Halsey’s latest album dropped recently and slams stereotypical archetypes of women from the first note. She’s taking on everyone and I’m so here for it. Her latest album “If I can’t Have Love, I Want Power” is a mix of female power, enlightenment, taking down the patriarchy, and even some matriarchal and problematic figureheads in this balls out, no holds barred album. From her first song “It’s Tradition” to “If I can’t have love, I want power,” there are so many female power moves and I’m here for the ride.
According to Halsey, this album is her way of purging everything she wanted to get off of her chest before having her baby. It’s like taking her diary, self doubts, and hopes for the future that she wants for her child that other children didn’t have before. She’s writing about things she wanted to let out so she can go into motherhood with a fresh slate and no baggage from her past, and who can’t relate to a sentiment like that? Even if we don’t have children ourselves, we’ve all known the longing of wanting to let go of fears, hopes, and trauma in our past. This album is Halsey’s way of doing it, in a way that she can hand it to her child and say “this is what I was thinking about, and why I was the way I was”.
Teaming up with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross from Nine Inch Nails, Halsey delivers a unique sound on this album that’s somehow different but still similar to her older albums. With a mix of sounds similar to early No Doubt and Paramore along with her own unique voice, she’ll in turn lull you and fire you up to rail against the injustices of being a woman at war with herself and the world’s perception of herself.
Easily my favorite song from the album is “The Tradition”, the first single. In the chorus, “Take what you want, take what you can, ask for forgiveness, never permission” her mantra is to take the most out of life but be careful in asking for what you want. She’s railing against the thought that women can have power but can’t always be happy because of the power she accumulates. The age old, “Be careful what you wish for”. In this song, she’s saying well, if that’s the case, I’m taking whatever I want and no one’s standing in my way.
In her song “The Lighthouse”, she’s taking on the damsel in distress and turning it into a siren song as she sings about luring sailors to their demise. One lyric in particular, “I never wanted saving, I just wanted to be found” particularly hit home as she is singing about just wanting a voice to be able to scream and wail about her problems without having to be “saved.” This could almost be taken as a dig at the “toxic positivity” movement on social media that’s taken over the mental health spaces, where people who just wanted to be heard are now seen as a “problem to be fixed” by well meaning, but overbearing peers.
In her song “I am not a woman, I’m a god,” Halsey is taking on the archetype of the Queen or a woman of power. Or whom society seems to have power, but she’s really a puppet for the true powers, until she reclaims her own power in her femininity and strength. In the video, she’s dressed to the max but also is in chains and a collar, being led around like a puppet. As the video progresses, so does her own self awareness and she starts taking back her power. These are just a few of my favorite songs from the album, which all in all, I absolutely love and have played on replay for a week straight at this point.
The video for “I am not a woman, I”m a god,” is a visual masterpiece and could’ve come straight from a movie. I can’t wait for more music videos to be released. The level of artistry and time and effort put into them is incredible. I absolutely recommend this album and will be playing it for years to come. Halsey has grown and evolved so much as an artist, it’s always exciting to hear what she comes up with and what the motivations for each song is. I hope you all give this album the full attention it deserves and enjoy it as much as I did. This album will grab you from the first note and won’t let you go til the final one.