The voice of a generation: review of BADLANDS

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Overview of the album PhotoCo: Lexi Crea

 

  Breaking into the music scene at just 20 years old, the singer known as Halsey is breaking down stereotypes and blowing up the charts with her debut album, BADLANDS.

  Ashley Frangipani, known by her stage name Halsey (which is an anagram of “Ashley”), is an indie alternative artist who started writing at just 17 years old and signed to the record label, “Astralwerks” in 2014 after posting her original song, “Ghost” online. The blue haired hurricane surprised everyone later that year with her EP, “Room 93,” featuring the songs “Empty Gold” and “Trouble.”

  Halsey announced her full-length album, BADLANDS, early this year. In an interview with Coup de Main magazine, she explains her reasoning being her album title, “It’s like a metaphor for my mental state, so ‘Badlands’ is kind of like my only universe. I think it’s representative of a state of mind.” The anticipation built as she toured with Imagine Dragons. Then her album dropped.

  During the first week of sales, it shot to the top of the charts. Honest is the first word to describe it. She writes about real things and real experiences without sugar coating it. She prides herself in being authentic, and it shows in her songs.

  At first, the indie-alternative tracks are upbeat and easy to move to, but once you focus on the lyrics, you feel the emotion. “The album explores the desolate wasteland of Halsey’s own personal badlands in music, in the industry, and in her mind,” stated Complex Magazine.

  Starting with “New Americana,” this track is about diversity in terms of pop culture and the music and artists she grew up listening to. It promotes individualism and nonconformity.

  Next, “Gasoline” is about how she is often dehumanized because she’s in the spotlight. She uses the line, “you are part of a machine, you are not a human being.” Similarly, her song “Strange Love” talks about people having too much interest in her personal life. She said, “I’m going to write it all down and I’m going to sing it onstage but I don’t have to tell you anything.”

  Another topic she writes about is love. Her song “Colors” is about someone she cared for, but she wasn’t right for them. This song has the popular line, “You were red, you liked me because I was blue, you touched me and suddenly I was a lilac sky, and you decided purple just wasn’t for you.” Another one of her love songs is called “Young God,” and it’s about how invincible you feel when you’re with someone you love.

  In contrast, her song “Hurricane” is about doing what you want, and never being tied down. This song uses the line, “Don’t belong to no city, don’t belong to no man.” This song represents the unapologetic side of her, and how she doesn’t let people control her.

  Overall, BADLANDS is an honest and refreshing record that represents Halsey, and acts as a voice of our generation.

Lexi Crea, Staff Reporter 

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