green vinyl version with alternate cover, available via Halsey’s US webstore and independent record stores.
Includes double sided insert. - On the surface, Halsey’s latest album, If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power, fits this tradition of grand gestures. The singer, who uses she/they pronouns, is releasing the record alongside an IMAX film of the same name; there have been no singles, only increasingly gory, fantastical trailers and a theatrical unveiling of the album art at the Met. But the record itself has a tight, internal focus: It’s about walking the line between self-preservation and self-destruction, control and compulsion, the thrill and terror of getting what you want. Instead of sieving these themes through an elaborate architecture, Halsey lets horror—of the body, of the mind, of mortality—radiate outward. The result is alluring and spectral. It’s their best work yet.
Largely that’s because they sound so good: clear and cool and lilting. Nine Inch Nails members and film score mainstays Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross produced the record, and the pair seem eager to announce their unlikely place in pop music. On the opening tracks, they create a psychedelic Gothic fairytale—wisps of wind, icy piano, panoramic synth blur, a churning undercurrent listed in the credits as a “menacing beat”—while Halsey sings about loneliness and crowns and Judas (“Jesus needed a three-day weekend/To sort out all his bullshit”), but mostly about a pervasive sense of doom. “Don’t wait for me,” they cry over the chaos, “it’s not a happy ending.” Reznor and Ross spend most of the album experimenting, careening through genres and hinting at a danger that’s never fully realized. They cram songs with texture, reverberating screams and screeching sirens; the busyness can feel like a distraction. The sound is sometimes abrasive, but rarely shocking. The rollicking “honey” oscillates between frenetic drums and guitar, with Dave Grohl behind the kit and a cyborg inflection that leaks in from hyperpop. “I’ve been corrupted,” Halsey sings on “Lilith,” and a spasm of glitch submerges the last note.
|A2||Bells In Santa Fe|
|A3||Easier Than Lying|
|A5||Girl Is A Gun|
|A6||You Asked For This|
|B5||I Am Not A Woman, I’m A God|