MMusical artist Halsey recently released her fourth studio album titled If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power, showcasing a captivating scope of grunge-pop mixed with a soundscape. The album is an entity in itself that bases its strength on its exclusive sound. Comprised of compelling piano arpeggios undulating over a verse from various sagas, the record is a cascading river flowing in streams of conscious, melodic depths. She explores the layers of birth and sexuality taking audiences on an immersive experience rarely seen in the collective framework of modern music.
Halsey’s fourth studio album was released August 27 through Capitol Records. Produced by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross of iconic industrial rock band, Nine Inch Nails, the concept album is a saga unto itself that extracts the maze associated with childbirth and the horrors of it all. The cover also illustrates a thematic meaning inspired by the creative and historical depictions of Mary. What distinguishes this album as a musical extraordinary is the theatrical film of the same that also accompanies the music. The film is directed by Colin Tilley and released for special screening in IMAX before the release of the album.
The idea for the album was conceived following Halsey’s canceled third concert tour of 2020 due to the pandemic. Around this time, she also conceived what she describes as one of the most horrific times of her life. Initially, she hinted that the album would feature a punk rock sound. The concept album marks an important era in the industry, outlining viable shifts towards a creative resurgence. Transmitting her emotions and journey through the album, she instantly connects with the audience. What I personally loved was the thematic dichotomy between the Whore and the Madonna. Thus, sexuality and motherhood are weighed side by side with the conclusion that they can exist as separate personality entities. The album and its songs can be described as the artist’s own revelation through life and motherhood.
She establishes the album as her own voice and makes sure not to feature any other artists. The sound is inspired by grunge-pop and alternative strains with serious industrial rock influences. The riffs and distortions come and go and hold their essence throughout the album as if writing a story culminating in a climax. A total of 13 songs and a bonus track reflect and contradict existing notions and embark on a realistic journey into the plight of a woman. When sexuality is defined with motherhood at its side, the fine line is tricky. But Halsey emerges stronger than ever before singing her glory with songs like “The Tradition,” “Bells in Santa Fe,” “Easier than Lying,” and “Girl Is a Gun,” among others. Pick up your copies now to experience the music and themes of one of the most beautiful, resilient and relevant sagas of the modern era.
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Alicia Parker is a fashion enthusiast studying at the University of California. She contributes to Daily Music Roll as a music blogger and writes a review of various music daily.