Halsey - “If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power” Album Review

Story posted September 3, 2021 in Arts & Entertainment by Jon Mead.

Alternative popstar Halsey released her fourth studio LP, “If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power,” an interesting concept album that allows audiences to look through an uncommon and intriguing perspective, not very present in today’s media.

Halsey, also known as Ashley Nicolette Frangipane, originates from Edison, New Jersey. She launched her solo career with the release of her first-ever EP, “Room 93” in 2014. She would tour with other musicians performing original songs, most notably with indie rock band, the Kooks.

The release of “Badlands” in 2015, another concept album depicting a dystopian future, introduced her to critical acclaim with many favorable music reviews.

Since then, she has put out many revered works such as “Hopeless Fountain Kingdom” in 2017 and “Manic” in 2020.
“If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power” is a list of songs decorated with bangers and aggressive pop tunes that are sure to impress past fans who have listened to her previous music.

Even if some music lovers aren’t into pop music, there is surely a track on his album that will grab attention.
From the haunting piano in the first track, “The Tradition,” to the thumping bass backtrack of “I am not a woman, I’m a god,” this album is a cohesive experience, where no one song is the same. It’s an exhilarating and well-worth-your-time atmosphere.

The presence of many featured guest artists takes a step back. Dave Grohl provides the grungy, thrashing of his drums in “honey,” something that is sure to surprise 90s rock fans. Fleetwood Mac's lead guitarist, Lindsey Buckingham, also makes an appearance in “Darling.”

Newcomers to her music will find Halsey’s vocal style and production not very distinct, but the effort she puts into songwriting - an already very difficult process - is very impressive.

Each one of her records contains a unique narrative pertaining to a struggle in her life. This most recent LP is no stranger to this consistent theme.

The primary themes this alt-pop musician covers are that of misogyny and motherhood. The struggles and joy of being a mother are something that is rarely mentioned in music. But when some musicians get to this point in their career, where they start to have families and children, these themes can be a huge turnoff for fans.

However, in this record it’s neither cheesy nor down in quality, it’s quite the opposite and truly a breath of fresh air.

Rating: 7/10

Reviewer’s Favorite Songs: “honey,” “I am not a woman, I‘m a god”
Reviewer’s Least Favorite Songs: “Whispers”

Jon Mead is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email jkm6040@psu.edu.

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