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Halsey performing on stage.

'Manic' is a Genre-Bending Work of Art

Gettyimages | Dia Dipasupil
By Trace Alan Salzbrenner

Halsey has been called this generation's “lyrical chameleon” with her use of different inspirations and her latest album exemplifies that perfectly. “Manic” is Halsey’s third studio album. With sixteen songs and a 47 minute and 43 second run time, the artist takes inspiration from country, rock, folk, pop, and even Korean rap to create a complete musical experience. The album is a “manic” amalgamation of those genres into a complete and overlapping story that embraces Halsey's multiple facets of artistic influence.

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Halsey has a beautiful voice and is able to use it on her overlapping, genre-bending songs expertly. Along with the genres, the songs also range from broad and universally relatable to extremely personal. “929” starts with Halsey saying that she was born at 9:29 AM. The song is all about her experiences with herself and she doesn’t even try to make it a marketable song. However, songs like “Forever… (is a long time)” holds extremely relatable sentiments. One thing is for certain though and that is, Halsey has an ability to convey her feeling through song expertly.

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The standout songs on this album are “You should be sad,” “3 am,” and “929.” They each show a great side to Halsey and really complete this album's tone. “You should be sad” borrows from country music while “3 am” borrows from the late 90s punk rock scene. “929” is just extremely personal and holds the feeling that you would want from an album titled “Manic.” They all show off her vocal skills in emotional and genre defying ranges.

Halsey on the red carpet.
Gettyimages | Mark Metcalfe

The album also features interludes and sound bites that help tell the story and set the scene for the next section if the album, something that is always nice for a complete listening experience as long as it doesn’t take away from the individual songs (which these do not). The interludes also show some of the influence and help complete the narrative that Halsey has created for the album. The features only add to the experience and never over shine or overtake Halsey (something a recent album had trouble with).

Giphy | Astralwerks

All in all, the album feels complete and covers its grounds, something that is hard to do with an album that covers so many genre influences. It never drags and keeps up with an ever distracted attention span. It has high tempo moments and slow moments for each type of mood while still sticking to its message of bipolar depression. There is something for just about anyone in this album and it should generate a lot new fans for the singer.

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