REVIEW: Halsey – Badlands

“Sick of all these people talking” – the opening of Halsey‘s Badlands is pretty prescient. It seems we haven’t been able to move for people telling us that young Ashley Frangipane (still can’t say that with a straight face) is the Next Big Thing with an arsenal of dark conceptual pop. Just like everyone else these days… minus the aquamarine rinse.

We’re not entirely convinced that Halsey has got the game sewn up, but we can say with confidence that she executes her debut with the approach of a pro. Hooks are aplenty, the ambition is large, and there’s a tone that can’t be faulted. There aren’t many new acts that can easily balance the dark trappings of Castle with the anthemic chorus of New Americana; similarly, the way she adds detailed shade to her persistently dark hue makes for quite the enveloping experience on Drive and the album highlight Haunting.

That experience where Badlands succeeds as a whole, even when individual moments are sometimes forgettable. Halsey set out to make a concept album and that particular recess of her mind is what we enjoy for the stay. It still incorporates a mixture of Banks-esque murk with more road-leaning cuts (even though the lyrics never really lose sight of their mainstream audience) and if she can develop a sound as distinctive as that hair, there’s no stopping Halsey from ruling more than just these Badlands.

Badlands by Halsey can be ordered here.

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Halsey - Badlands
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