Fewer albums have held such interesting and entertaining capacity for me. I love any artist who creates a concept album; the artistry behind Badlands seems instantly enhanced by the thought and detail of the world inside of Halsey’s mind. There’s an eclecticism to the collection of tracks that keeps you from ever getting bored as Halsey takes you on a tour through this imaginary city.
Some moments are utterly haunting, like Control or Young God, while other moments seem to combat the overall sense of depravity with an electricity. Everything is a combination of dancing and depression in the sickest, most perfect way possible.
The lyrics cut deep; lines like “you touched me and suddenly I was a lilac sky, and you decided purple just wasn’t for you” from Colors and “you can’t wake up, this is not a dream, you’re part of a machine, you are not a human being” from Gasoline are evocative, demanding of attention. There’s an unapologetic reality to every track, packaged and delivered with catchy beats and Halsey’s smoothly ferocious vocals, in a way that makes it not so hard to swallow.
To put it simply, Halsey is a millennial goddess, absolute royalty, with New Americana as her anthem, and Badlands as her kingdom. All hail this new musical queen.