Brielle Sparacino

Because of her unbelievably driven and determined nature, the 21 year old New Jersey native, Halsey, released regular and deluxe versions of her full-length debut album, Badlands, and is currently on tour.

Badlands was released in August and has found mainstream success. Halsey has described it as a concept album centered on her life and personal experiences.

If you’re not able to get your hands on her album anytime soon, here is a breakdown of the songs on the album’s regular version.

“Castle” lures you in with an hypnotic beat, and Halsey’s unique vocals effortlessly carry you through and keep you entranced with lines like, “I’m headed straight for the castle/They wanna make me their queen.”

This track is an empowering feminist anthem that makes you feel like you’re ready to take on the world, and no one is going to be able to stand in your way.

“Hold Me Down” has dubstep notes that are hard to get out of your head. However, there are several references to “demons” throughout the track, which could very well be an ode to Halsey’s battle with a hereditary bipolar disorder that she’s had since she was young. Regardless, personal experiences usually make for the best songs.

“New Americana” is a tune that has made it onto radio’s top 40 stations. The song is undeniably catchy and does nothing but praise the new generation of teenagers and twenty-somethings everywhere.

It references diversity, sexuality, and a sense of community. With lyrics like “We don’t feel like outsiders at all,” the song could be described as powerful, inspiring, and slightly defiant, all at once.

One of the most relatable songs on the entire album and easily has the potential to become your favorite is “Drive.” This song is the epitome of that stuck-in-limbo stage of a possible relationship between you and a person you’re interested in—that stage where you both know that you like each other and yet, you don’t do anything about it.

This track is both lovely and frustrating to listen to, which is probably the most charming thing about it.

The theme in “Roman Holiday” is different than its predecessor’s. Although it’s just as catchy and relatable as “Drive,” its mood is much more upbeat, despite its message.

Featuring lyrics such as “We know that we’re headstrong, and our heart’s gone, and the timing’s never right/But for now let’s get away on a Roman Holiday,” this song is about two people who aren’t good for each other.

Before they go their separate ways for good, they want to have one last adventure together. It represents a long-overdue end to a bad romance, no pun intended.

Even though the song “Colors” hasn’t received any radio play, the lyrics in the bridge went viral on Tumblr months before the track was officially released.

Rumored to be about Matt Healy of The 1975, with whom Halsey may or may not have had a relationship with, this indie-pop melody is about a man who can’t be happy without using drugs who’s loved by Halsey anyway.

He changes her as a person, but doesn’t like who she’s become, so he leaves her. The song tells such a sad story, but Halsey manages to make it sound lively and addicting.

“Coming Down” moves at a relatively slower pace with a relaxed feel. It’s about someone who’s entranced by their lover and everything he or she does, even though this person isn’t good for them.

It conveys feelings of the first stages of a relationship, where everything is new and seems perfect. Halsey even compares her significant other in the track to both God and the Devil, because, though he makes her feel alive, he is not a good fit for her.

Once again, this it’s a tune that is unmistakably relatable.

“Haunting” signifies Halsey severely missing a former lover. He’s made his mark on her, and once he leaves, she feels wrong without him in her life. As a result, she begs him to “keep on haunting” her, so she could feel the way she felt with him.

Halsey has perfected the balance of making her angst and longing in the song apparent, but not to the point of self-pity.

As the title suggests, the ballad “Control” is directly related to Halsey’s struggle with bipolar disorder.

With lyrics like “And all the kids cried out, ‘please stop, you’re scaring me!’/I can’t help this awful energy/Goddamn right, you should be scared of me/Who is in control?” Halsey’s fighting a battle that she’s not sure she’s able to win.

This song speaks to anyone suffering any type of mental illness and helps bring awareness to an issue that isn’t discussed enough.

“Young God” is slow, sultry, and sexy. Without looking too deeply into the song’s lyrics, its theme could be classified as the invincible feeling that so many young adults have when they feel like “Young Gods” able to rule the world.

“Ghost” is the jam that truly kick-started Halsey’s career.

This two-and-a-half-minute track is about a partner who is emotionally detached from a relationship.

The meaning is clear in the lyrics of the song, too, especially when Halsey sings “My ghost, where’d you go?/What happened to the soul that you used to be?” Although the song is short, it’s memorable and to the point.

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