by Halsey


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An internet phenomenon, New Jersey's Ashley Frangipane, aka Halsey, parlayed her over 16,000 YouTube subscribers into a record deal with Astralwerks at age 18, a deal based primarily around her moody, synth-heavy single "Ghost." Two years later, Badlands finds the 20-year-old budding pop sensation delivering a set of songs that sound a lot like that fateful first single. Which isn't a bad thing. The sound that defined her D.I.Y. music is still apparent, though she did collaborate here with a handful of like-minded producers including Lido, the Futuristics, and Son Lux, who helped flesh out her highly personal songs into even more dramatic, sonically dense recordings. On the surface, Badlands is all chilly atmosphere, thanks to a bevy of thick bass tones, pulsing synthesizers, and rattlesnake percussion loops. It's a goth throwback that brings to mind Danny Lohner's work with Nine Inch Nails. However, underneath that icy landscape, Halsey burns with a feminist confidence, spitting out lyrics with her soulful voice that sound like Björk with vocal fry. On "Castle," she sings "I'm headed straight for the castle/They've got the kingdom locked up/And there's an old man sitting on a throne they're saying, 'I should probably keep my pretty mouth shut.'" Of course, it's clear from the start of Badlands that keeping her mouth shut is the last thing Halsey plans to do. As she proclaims on the taut, slow-tempo jam "Hold Me Down," "My demons are begging me to open up my mouth." Thankfully, Halsey consistently brings a strong sense of self to her content at every turn, musing with blithe emotion about her sexuality and creative independence. She also has a knack for singling out little generational touchstones that lend her songs an anthemic quality. On "New Americana," her vocals double-tracked like the children's chorus on Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall," she sings, "We are the new Americana/High on legal marijuana/Raised on Biggie and Nirvana." Interestingly, while her noir-ish, older-than-her-years image has drawn comparisons to contemporaries like Lana Del Rey and Lorde (and yes, there are similarities), musically, she has more in common with male-fronted acts like New York's X Ambassadors, merging dark, electronic indie with the rhythmic bump and lyrical flow of R&B. There's also something angry, literate, and youthfully defiant about Badlands that brings to mind the sneer of Garbage's Shirley Manson. Ultimately, it's all of Halsey's seemingly contradictory elements brought together that lend Badlands such a fascinating topography.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/28/2015
Label: Astralwerks
UPC: 0602547360342
catalogNumber: 473603
Rank: 663

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Halsey   Primary Artist
Aron Forbes   Guitar
Merit Leighton   Children's Chorus
Mason Purece   Children's Chorus
Levi Gunn   Children's Chorus
Jayda Brown   Children's Chorus
Emma Gunn   Children's Chorus

Technical Credits

Tim Bran   Composer
James Mtume   Composer
Chris Hugall   Composer
Dan Grech-Marguerat   Programming
Chris Spilfogel   Programming,Additional Production
Justyn Pilbrow   Composer,Producer
Ryan McMahon   Composer
Charlie Hugall   Composer,Producer
Roy Kerr   Composer
Tim Anderson   Composer,Programming,Producer,Instrumentation
Futuristics   Producer
Alex Schwartz   Composer
Dennis Stainken   Marketing
Joe Khajadourian   Composer
Captain Cuts   Producer
Aron Forbes   Additional Production
Peder Losnegård   Composer
Benjamin Berger   Composer
Dylan Bauld   Composer
Dylan Quagliato   Composer
Ashley Frangipane   Composer
Dylan Scott   Producer
Garrett Hilliker   Art Direction
Heavy Mellow   Additional Production
Chandra Uber   Composer
Ryan Loti   Composer
Kalkutta   Additional Production
Rob Tortelli   Composer
Dylan William   Producer,Vocal Producer,Additional Production
Larzz Principato   Composer,Additional Production

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Badlands 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Heart More than 1 year ago
Would be a 5 star, but it is warped for the 2nd time. I went into the store and bought this and was extremely excited I opened it in store and it was warped so they offered to replace it and send it to me in the mail. Got it today and warped again. This is the 3rd record have gotten from them that has been warped. The music is great though. I love everything Halsey. I just wish Barns and Nobles took better care of their records. Maybe they got a bad batch I don't know.. I don't think that is what it is though.
poza0918 More than 1 year ago
Love this album and so excited to find it on vinyl! It's smooth meaning it hasn't skipped or gotten stuck. The only thing that would make this better if they had the vinyl of the deluxe version, but other than that I highly recommend!
Anni2014 More than 1 year ago
My first ever vinyl and it was pink! I absolutely adore it and Halsey!!!
CASSANDRAFLORES More than 1 year ago
One of the best albums ever written. Her talent is mesmerizing...highly recommend
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AMAZING! Best debut album ever. She is a multi-talented goddess. Everyone needs to hear this only once to get addicted.