Album Review: Halsey ‘hopeless fountain kingdom (Deluxe)’

Track By Track

Track 1: “The Prologue” – The first half of this track sets the stage for the album. It obviously references the story of Romeo and Juliet, the two infamous lovers that ended up dying because they wanted to be with each other so badly. It certainly offers a little insight into what a central theme the album’s gonna have. The second half goes a different route in that she’s saying even though she knows the way things are isn’t the best, she can’t find it within herself to get out or change. Defiance vs. Complacency. (Grade: 9.0/10)

Track 2: “100 Letters”Moving on to green pastures happens to be the theme of this song. Halsey declares that she’s worth more than what she’s been getting from her partner and, when they try and get their act together, it’s too late. They regret missing out on a good thing and she regrets even wasting her time on them. It’s a great chill song with a great message. (Grade: 9.0/10)

Track 3: “Eyes Closed”Regret plays a major part in this song. Halsey sings about wanting to replace an old flame with a new one but failing every time. She wants what she had but she can’t get it, no matter where she tries to get it from. She’s stuck in limbo because she can’t replicate what she lost and she can’t seem to move on from it, either. I love this song and I’ve played it more than it’s fair share of times since it was released as a single. (Grade: 9.5/10)

Track 4: “Heaven In Hiding”Defying the norm is the name of the game here. For her, the best pleasure is found in surrendering to intensity, taking the reins of passion, and putting on a show of physicality worthy of every pulse of pleasure. She makes qualms about it and I love it. It took me a few listens to get used to everything mixing the way it does, but I’m good with it. (Grade: 9.0/10)

Track 5: “Alone”This song plays as a ‘warning’ of sorts. She warns people of wanting to get close to the ‘real’ her. The people that are ‘dying to meet her’ want to meet her stage persona, so to speak. Once they meet the ‘real’ her, they aren’t gonna like what they find. It’s an interesting message but I’m positive those are just lyrics for the sake of lyrics. (Grade: 8.5/10)

Track 6: “Now Or Never”This song has been in my playlists since it came out and, even after all the time between that release and the full album release, it still holds up as one of my favorite songs by Halsey to date. The added context of all the other songs only serves to lift this one up even higher for me. Even though it should be less exciting to hear now, I still think it’s just as flawless as the first time I heard it. (Grade: 10/10)

Track 7: “Sorry”This track slows things down a bit as Halsey recognizes her own faults and shortcomings toward her ‘unknown lover’. It’s a definite mature approach to relationships. It’s always best to know yourself and recognize what you need to work on, as opposed to just jumping into relationships without any kind of self-evaluation beforehand. This one’s more on the vulnerable side and I can definitely appreciate it for what it means for Halsey and what it means in general.  (Grade: 9.5/10)

Track 8: “Good Mourning”I listened to this track a couple of times and I’m still not quite completely sure what’s being talked about. My best guess is that there’s more to Halsey than what appears on the outside. I took the sun to be the representation of the truth coming to light and the repeating ‘oh why’ line to be representations of negativity having to take a backseat. She’s searching for happiness and, though it might seem like she acts one way, there’s far more to the story than any of us know. (Grade: 8/10)

Track 9: “Lie”Admittedly, I wasn’t as into this track as I was with the others. It felt like it was lacking some of the usual spark I got from her other songs. The meaning was simple enough but I wish there was more to sink my teeth into. Plus, I’m not all that familiar with Quavo. So, his part didn’t do all that much for me. (Grade: 7.5/10)

Track 10: “Walls Could Talk”This one was fun to listen to. It’s shorter than the majority of the rest of the tracks but it’s not that big of a disservice. I’m always in favor of making a song as full as you can but I’m cool with this one being on the shorter end of the scale.  Plus, I’m always a fan of syllabification  of lyrics and verses. (Grade: 8.5/10)

Track 11: “Bad At Love”This is another one of the vulnerable songs on the album. Blame for the failure of the various relationships mentioned isn’t placed on any side. She makes to speak what both sides did to get them to where they ended up. Whether it was jealousy, drugs, or gender role assumptions, it all gets laid out on the table for us and the new person in her life to hear. (Grade: 9.0/10)

Track 12: “Don’t Play”This one took a couple listens to click with me. I love disjointed music but there was a lot going on in this song and I had to get used to processing everything and matching it up in my head. The island background beat kept messing me up. It’s a good song but it’s definitely one you have to give a couple listens if you’re not used to that kind of sound arrangement. (Grade: 8.0/10)

Track 13: “Strangers”This is definitely one of those kinds of songs that you can put on when you need to focus on your writing, cleaning, or whatever else you might need to get done. Lauren Jauregui. If you want to get deeper and interpret the lyrics, you can do that just the same. Two women fell out of love but, essentially, want the same thing and, possibly, get back together. It works on multiple levels, no matter how you look it. (Grade: 9.5/10)

Track 14: “Angel On Fire”Obscurity is the name of the game and the theme of this track. Having fallen from grace and out of the spotlight of the main stage has caused a downward spiral for the character being sung about. It’s fairly blatant in the message it wants to convey. Nobody wants to fade into obscurity. She’d rather go out in flames than fade into nothingness and it works well here. (Grade: 9.0/10)

Track 15: “Devil In Me”This track switches meaning and lyrical purpose toward the end. At first, it’s about failing, trying to compare yourself to others, and getting chastised and criticized for being how you are. By the end of the song, the inner darkness has to be let out to balance the emotions that the character is feeling. The fact that letting the ‘devil’ out doesn’t happen until the very end of the song only puts more focus on the importance of embracing the inner dark side and working with it to bring a sense of balance. (Grade: 9.0/10)

Track 16: “Hopeless”The title says everything you need to know. The character of the song is a hopeless romantic hanging on to whatever she can of a relationship that’s already gone down the drain. It’s a bit of a downer to end the album with but it definitely fits right along with the various themes of what the album has to offer. (Grade: 8.5/10)

Final Grade: 8.8 / B+ (This album most definitely falls into the ‘great’ category. I’m still loving music from her last album. So, I’m expecting more of the same from this one. There were only a few bumps in the road and I wouldn’t let that stop me from listening to it. Whether you listen all the way through or a piece at a time, you’ll love it either way.)

What did you think about ‘hopeless fountain kingdom’? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

You can find it and buy it on Itunes.

You can follow anything Halsey on Twitter – @halsey


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