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BADLANDS

Badlands

Staff Review

Staff Pick

Original
Tyne
HPB Staff

Badlands By Halsey

by HALSEY
Innovative and Memorable

I didn't know what to expect when I received a copy of Badlands for my birthday. I already knew the hit single "New Americana" from the radio, but you know how these things go...1 or 2 solid songs on an album and a handful of filler. Not true here. Halsey is fresh, insightful & extremely talented. She's the person you want to be friends with because you know you'll have an actual experience. If you like Lorde, Tove Lo, Lana Del Rey or anything with a strong female presence you're going to love this album. If that's not your thing give it a try for the actual music. It's good stuff.

 
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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 Bj?rk 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. ~ Matt Collar, Rovi

  • Condition: New
    HPB condition ratings
    • New: Mint condition or still sealed (SS). Absolutely perfect in every way. New.
    • Fine/Like New (EX): No defects, little sign of use, well cared for. Plays perfectly. Close to new. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. Could be an unopened promotional or cut item. Sometimes called: mint-minus.
    • Very Good (VG): Will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it.
    • Good (G): Attractive and well cared for, but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, scuffing or scratching, but will play almost perfectly. For vinyl: barely detectable crackles or pops.
    • Fair (FR): This item is in okay condition. For vinyl: good is not so good and the record may have low level crackles or pops when playing. CD: one or more tracks may skip.
    • Poor (P): Obviously well-worn and handled. Most vinyl collectors will not buy good or below, but some tracks on CD or vinyl will play.
    Conditions Guide
  • Format: Compact Disc
  • Sold by: HPB.com
  • Seller rating:
  • Label: UMGD
  • UPC: 602547360342
HPB pick - In stock


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HPB condition ratings
  • New: Item is brand new, unused and unmarked, in flawless condition.
  • Fine/Like New (F): No defects, little usage. May show remainder marks. Older books may show minor flaws.
  • Very Good (VG): Shows some signs of wear and is no longer fresh. Attractive. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Good (G): Average used book with all pages present. Possible loose bindings, highlighting, cocked spine or torn dust jackets. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Fair (FR): Obviously well-worn, but no text pages missing. May be without endpapers or title page. Markings do not interfere with readability. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Poor (P): All text is legible but may be soiled and have binding defects. Reading copies and binding copies fall into this category. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: Mint condition or still sealed (SS). Absolutely perfect in every way. New.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): No defects, little sign of use, well cared for. Plays perfectly. Close to new. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. Could be an unopened promotional or cut item. Sometimes called: mint-minus.
  • Very Good (VG): Will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it.
  • Good (G): Attractive and well cared for, but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, scuffing or scratching, but will play almost perfectly. For vinyl: barely detectable crackles or pops.
  • Fair (FR): This item is in okay condition. For vinyl: good is not so good and the record may have low level crackles or pops when playing. CD: one or more tracks may skip.
  • Poor (P): Obviously well-worn and handled. Most vinyl collectors will not buy good or below, but some tracks on CD or vinyl will play.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: This movie is unopened and brand new.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): Near new. No defects, little sign of use. Plays perfectly. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. No skipping; no fuzzy or snowy frames in VHS.
  • Very Good (VG): Attractive and well cared for but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, but will play almost perfectly. For VHS: barely detectable distortion or very few fuzzy or snowy frames.
  • Good (G): This item is in okay condition and basically works well. There may be some minor distortion on VHS tape; slight scratching or wear on DVD.
  • Fair (FR): Basically plays, but may be obviously well-worn with some scratching or tape distortion.
  • Poor (P): Disc or tape is intact, but may be scratched or stretched. There may be skips or distortion or product defects.
Conditions Guide
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