Halsey blends rap and pop with a modern twist on Shakespeare
By Gabriella Donahue
It’s been almost two years since 22-year-old Halsey’s debut indie album “BADLANDS” scored the number two spot on Billboard’s Hot 200. Similar to her first album, her new album titled “hopeless fountain kingdom” follows the same theme by documenting the tragic ups-and-downs of a youthful dystopian-esque romance. By smoothly blending both pop and alternative genres for a wider variety of fans, Halsey’s follow-up does not disappoint.
Unlike “BADLANDS” which featured no guest artists, the alt-pop album features cameos from rapper Quavo, Cashmere Cat and the pop sensation and former Fifth Harmony member Lauren Jauregui, all adding vocal variety to the album and giving it broader appeal.
The first song of “hopeless fountain kingdom,” plainly titled “The Prologue” sets the album’s tragic romance theme with an opening passage from Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”. Following the excerpt, Halsey melodramatically drones on in a speak-sing voice about her seemingly perfect yet devastating life. The song introduces a refreshing take on the age-old Shakespearean love story and sets the basis for the rest of the album’s tragic tone.
Halsey’s single “Now Or Never” is thus far the most popular song in the album. The track is centered around a wishy-washy relationship where Halsey urges her lover to take action now, or it will soon be too late. The chorus, which utilizes repetition, is extremely catchy, leaving the audience wanting to listen again and again.
While Halsey undoubtedly has a few radio-hits on her new album, some tracks definitely lean more towards the alternative side of “alt-pop” and will probably remain within the ear-buds of the hard-core Halsey followers rather than roaming through stations like Kiss 108.