Badlands Album Review


For the most part, I set aside words like “amazing” and “beautiful” for things like sunrises, pumpkin spice lattes, and other stereotypical (yet arguably great) “VSCO worthy” type experiences. Which is why I was initially at such a loss for words to describe the wondrously atmospheric and brutally honest concept album that is Halsey’s Badlands. It would be easy to just look at is as ‘beautiful’ and ‘amazing,’ because there’s no denying that Badlands is most definitely both of those things. But there’s a captivating and ineffable element to the album that makes calling it simply “beautiful” or “amazing” kind of a cop out.

Her early influences, like Alanis Morissette, Tupac, Nirvana, The Cure, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, and The Cranberries, exposed her to musical diversity at a very young age, and can be heard in her poignant lyrics, beat driven melodies, and the overall eclectic, electric, and wonderfully eccentric nature of the album. From tracks like “Roman Holiday,” which makes you feel both infinitely hopeful and bitter-sweetly nostalgic, to the dizzyingly haunting ‘Control,” the album is refreshing. This is largely due to its representation of a vast spectrum of human emotion that is equally as genuine, as it is intense, instead of the usual romanticization of love and pain, which is so prevalent in music these days. It’s this honesty that makes Halsey one of the many emerging female artists at the forefront of changing the gender barriers that society has instilled in the music industry, an industry that she is currently dominating. Her album debuted at #2 on the Overall Top Albums chart on ITunes, #1 on the Top Alternative Albums chart on ITunes, and #2 on the Billboard 200. After about seven weeks since its release, it remains at #1 on the Alternative Albums chart, and #16 on the Billboard 200. She is currently supporting her album on a sold out U.S. headlining tour, and come December, will be touring South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia.

Badlands is a surreal experience that is rooted in reality, so the only thing I recommend you do today is buy the album, put in your headphones, and listen to it from start to finish.

Welcome to the Badlands.