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Review: Halsey Unveils Sonic Diary

The songstress serves a emotional joyride

Halsey/Hopeless Fountain Kingdom/Astralwerks

halseyWith the spirit of a maverick, Halsey has reemerged with her second collection of open letters to her thoughts, feelings and experiences.

The freewheeling ride is highlighted by the contrasting ebb and flow of “Alone.” At peace with both melancholy and disco’s happy-go-lucky side, “Alone” is a direct line to both the 70’s and the heroine’s inability connect with a room full of strangers.

“The Prologue” sets a poetic tone for the album as Halsey recites the prologue of The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. Pouring her heart out in “100 Letters,” Halsey expresses the complex feelings of regret from a failed relationship. This raw emotion is continued throughout each of the tracks.

The mellow “Eyes Closed” is followed by the powerhouse “Heaven In Hiding” which highlights Halsey’s dynamic vocal abilities.

The slow ballad “Sorry” is heart-wrenching and possesses some of  Hopeless Fountain Kingdom’s strongest songwriting.  “Sorry” intertwines heartbreak and guilt in a strikingly simple way.

It transports the listener into Halsey’s internal battle with the way she’s treated her past lover. Although more upbeat, “Angel On Fire” shares the same tormented vibe as sorry and is equally as disconsolate.

Hopeless Fountain Kingdom flows like an open diary, spilling Halsey’s innermost emotions, struggles, demons and triumphs.

When viewed as a complete work, there is a lot of ‘sorry, not sorry’ action weaved throughout the fiber of this set.

Halsey recognizes where she’s done wrong or fallen short but holds fast to the notion that she is only human, and like everyone else, makes mistakes. It’s through this contrast of sorry, not sorry that Halsey shows the complexities of trying to process the range of experiences and emotions she has laid out in the album.

She obviously understands that she’s in demand.  She’s clear that ultimately she seems to have abused the emotional control that is at her disposal.

With great power comes great responsibility. Dap Halsey up for sharing that both traits are heavier than an anchor at times.

Life is messy, life is dirty and life is confusing. Hopeless Fountain Kingdom showcases that what make look and sound perfect can often be anything but.

Rating: 4.5/5


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