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Halsey|If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power (Explicit)

If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power (Explicit)

Halsey

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New mom Halsey (who uses she/they pronouns) has called their fourth record "a concept album about the joys and horrors of pregnancy and childbirth": a sometimes alien-takeover experience that literally changes a woman's body and mind—hips spreading, hormones flooding, brain seeped in fog, an emotional pendulum of elation and shock. Likewise, the songs are shape-shifting and surprising, both musically and lyrically. When "The Tradition" starts out with medieval fairy-tale piano, it seems obvious that the song will explode into fireworks—but it never does, and it's just the first example of producers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross' fascinating subtlety. The song's most dramatic dynamic shift is the addition of lower-register keys as Halsey snarl-chants what could be taken as a cry of empowerment or a threat: "Take what you want/ Take what you can/ Take what you please/ Don't give a damn/ Ask for forgiveness, never permission." It's not all musical restraint, though. The terrific "Easier Than Lying" contrasts Halsey's sweet voice against a jagged-edge melody before erupting into a gratifying, Paramore-style emo chorus. There's a similar feel to the pogo-bounce—fueled by Dave Grohl's drums—of "honey." Things take a loungey, trip-hop turn on "Lilith," while "Girl Is a Gun" practically trembles under a heavy-adrenaline beat. "Darling" lifts the bittersweet folk Halsey flirted with on their last album, 2020's Manic, to a new apex, complete with feather-delicate acoustic guitar by Lindsey Buckingham. "The Lighthouse" is also a treat: Mr. Serious Reznor full on embraces pop, piling on showy goth synth with swagger while a purring Halsey winkingly bounces along a hopscotch melody. "You Asked for This" is '80s-pop irresistible, its power chorus and thick guitar layers (courtesy of TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek) putting a candy coating on indecision. "Go on and be a big girl, you asked for this," Halsey—now partnered up and with a baby— sings, poking at the idea of domesticity like it's a tender bruise. "You wished upon a falling star/ And then left behind the avant-garde ... You better kiss good night and give some head ... Well, is this the life that lies ahead now?" There are killer lines all over the place; "Jesus needed a three-day weekend/ To sort out all his bullshit," from the bleak and icy "Bells of Santa Fe," is a standout. "Whispers" is strikingly clever, too, a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde scenario where the exaggeratedly whispered lines ("You do not want him ...You do not want this") are the voice of Halsey's self-cannibalizing inner predator: "I've got a monster inside me that eats personality types/ She's constantly changing her mind on the daily." It all ends with tender "Ya'aburnee, its title loosely translating from Arabic as the desire for your loved one to die before you do because you can't go on without them. "Darling you will bury me, before I bury you," Halsey sings, a declaration of great romance, selfishness and despair all at once. © Shelly Ridenour/Qobuz

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If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power (Explicit)

Halsey

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1
The Tradition
00:03:46

Trent Reznor, Producer, Engineer, Piano, Synthesizer, Sampler, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - John Hanes, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Greg Kurstin, Vocal Producer, Recording Engineer, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Serban Ghenea, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Stephen Marcussen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Stewart Whitmore, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Atticus Ross, Producer, Engineer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Halsey, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Julian Burg, Vocal Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ashley Frangipane, ComposerLyricist - Jeremy Vuernick, A&R - Liz Isik, A&R Admin - Mat Mitchell, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aria McKnight, A&R Coordinator

℗ 2021 UMG Recordings, Inc.

2
Bells in Santa Fe Explicit
00:03:37

John Cunningham, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Trent Reznor, Producer, Engineer, Piano, Synthesizer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - John Hanes, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Serban Ghenea, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Stephen Marcussen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Stewart Whitmore, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Atticus Ross, Producer, Engineer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Halsey, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ashley Frangipane, ComposerLyricist - Jeremy Vuernick, A&R - Johnathan Carter Cunningham, ComposerLyricist - Liz Isik, A&R Admin - Mat Mitchell, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aria McKnight, A&R Coordinator - Kevin "The Bug" Martin, Programming, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2021 UMG Recordings, Inc.

3
Easier than Lying
00:03:26

John Cunningham, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Trent Reznor, Producer, Engineer, Guitar, Bass, Synthesizer, Sampler, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Stephen Marcussen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - ALAN MOULDER, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Stewart Whitmore, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Atticus Ross, Producer, Engineer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Halsey, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Herbert, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Ashley Frangipane, ComposerLyricist - Jeremy Vuernick, A&R - Johnathan Carter Cunningham, ComposerLyricist - Liz Isik, A&R Admin - Mat Mitchell, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aria McKnight, A&R Coordinator

℗ 2021 UMG Recordings, Inc.

4
Lilith Explicit
00:02:47

John Cunningham, Vocal Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Trent Reznor, Producer, Engineer, Synthesizer, Sampler, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - John Hanes, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Karriem Riggins, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Serban Ghenea, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Stephen Marcussen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Pino Palladino, Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Stewart Whitmore, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Atticus Ross, Producer, Engineer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Halsey, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ashley Frangipane, ComposerLyricist - Jeremy Vuernick, A&R - Johnathan Carter Cunningham, ComposerLyricist - Liz Isik, A&R Admin - Mat Mitchell, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aria McKnight, A&R Coordinator

℗ 2021 UMG Recordings, Inc.

5
Girl is a Gun
00:02:26

John Cunningham, Vocal Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Trent Reznor, Producer, Engineer, Synthesizer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Stephen Marcussen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - ALAN MOULDER, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Stewart Whitmore, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Atticus Ross, Producer, Engineer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Halsey, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jack Dangers, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Herbert, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Ashley Frangipane, ComposerLyricist - Jeremy Vuernick, A&R - Johnathan Carter Cunningham, ComposerLyricist - Liz Isik, A&R Admin - Mat Mitchell, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aria McKnight, A&R Coordinator

℗ 2021 UMG Recordings, Inc.

6
You asked for this Explicit
00:04:25

Trent Reznor, Producer, Engineer, Guitar, Bass, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - John Hanes, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Greg Kurstin, Vocal Producer, Vocal Engineer, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Serban Ghenea, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Stephen Marcussen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Stewart Whitmore, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Atticus Ross, Producer, Engineer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Halsey, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Dave Sitek, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Julian Burg, Vocal Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ashley Frangipane, ComposerLyricist - Jeremy Vuernick, A&R - Liz Isik, A&R Admin - Mat Mitchell, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aria McKnight, A&R Coordinator

℗ 2021 UMG Recordings, Inc.

7
Darling
00:03:02

Lindsey Buckingham, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - John Cunningham, Vocal Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Trent Reznor, Producer, Engineer, Sampler, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - John Hanes, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Serban Ghenea, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Stephen Marcussen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Stewart Whitmore, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Atticus Ross, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Halsey, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ashley Frangipane, ComposerLyricist - Jeremy Vuernick, A&R - Johnathan Carter Cunningham, ComposerLyricist - Liz Isik, A&R Admin - Mat Mitchell, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aria McKnight, A&R Coordinator

℗ 2021 UMG Recordings, Inc.

8
1121
00:02:42

John Cunningham, Vocal Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Trent Reznor, Producer, Engineer, Piano, Synthesizer, Sampler, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - John Hanes, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Serban Ghenea, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Stephen Marcussen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Stewart Whitmore, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Atticus Ross, Producer, Engineer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Halsey, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ashley Frangipane, ComposerLyricist - Jeremy Vuernick, A&R - Johnathan Carter Cunningham, ComposerLyricist - Liz Isik, A&R Admin - Mat Mitchell, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aria McKnight, A&R Coordinator

℗ 2021 UMG Recordings, Inc.

9
honey Explicit
00:02:53

John Cunningham, Vocal Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Trent Reznor, Producer, Engineer, Guitar, Bass, Synthesizer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - John Hanes, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Serban Ghenea, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Stephen Marcussen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Stewart Whitmore, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Darrell Thorp, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Dave Grohl, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Atticus Ross, Producer, Engineer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Halsey, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ashley Frangipane, ComposerLyricist - Jeremy Vuernick, A&R - Johnathan Carter Cunningham, ComposerLyricist - Liz Isik, A&R Admin - Mat Mitchell, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aria McKnight, A&R Coordinator

℗ 2021 UMG Recordings, Inc.

10
Whispers Explicit
00:03:11

John Cunningham, Vocal Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Trent Reznor, Producer, Engineer, Piano, Synthesizer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - John Hanes, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Serban Ghenea, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Stephen Marcussen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Stewart Whitmore, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Atticus Ross, Producer, Engineer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Halsey, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ashley Frangipane, ComposerLyricist - Jeremy Vuernick, A&R - Johnathan Carter Cunningham, ComposerLyricist - Liz Isik, A&R Admin - Mat Mitchell, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aria McKnight, A&R Coordinator

℗ 2021 UMG Recordings, Inc.

11
I am not a woman, I'm a god
00:02:56

John Cunningham, Vocal Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Trent Reznor, Producer, Engineer, Synthesizer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - John Hanes, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Serban Ghenea, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Stephen Marcussen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Stewart Whitmore, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Atticus Ross, Producer, Engineer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Halsey, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ashley Frangipane, ComposerLyricist - Jeremy Vuernick, A&R - Johnathan Carter Cunningham, ComposerLyricist - Liz Isik, A&R Admin - Mat Mitchell, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aria McKnight, A&R Coordinator

℗ 2021 UMG Recordings, Inc.

12
The Lighthouse
00:04:33

John Cunningham, Vocal Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Trent Reznor, Producer, Engineer, Guitar, Vocals, Bass, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - John Hanes, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Serban Ghenea, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Stephen Marcussen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Stewart Whitmore, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Atticus Ross, Producer, Engineer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Halsey, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ashley Frangipane, ComposerLyricist - Jeremy Vuernick, A&R - Johnathan Carter Cunningham, ComposerLyricist - Brandon Buttner, Vocal Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Liz Isik, A&R Admin - Mat Mitchell, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aria McKnight, A&R Coordinator

℗ 2021 UMG Recordings, Inc.

13
Ya'aburnee
00:03:08

John Cunningham, Vocal Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Trent Reznor, Producer, Engineer, Bass, Sampler, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - John Hanes, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Serban Ghenea, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Stephen Marcussen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Stewart Whitmore, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Atticus Ross, Producer, Engineer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Halsey, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ashley Frangipane, ComposerLyricist - Jeremy Vuernick, A&R - Johnathan Carter Cunningham, ComposerLyricist - Liz Isik, A&R Admin - Mat Mitchell, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aria McKnight, A&R Coordinator

℗ 2021 UMG Recordings, Inc.

Album Description

New mom Halsey (who uses she/they pronouns) has called their fourth record "a concept album about the joys and horrors of pregnancy and childbirth": a sometimes alien-takeover experience that literally changes a woman's body and mind—hips spreading, hormones flooding, brain seeped in fog, an emotional pendulum of elation and shock. Likewise, the songs are shape-shifting and surprising, both musically and lyrically. When "The Tradition" starts out with medieval fairy-tale piano, it seems obvious that the song will explode into fireworks—but it never does, and it's just the first example of producers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross' fascinating subtlety. The song's most dramatic dynamic shift is the addition of lower-register keys as Halsey snarl-chants what could be taken as a cry of empowerment or a threat: "Take what you want/ Take what you can/ Take what you please/ Don't give a damn/ Ask for forgiveness, never permission." It's not all musical restraint, though. The terrific "Easier Than Lying" contrasts Halsey's sweet voice against a jagged-edge melody before erupting into a gratifying, Paramore-style emo chorus. There's a similar feel to the pogo-bounce—fueled by Dave Grohl's drums—of "honey." Things take a loungey, trip-hop turn on "Lilith," while "Girl Is a Gun" practically trembles under a heavy-adrenaline beat. "Darling" lifts the bittersweet folk Halsey flirted with on their last album, 2020's Manic, to a new apex, complete with feather-delicate acoustic guitar by Lindsey Buckingham. "The Lighthouse" is also a treat: Mr. Serious Reznor full on embraces pop, piling on showy goth synth with swagger while a purring Halsey winkingly bounces along a hopscotch melody. "You Asked for This" is '80s-pop irresistible, its power chorus and thick guitar layers (courtesy of TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek) putting a candy coating on indecision. "Go on and be a big girl, you asked for this," Halsey—now partnered up and with a baby— sings, poking at the idea of domesticity like it's a tender bruise. "You wished upon a falling star/ And then left behind the avant-garde ... You better kiss good night and give some head ... Well, is this the life that lies ahead now?" There are killer lines all over the place; "Jesus needed a three-day weekend/ To sort out all his bullshit," from the bleak and icy "Bells of Santa Fe," is a standout. "Whispers" is strikingly clever, too, a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde scenario where the exaggeratedly whispered lines ("You do not want him ...You do not want this") are the voice of Halsey's self-cannibalizing inner predator: "I've got a monster inside me that eats personality types/ She's constantly changing her mind on the daily." It all ends with tender "Ya'aburnee, its title loosely translating from Arabic as the desire for your loved one to die before you do because you can't go on without them. "Darling you will bury me, before I bury you," Halsey sings, a declaration of great romance, selfishness and despair all at once. © Shelly Ridenour/Qobuz

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