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Halsey’s ‘Badlands’ review (Is it really a review if it’s all praise?)


If you haven’t heard Halsey’s ‘Badlands’ yet, go hop over to Spotify and give it a listen because it’s officially one of our favorite albums of 2015.

Here’s our review.

  1. Castle.

‘Castle’ makes us feel like we’re the new rulers of a kingdom and we’re being crowned as royalty. The people love us, they want us to lead them into a new world, a new age and that’s what we’ll do. We are the kings and queens of this generation and with ‘Castle’ playing the background, we’ll march with fervor. Our voices will not be shut down and Halsey made sure of that. If you want to feel like a king or a queen for a little less than five minutes, this is your song.

2) Hold Me Down.

‘Hold Me Down’ is the song you hear deep in the pits of hell (we say that in the best way, it’s a fire song), starting a revolution. We want to burn because as said in a popular novel, if we burn, you burn with us. We’ll sell our souls, we’ll beg, we’ll be held down because WE know we are bigger than the people holding us captive. We are stronger. No matter how hard you try to hold us down, at the end of the day, we will stand tall. If you need a pick me up, then listen to this.

3) New Americana.

‘New Americana’ is the song that will change the world. It is a song that represents so much more than smoking and drinking. Using Halsey’s words herself…

We are the New Americana and our generation is going to help to make a world where all genders, races, sexualities and PEOPLE are treated equally and fairly. It is in OUR hands and Halsey wants us to know we are capable of changing the world which is why it should be the anthem of this generation in our humble opinion. It’s so empowering and everyone should listen to it.

4) Drive.

‘Drive’ is one of the more slow, relaxed songs on Halsey’s album. It is a song about reflecting upon yourself, reflecting on your decisions and finding the strength to be okay. Halsey said that ‘Drive’ signifies her leaving behind the Badlands and we think that explains it beautifully. Drive is a path to recovery and it soothes your soul, reminding you that everything will be alright. Definitely worth listening to if you’re ever feeling like giving up on anything or everything.

5) Hurricane.

‘Hurricane’ is a song that makes you want to run into the rain and stand there, even if it means lightning will strike you. It is a song that reminds you that you belong to YOURSELF and nobody else. “Don’t belong to no city, don’t belong to no man.” Listen to this if you want to be reminded that no one is in control of you, no one has the right to tell you who you are except yourself.

You are a hurricane and everyone will either accept you for that or they won’t.

6) Roman Holiday.

‘Roman Holiday’ is a song that feels like a getaway or more accurately, a holiday. It reminds you that every problem you come across is temporary. You will always face problems and sometimes it’ll feel like there’s no escape but with this song, Halsey provides you with one. It’s okay to take a breather, even if it’s something as simple as listening to this song or packing your bags and boarding a plane to an unknown destination.

7) Ghost.

‘Ghost’ is a song you listen to when you’re feeling nostalgic and melancholy. It’s about a piece of your heart being missing, of living with the ghost of someone constantly watching over your shoulder. It’s a song about you realizing that you’re better off without a ghost, even if it means losing a piece of your heart in the process. You can only wait and hope for so long before… you give up. And here, Halsey encourages giving up because everyone deserves BETTER than a ghost. Listen to this song if you’re feeling defeated and beatdown and it’ll remind you that you aren’t alone.

8) Colors.

‘Colors’ is a song that shows you what the Badlands are like. It shows you the nature of the people in it and how badly they’ve been hurt, how badly they’ve been treated and how little they care. They’re ‘so devoid of color [that they] don’t know what it means’.  It about people who had so much to offer the world but didn’t know what to do with it.

Halsey refers to these people as being ‘blue’ and whether she means sad or whether she means something entirely different, we’ll never know. What we do know is that everyone is a flurry of colors and this song reminds you to never lose yourself or the color in your soul.

9) Colors, Pt. 2.

‘Colors, Pt. 2’ is a track on the album that is a remix of the original colors and it feels like rain washing over you. It’s foggy and it’s blurry and when it finishes, it feels like you’re entering a new world full of clarity. Perhaps this was Halsey’s intention all along.

10) Strange Love.

‘Strange Love’ is rough and dirty. It’s a song about a love that’s kept secret and how it slowly burned until it left nothing left. Love is strange sometimes and sometimes strange love is worth it. Other time, it’s not and Halsey realized that, after her “secret” relationship was exploited. This song reminds you not to let yourself be put in such a precarious position and to always hold your head high and never let anyone belittle you or your affections for them. Listen to this song if you want to feel enraged and bitter and eventually, resilient.

11) Coming Down.

‘Coming Down’ is a song about falling in love with someone who you think is right for you only to be proven wrong. It’s a love that’s dysfunctional and a love that you can’t let go. It’s a love that makes you out to be a fool and there’s a price tag but still, you pray that everything gets better. This song is heavy in that you realize that people are not always what they seem, especially not in the Badlands. Listen to this song if you want to remember and forget all at the same time.

12) Haunting.

‘Haunting’ is a song about not being able to let go. It’s about trying to be happy but never being able to because you just can’t seem to forget, no matter how hard you try. And eventually, it’s about giving in to it and craving it, craving that person and the way they haunt you. Listen to this song if you miss someone terribly and even when you’re happy, there’s a part of you that feels you’d be happier with them around.

13) Gasoline.

‘Gasoline’ is a song that empowers you like nothing else. As per seen across the web, it is known as the fan favorite of the Badlands album. This song depicts Halsey’s own presence in her world of Badlands and that it’s the song she most identifies with.

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 23.47.00

It is a song about being a victim of society to the point of being judged, of being treated differently, of beginning to believe all the criticism that the people around you throw at you. It is a harsh reminder that we live in a world we cannot wake up from. We as individuals do not have any impact. Listen to this song if you are mad at the world.

14) Control.

‘Control’ is a song that makes you want to go on a murder spree. A song that reminds you of the darkness of the world, of the heaviness that weighs down the hearts of those spoken down to. It reminds you that no matter how bleak you feel, no matter how you portray yourself, it is not your fault. You are a product of the society around you.  A song that reminds you that you are bigger than what they say of you. Listen to this song if you want to feel furious and if you want to know you are not alone when you feel out of control.

15) Young God.

‘Young God’ is a song that is sultry and seductive. It makes you feel as though you are floating through the world, as a God, as a queen or a king. As someone who controls the world and enjoys every minute of their conquering. Halsey tweeted her own feelings about the song below.

https://twitter.com/halsey/status/588939413691858945

So listen to the song if you’re feeling down and dirty and in the mood to know you’re a fiery goddess.

16) I Walk The Line.

‘I Walk The Line’ is a cover of a Johnny Cash song but Halsey makes it her own and changes it almost entirely. It’s one of the best covers of any song done… ever. From a happy song about being faithful, she makes it into something darker, about “walking the line and feeling addicted to someone”. It’s the slowest song on the album and it’s a song you could slow dance to with the person you love. Listen to this song if you’re feeling particularly in love.

All in all, 10/10 would recommend this album. Listen to it, drown in it. It’s a beautiful album and Halsey so much effort into it that she created an entire world- the Badlands- from something as small as a few songs.

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Written by Tashie

I just have a knack for boybands and writing. That's about it.

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