Halsey’s “Badlands” is a ridiculously good album. Halsey, real name Ashley Frangipane, has a smooth and beautiful voice that goes perfectly with her honest and sincere lyrics. Badlands is sixteen tracks of badass.
There’s been a lot of talk about the grittiness on this album and I’d have to politely disagree. Calling this album gritty is the same as calling Adele’s “21” gritty. Lyrically it is in places, but more than that, it’s about someone coming to be who they are. Yes, Halsey sings a lot about sex and the music she makes is sexy as hell, but it’s also incredibly smooth and sincere. Her delivery and the lyrics she writes are incredibly genuine.
I’ve heard hundreds of people sing about hating somebody or having sex with somebody. I’ve believed that sentiment a handful of times, Halsey belongs in that group. What’s more is that there are songs where those stories are told, and you can believe they happened, but a while ago. When Halsey’s singing about it, it’s like it just happened. There’s that much emotion and that much sincerity in her voice. The music that goes along with the vocals is equally good. There are a couple of really cool indie pop songs and there are plenty of brooding base-infused ballads too. No matter what’s behind the vocal, space is used to perfection. Halsey and everyone who worked on the album did an excellent job of letting every note and every word breathe.
I could rant and rave about how good this album is for days. After listening to this record you’ll feel like Halsey explained her life over the past five years to you. You don’t completely comprehend all of it, but you comprehend enough of it to understand that she’s pretty damn interesting. This album deserves to be talked about now and in the future. I don’t know if there’s a bigger complement that you can give a record.