Halsey’s second album, hopeless fountain kingdom, is everything I had been hoping for and more.
She starts the album with a prologue brings you into her imagined, dystopian world, and gets you ready for the emotional journey the album explores. The first song “100 Letters” is one of the most powerful on the album. Halsey combines simple and calm drum beats with intense lyrics about escaping an abusive relationship. She keeps to the somber tone in the next song, “Eyes Closed”, where she sticks to soothing drum beats, bass, and guitar, and pairs it with echoing vocals. “Heaven in Hiding” is the first song that fits into the pop category we can expect from Halsey. It is a toned-down version of an EDM song, using mostly synthetic drum beats to back raspy vocals. In “Alone”, modern, synthetic drum beats are added to a jazzy beat that is reminiscent of Frank Sinatra. “Now Or Never”, the first single Halsey released from the album, is exactly what you expect from a pop song: a simple, bass-heavy beat, paired with catchy lyrics, but still thoroughly enjoyable. The middle of the album is where we find “Sorry” and “Lie”, the slow songs on the album. I love these songs because of their simplicity. It is just Halsey and a piano, with nothing too complex going on, that allows the focus to be on the story she is telling about lost love. The end of the album sticks to the Halsey brand, with up-tempo, EDM-esque beats and catchy lyrics that make you want to dance along. The lyrics themselves have a message of self-discovery and empowerment which are addressed in “Walls Could Talk”, “Bad at Love” and “Don’t Play”. The second single, “Strangers”, which features Fifth Harmony’s Lauren Jauregui, is another one of my favorites and the perfect choice for her second single, keeping to the upbeat feel and sensual vocals. Halsey is able to elicit tons of emotion from her voice that makes you really feel what she’s saying like in “Angel On Fire” and “Devil In Me”. She does a great job at not only using the album to go on an emotional journey, but bring her listeners with her.
Overall: The album tells an important story while keeping the upbeat pop sound Halsey is known for.
Review by Dee Dee Landon