The rebellious and legendary musician Halsey came out with her sophomore album, hopeless fountain kingdom, on June 2 and it was filled with surprises. As someone who has been a fan for a while now, I was in utter suspense and I even stayed up past 3 A.M. to listen to the album as much as possible in order to understand the story and the small details Halsey is known for.
I also know that this album would be significantly different than her debut album Badlands. After I heard “Now or Never” I didn’t know which direction she would go, but I trusted her.
I knew that she would bare her soul in a classy and beautiful way, but she went even deeper. She connected songs to created a love story, all while remaining true to herself and what she was writing about. She also revealed that this album is in a response to a breakup, which again, shows that though she was telling a story, her own story is what needs to be heard.
To begin, she takes the time to make a “Prologue” for the album and I respect that so much, considering no one really does that too much anymore. But at the same time, it illustrates the story and acts as an opener to help the listener understanding this tragic story.
Also, she created “Good Mourning” that cuts through the music and connects the story once again – and simply states that maybe hopeless is just a state of mind. Which makes sense, because if you pay attention to the first half of the album, there’s a definite tone of desire that explains the love itself and the falling out, and “Good Mourning” splits the love from the rough healing process, which is way more gritty and raw (this is, of course, my interpretation).
Specific songs that stood out to me were “Sorry” and “Angel on Fire”. “Sorry” was the last song before “Good Mourning” and she sings:
So I’m sorry to my unknown lover.
Sorry that I can’t believe, that anybody ever really starts to fall in love with me
In terms of style, “Sorry” doesn’t really match, but I think it’s crucial to the story itself, because it initiates the fallout that comes with heartbreak.
“Angel on Fire” is the song where she asks, “What happened to me?” She sings:
I used to be a darling starlet like a centerpiece,
had the whole world wrapped around my ring.
I flew too closely to the sun that’s setting in the East
and now I’m melting from my wings
The healing turned into something that sacrificed herself and became something destructive and that causes her to say when did this happen, “I used to be on fire”.
Also, I think Halsey’s voice needs to commended on this album. There’s some true moments on this album that make you go “woah”. For example, “Lie”. This song is gritty, raw, and sexual, but her voice is amazing and I get chills every time I hear it. Halsey has a unique voice naturally, but this shows off her powerful pipes.
hopeless fountain kingdom is a work of art and I’m so impressed that I haven’t stopped listening to it, and I find new meanings and new connections each time I listen to it. I believe Halsey did what every artist wants to do, which is be honest and raw, while being unique and creative.
*This was also published on Odyssey *