by Shelt Garner
Thanks to Spotify, I’ve found myself obsessively listening to Halsey the last few days. I’m surprised how good she is as a singer and song-writer. Her latest album, “If I Can’t I Have Love, I Want Power” suits my middle-aged white male musical sensibilities quite well.
I do have one quibble, though — a number of the songs sound….vaguely derivative? But the only reason why they do so is my age. If you were the intended audience of a young tweener girl, you would never catch one song’s reference to NIN. There’s so much NIN drifting through this album that I wonder if Trent Reznor is her producer. (I checked: HE IS. Which explains why I keep hearing NIN musical cues throughout the album.)
I will note there’s a little bit of Tori Amos dripped into this album, too.
Anyway. If you were too young to know The Downward Spiral, you would never catch how Reznor is plagiarizing himself. His influence is so noticeable in the album that it’s at times rather distracting. But Reznor is a great producer and the overall product is exceptional, given how shitty most modern music is. I applaud Halsey for picking Reznor and Atticus Ross to produce what is otherwise a pretty mainstream pop rock album.
Anyway. I really like this album. The thing about Halsey is she has an extremely unique vocal sound. Her voice really sticks out for how unique it is. It’s like that one hot chick in college you knew who had stunning eyes — Halsey’s unique voice is her greatest strength because of its distinct personality.
It does seem as though we may be slowly, in fits and starts, drifting towards what I call “Rona Rock.” This would be the traditional pop rock that dominated the charts for about 50 years. It died out about 20o8-ish. It would be cool if it came back. It would make me so happy.
One way for that to happen would be for some sort of girl supergroup to be formed with one of its members being Halsey.