This week Halsey released her latest album Hopeless Fountain Kingdom. I always see a lot about Halsey all over social media, and I have always wanted to like her, however after her last album Badlands I just wasn’t a fan. I had read a lot about this album and had seen a lot of hype leading up to the release, yet on the release day I saw quite a few people say that they didn’t like it as much as Badlands because it sounded too ‘pop’, and while this may be a negative to some people, it actually encouraged me to listen to it!
I didn’t want to rule out all of Halsey’s future music because of one not so good album, so I decided to give Hopeless Fountain Kingdom a listen.
After listening to the entire album I can honestly say that I am pleasantly surprised! I thought that I would be sat telling myself to like and enjoy it, but I genuinely do! Halsey has such a distinct voice which means that some of the songs do sound similar, but in general it really is a brilliant album. Opening the album with The Prologue feels as though Halsey is telling the listener a story, which I find really interesting. While there is nothing wrong with an artist putting out an album with random songs on it, I feel like Hopeless Fountain Kingdom is one big body of work that should be listened to all together rather than dipping in and out of it.
But of course just like any album there are songs that are better than others, and songs that are much worse than others. Altogether I have six favourites, including Eyes Closed, Heaven In Hiding and Bad At Love. From the moment I listened to the album, I have had the powerful Bad At Love stuck in my head. The incredibly raw and emotional lyrics, mixed with both the strong vocals and tone make the track enormously captivating. While Heaven In Hiding feels like Halsey is speaking directly to the listener, generating power that I didn’t know Halsey had.
However there are also songs that I don’t speak just as fondly of. The weakest song on the album is definitely Don’t Play. I’m not too sure what Halsey was thinking when she recorded this song, because to me all it sounds like is someone both trying and failing to be ‘cool’. The unnecessary swearing in the chorus in combination with the weird beat reminds me of an older person trying desperately hard to be ‘current’ with the ‘kids’, ultimately creating quite an embarrassing song. The whole album is beautifully unique and can stand alone as one of a kind, however adding this song to the track list made it seem much more generic.
The other song that I’m not as keen on is Now or Never. Each time I listen to this song it grows on me more and more, however the reason I don’t like it is because the chorus sounds too much like Needed Me by Rihanna. I love Needed Me, yet what I don’t like are rip off versions of it. I think the verses leading up to the chorus are great, but the chorus is where it really gets let down.
Overall though I really like this album, in fact I would be close to saying that I love it! I am so glad that I gave Halsey another chance, and I would definitely urge anyone reading this to go and give it a listen.