When you mention the name Halsey there is no doubt everyone knows exactly who you are talking about. The 2012-era tumblr artist turned worldwide pop star is everywhere these days. From magazine covers to pop radio stations to award shows, Halsey is quickly becoming the next household name. From her ever changing hair to her deeply emotional music, Halsey is making her mark. Her newest album, MANIC, is only further expanding her path to long lasting fame.
Ashley Frangipane, best known by her stage name Halsey, is a 25 year old musician from New Jersey who has been an up and coming pop artist for a little over half a decade. Halsey acquired early fame the same way many young artists of the 2010’s have – on social media. She began posting original songs to YouTube and Tumblr in 2012. After gaining attention on both platforms she signed to Astralwerks in 2014 and released her first music project, a five song EP titled Room 93. Since then she has released three albums – Badlands, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, and her most recent release MANIC.
Keeping in tradition with her two previous albums, MANIC is not just an album but an experience. The album was released January 17th, 2020 with the tagline “MANIC: An Album by Ashley for Halsey”. Halsey released MANIC in tandem with three music videos for the singles “Without Me”, “Nightmare”, and “You should be sad”; an abundance of artistic visuals which accompany the tracks on the Spotify play through, and even a scented candle in order to tie all the listener’s senses into the world of the album.
The album itself is a beautifully coherent mesh of genres and emotions. MANIC is a mix of pop songs, rock songs, and even country songs. It is a constant up and down that leaves you gripping the edge of your seat for more. Just like her previous albums, Halsey presents her listeners with a story, which the artist herself suggests listening through in order to get the right experience. The music leaves you putting together the pieces to truly understand the experiences that inspired MANIC.
From the melancholic, emo-esque tune “Ashley” that introduces the world of MANIC to bouncy yet personal track “929” the album paints a beautiful picture as you listen. The highlights of the album include the angry, 2000’s pop stream of consciousness “3am”, the soft country breakup song “You should be sad”, and the acoustic pop ballad “Finally // beautiful stranger”. The album also includes features from Dominic Fike, Alanis Morissette, and SUGA of K-Pop sensation BTS. Featuring these artists on the album further proves Halsey’s ability to take on any genre and do it unbelievable justice.
MANIC has so many amazing qualities from unique beats to heartbreakingly beautiful lyrics to an enticing storyline. The album is a spectrum of genres and has something for anyone who listens. This album is both wholly a personal expression of Halsey as a person and a musical experience everyone can find themselves in.
In short, MANIC is truly a masterpiece. Every song is different and beautiful in its own way. This album is filled with so much raw emotion that radiates into every crevice of your brain. Halsey is truly a next level artist that can conquer any genre and any emotion. This album is one for the ages and will be talked about for years to come.