Halsey’s Badlands Reveals Raw, Brutal, and Unapologetic World

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This concept album follows a dystopian metropolis that, as Halsey mentioned in a recent interview on Beats 1 Radio, she came to realize was actually a representation of her mind. “I sat down and originally came up with this idea for the concept, which is this post-apocalyptic society. [It’s] this booming metropolis: neon lights, people, a corrupt government; this moving, rotating city surrounded by desert wasteland, and what the desert does is keep people from the surrounding societies of the world from getting into the city, and it keeps people form the city of Badlands from escaping because no one could make it thorough the desert.”

“…I have a serious, body-shattering epiphany,” she continues. “The entire thing is a metaphor for a mental state. So, you know, the center of my head is this booming metropolis with corrupt forces and neon lights and it’s buzzing, it’s revolving, it’s never sleeping, and it’s surrounded by unexplored territory: people can’t come in, and I can’t escape.”

Very much like Halsey’s description, this album does not sugarcoat any of the topics it covers, and it ranges in topics like sexuality, drugs, inner demons, love lost and found, and so much more. It’s lyrically raw, emotional, and unapologetic, and really shows that Halsey poured her heart and soul into this album. “Castle” opens the album with a demanding presence: it brings hard-hitting drops and an angelic choir combined in the best way.  Songs such as “Ghost,” and “Hurricane” were in Halsey’s previously released EP Room 93but still fit into the theme of this album with hauntingly soothing synths, down-tempo beats, and lyrics that describe either a distant lover (“Ghost”) or Halsey as an independent force not to be played with (“Hurricane”).

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