Halsey – “Manic” Album Review

Story posted January 22, 2020 in CommRadio, Arts & Entertainment by Jack Grossman

After a three-year wait and several features, Halsey is finally ready to present her third record, “Manic.” This is an album that allows listeners to have a more in-depth look at Halsey’s methods of expression as well as her inner turmoil. These ideas are not something unfamiliar to her previous albums, though this time around, it is much more refined, and it appears that Halsey has found her footing and voice in the mainstream. With plenty of funky, dreamy tracks and surprising features, “Manic” is Halsey’s most ambitious and successful record yet.

The record opens with “Ashley,” which sets the tone for this newest record—the audience is going to be introduced to a side of the artist that we have never seen: the person behind the name Halsey. Kate Winslet’s performance in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” is sampled and leads into the next track “clementine,” which is the name of Winslet’s character in the film and where this new persona of Halsey becomes ever present. “Graveyard” and “You should be sad” follow Halsey’s views on the people she loves and the people who wronged her, confirming with herself her own identity and how she feels about those who stick by her.

“Forever … (is a long time)” and “Dominic’s Interlude” follow afterward, and the former offers a complete introspection into the uncertainty of what Halsey thinks about herself. It is a very vast track for its short runtime. The latter features artist Dominic Fike in a fun, romantic ballad, and it’s a nice break from the main event. “I HATE EVERYBODY,” “3am” and “Without Me” are the next tracks in the lineup, each representing the effects of how one thinks when they drink (literally) and the repercussions of having your heart broken in the case of the third track, referencing her ex G-Eazy and their destroyed relationship.

Other highlights of the album include “Killing Boys”, an homage to the film “Jennifer’s Body,” “Alanis’ Interlude,” featuring Alanis Morissette, “SUGA’s Interlude,” featuring SUGA of BTS, and “929” as the finishing track. The showcasing of other varied and popular artists is a testament to how far Halsey has come in the industry as well as an offering of different perspectives on how one can love another. “929” takes its name from the time that Halsey was born, offering introspections on how she thinks of her friends, family and fans. It’s almost a culmination of what she has done so far, and it wraps the album up very nicely.

“Manic” is interesting as it is both a return to form and a new series of experimental songs for Halsey, marking the specific return of her skilled lyricism and production from her first record which was not as prevalent on her second. She knows how to make her sound work, and there are no holds barred on this journey into Halsey’s mind. Saying hello to Ashley is a welcome change of pace and an excellent showcase of the artist’s growth.

Rating: 7/10

Reviewers Favorite Song: “Graveyard,” “Forever … (is a long time),” “SUGAs Interlude”

Reviewer’s Least Favorite Song: “More”


Jack Grossman is a senior majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email jackdgrossman@gmail.com.