Halsey - Manic
Over the past five to six years Halsey has become an all out Celebrity. She was characterized by her misfit status, she was not going to just be another Selena Gomez or Ariana Grande. This was the anti Disney star, still gutted from the emotional trauma of youth but finding release through her writing. Her lyrics have always been one of her strongest assets. She is able to craft these truly stunning narratives, mostly told by putting herself in the shoes of her subjects, and wrap them around some pretty nice electronic production. On Manic however the theme shift to a more to the personal. It makes sense since Halsey has mostly lived in life int he spotlight since her last album. Public relationships and public breakups are all fodder for songs on this album. It allows you to take a deeper dive into who Halsey is as a person, and how these things have affected her life. "You should be sad" it can't help be noted feels entirely target at former love interest G-Eazy someone who I am more than happy to celebrate being taken down a notch. However as her star has grown her production partners have seemed to shrink. Jon Bellion, Benny Blanco and Greg Kurstin's sound is all over these songs, and all over almost any damn song you hear on pop radio today. There is some variety on this album song to song, but they all slide so close to everything else you hear today that you can't help but be disappointed.
The songs that aren't tailor made for pop radio though feel a bit overwrought and long. "Forever ...(is a long time)" is supposed to be this emotional breakdown coupled with raindrops and everything, but instead it just feels like extra padding. A lot of Halsey's ideas feel like conversations the world has had on Twitter a hundred times. All this is to say it's hard to see Halsey as the outsider anymore, a portrayal she has really relished throughout her career. This is factory pop, put through an artist who probably doesn't want that to be her legacy. The album doesn't sound bad, it doesn't not work, it's just missing that special Halseyness that has been so integral to her other records.
7.1 out of 10