Home Music album “If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power” by Halsey Presents Versatility ‹Pepperdine Graphic

“If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power” by Halsey Presents Versatility ‹Pepperdine Graphic


The alternate cover of “If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power” shows an image of Halsey in transparent red. Halsey dressed as a divine figure looking up to the sky. Photo courtesy of Capitol Records

American singer and songwriter Halsey released her fourth studio album on August 27, titled “If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power.” The album – produced by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross – features a diversity of genres such as pop, rock, alternative and acoustics. Halsey wrote in an Instagram post, the 13-track concept album expresses the ups and downs of pregnancy and childbirth, according to Consequence of Sound.

“It was always meant to be about mortality, eternal love and our place / permanence,” Halsey wrote in a Twitter post from August 11. “It was just amplified by my pregnancy and it introduced new themes of control, body horror, empowerment and vanity.”

The album opens with the haunting piano ballad, “The Tradition”. Halsey told her label, Capitol Records, the lyrics discussed the historic mistreatment of men, according to Songfacts.

“Take what you want / Take what you can / Take what you want / Don’t worry,” Halsey sings in the chorus. “It’s in the blood and it’s tradition.”

“The Tradition” smoothly switches to the second track, “Bells in Santa Fe”. Halsey featured a preview clip of “Bells in Santa Fe” in an Instagram video when she first announced the album on June 28. The song has a creepy electronic sound that complements the lyrical content.

“Don’t call me by my name / This is all temporary,” sings Halsey. “Don’t wait for me / It’s not a happy ending.”

The album then picks up tempo with the fast and angry rock song, “Easier than Lying”. Halsey repeatedly sings across the bridge about how much easier it is to walk through a breakup than to believe the person loved her back.

“When I first came back to ‘Easier Than Lying’ and there was this rage in there, I realized I was talking about people in your life who make you someone and decide. then they don’t like the person they made you into, ”Halsey told Capitol Records in a YouTube video.

According to JustRandomThings, the fourth song, “Lilith,” is a relaxed hip-hop-infused track in which Halsey reflects on her corrupting behavior that scares the things she loves. The album’s shortest song, “Girl is a Gun,” has a chaotic production as Halsey warns of how dangerous it can be.

“I love the sound of my voice in this type of production, whether it’s new metal or drum and bass,” Halsey told Apple Music’s Zane Lowe.

Halsey showcases her alternative rock side in “You Asked That”. In this song, she tells how her dreams finally came true, but now she sees the price to pay for being in the limelight.

“Go and be a big girl / You asked for it now,” Halsey sings in the chorus. “Go on and be a big girl / Or everyone will drown you.”

In the soft, acoustic and peaceful “Darling”, Halsey sings soothingly to her newborn baby, Ender Ridley Aydin, how all will be well. Lindsey Buckingham joined her on Saturday Night Live for a live performance of the song on October 9.

“1121” shows more of Halsey’s vocal range as she recounts how she would die for her child. The song’s title refers to November 21, 2020 – the day she found out she was pregnant.

For the ninth track, “Honey,” Halsey revealed an interesting story about how the rock song came about in an Instagram live. She said “honey” was an experimental song to show her younger brother, Dante Frangipane, how she makes music.

“John Cunningham pulled up a rough beat, I put myself in front of the mic and just started singing and writing,” Halsey said in an August 27 Instagram live. “Two days later I realized this song was actually drugs. It turned out to be one of my favorites on the album.

In the piano-infused electronic track, “Whispers,” Halsey reflects on struggles with mental health.

“Sabotage the things you love most / Camouflage so you can feed the lie you made up,” Halsey sings in the chorus.

The eleventh song is the hit synth-pop single, “I’m Not a Woman, I’m a God.” In this piece, Halsey contrasts his identity between human being and divinity. The clip shows different scenes from the accompanying film for the album of the same name which was streamed on HBO Max on October 7.

The longest song on the album, “The Lighthouse”, is another alternative rock track on a mythological story. Halsey gently ends the album with “Ya’aburnee”, which means “you bury me” in Arabic – which she uses to express how she wants to die before her son because she can’t imagine living without him.

“If we don’t live forever / Maybe someday we’ll swap places,” Halsey sings in the chorus. “Honey, you’ll bury me before I bury you.”

The diversity of genres and instruments on the album highlights just how versatile Halsey is as an artist. The lyrical content expresses her personal experiences as a new mom.

“If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power” is currently available to stream on YouTube Music, Apple Music, and Spotify.


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