Track-By-Track Album Review: Badlands by Halsey

Written by on September 1, 2015


With a quick rise to the top in just a little over a year, Ashley Frangipane, better known by her stage name, Halsey, has kept her audience on their toes in anticipation of her first full-length album Badlands.

In her short time in the spotlight, Halsey has opened up for The Kooks, Imagine Dragons and has even headlined her own mini-tour earlier this year after an incredible run at SXSW. Now with a new album this New Jersey native will embark on an almost completely sold out headlining tour.

Welcome to the Badlands.

Track 1: Castle

The perfect track to open up the album, this track gives us an intro into Halsey’s life and her rise to fame. With dark vibes she gives us an inside look into her own “Castle.”

“I’m headed straight for the castle / they wanna make me their queen / And there’s an old man sitting on the throne that’s saying that I probably shouldn’t be so mean.”

Track 2: Hold Me Down

A track that seems to be about her constant struggle with her demons, a bad habit that is trying to hold her back, this is a song that a lot of people will be able to relate to.

“They fight me / vigorous and angry / watch them pounce.”

Track 3: New Americana

This generations newest anthem, “New Americana” praises ones individualism much like Halsey likes to present herself, not conforming to others rules about what we should be and how things should be done.

“We know very well who we are / so we hold it down when summer starts.”

Track 4: Drive

With a dreary vibe, this track talks about being comfortable with someone, somewhere unimaginable but having a hard time getting those feelings out in the open with that certain someone.

“All we do is drive / all we do is think about the feelings that we hide / All we do is sit in silence waiting for a sign.”

Track 5: Hurricane

Halsey’s second single off her previous EP Room 93, Hurricane is the track about being your own person.

“Don’t belong to no city/ don’t belong to no man.”

Track 6: Roman Holiday

One of the more upbeat songs off of Badlands, “Roman Holiday” has a very happy sound that kind of makes you forget for a second that she’s singing about a roman holiday.

Ro·man hol·i·day



1. an occasion on which enjoyment or profit is derived from others’ suffering or discomfort.

Track 7: Ghost

The song that rocketed Halsey to the top of the charts, no words are needed to persuade you on why Halsey has received the praise she has.

Track 8/9: Colors & Colors Pt. II

This song is an instant hit, and old and new Halsey fans have been waiting for the studio version of this song to be released since Halsey first started performing it live earlier this year. “Colors Pt. II” is a wonderful instrumental add-on to “Colors” that extends the beauty of track.

You were red and you liked me ’cause I was blue / You touched me and suddenly I was a lilac sky / And you decided purple just wasn’t for you

Track 10: Strange Love

“Strange Love” is a track with a very obvious message to those who take too much interest into Halsey’s personal life, specifically her relationships, and from the tone of the lyrics, one specific relationship.

“Everybody’s waiting up to hear if I dare speak your name / Put it deep beneath the track, like the hole you left in me / And everybody wants to know ’bout how it felt to hear you scream / They know you walk like you’re a god, they can’t believe I made you weak”

Track 11: Coming Down

“Coming Down” speaks of the different sides of people, specifically a significant other while in a relationship. Each verse describes finding God, the Devil, a martyr, a lover and a savior in different aspects of that certain person.

Track 12: Haunting

Halsey has stated in many interviews and tweets that Badlands reads as a story and listening throughout the album that becomes clear very early on. “Haunting” is a song that sounds like hope and reaching for something new.

Track 13: Gasoline

With a more melodic introduction and overall feel, “Gasoline” quickly transforms into a track with a heavier feel and the transition is wonderful.

Track 14: Control

“Control” is a song that jumped out at me the first time I listened to the album, specifically the way Halsey’s emotion transfers through while singing, “Goddamn right, you should be scared of me / Who is in control?”

Track 15: Young God

Another track with a very clear message of feeling like a “Young God” in bed. I’ll let you listen and get you own idea on what she is portraying in this song.

Track 16: I Walk The Line

“I Walk The Line” is a perfect closing track for Badlands, with a very similar vibe to the opener “Castle,” this song is sort of a goodbye for now but also saying don’t think I’m done just yet.

Overall this is an incredible album, from the lyrics to the melodies, Badlands draws you in. This album is pretty much perfect and like Halsey’s career, it is sure to rise to the top quickly.

Halsey will be hitting the road in support of Badlands this fall sadly most of those dates sold out in minutes including her show at House of Blues in October. However you can catch her opening up for The Weeknd at Toyota Center this December! Tickets can be found here.

Stream Badlands for free on Spotify, and support Halsey by purchasing the album here!

Rating: 4.7/5

By Norma Becerra

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