Friday, August 28th. Thousands of fans are waiting behind their computers, iPads and phones with anticipating, shaking fingers to open iTunes. The time is finally here. Halsey’s debut album Badlands has officially been released. The efforts of her fans don’t go unnoticed: it’s a day later and the album has hit number 2 on the iTunes chart immediately. Not bad for a debut, is it?
Of course, in the age of the Internet, leaks happen more often than not. Despite little scandals like Urban Outfitters selling the album before it was even released (and Halsey frustratingly confronting them with it), the excitement hasn’t hit the Internet fully just yet until Halsey herself tweets that her debut is finally available. To be fair, she’s been ruling the world ages before she released her songs. Speaking up about bisexuality, being biracial and not shying away from touching upon mental disorders either, Halsey’s fans have been able to relate to her in a way that not all fans can with their idols. It’s probably why her entire self-built fanbase is so fiercely protective and proud of her – from a struggling teen coming to terms with who she is on Tumblr to an internationally nervously awaited debut popstar, Halsey is the friend we all wish we had. Lord knows I wish she was mine, at least.
Halsey has been speaking the language of the Internet along with the language of today’s youth. Everyone relates to her and likes her daringness – and that courage shows in her songs. Generally speaking, Halsey’s album is a pop record. At CelebMix, we obviously love our pop as much (possibly even more) as the next person, but to blatantly put Halsey’s album under the pop label is a little generic. At only 20 years old she’s managed to make a concept record about a dystopian world that exceeds every expectation we had. Her biggest goal was to avoid cliché: and this album has absolutely met that goal.
Despite having a teenage audience, Halsey doesn’t shy away from using a “fuck” here or there nor does it prevent her from writing songs about sex. She’s not the clean cut Disney popstar who is the perfect role model for the young ones. She’s daring, she’s outspoken and she’s a force to be reckoned with. Her songs tell the story we all should know. The song Strange Love says it all: They think I’m insane, they think my lover is strange // But I don’t have to fucking tell them anything, anything // And I’m gonna write it all down, and I’m gonna sing it on stage // But I don’t have to fucking tell you anything, anything.
If Halsey’s creativity, intelligence and striking popularity can tell us anything, it’s that we haven’t heard the last of her at all. And we don’t only mean the music. You can listen to Badlands on Spotify or buy the album on iTunes.