We Stan A Queen — We Have Got To Talk About Halsey’s Very Exposed, Very Dark Areola On The Cover Of Her New Album

by Shelt Garner

By Apple Music, Fair use.

I find myself becoming a Halsey fan because of what I’m hearing on her latest album. It’s not perfect — it seems all over the place thematically with the only the holding it together is Trent Reznor wants to remind us that he was in NIN. Ok, we get it Trent.

The first time I saw the album’s cover on Spotify, I did a double take — was it possible I was seeing what I was seeing? A reproduction of a very famous piece of art that involves a baby and a very exposed, very dark areola? I’m very pleased with this image because it’s interesting and it doesn’t treat us like children.

If nothing else, it will get her stans to look into some art history to find out why they’re seeing something so mildly provocative. Motherhood has only made Halsey more attractive. She’s a real babe in her more buxomly itineration.

But the album itself is really, really good. I just wish Reznor was a bit more adept in its production. The whole thing is a mess. It derivative production on individual songs occasionally takes away from how great the album is as a whole. A few of the songs are real bangers (bops?). Being new to Halsey the singer as opposed to a celebrity I barely know anything about, I continue to be taken aback by how beautiful and unique her singing voice is.

Not to sound TOO much like a dirty old man, but I continue to struggle with why someone like Dua Lipa has not “accidently on purpose” given us some T&A. She’s a real stunner and it’s weird that 30 years after Madonna ran around naked we’ve grown more puritanical. Maybe she’ll do it in the Hollywood movie she’s set to star in soon.

Trent Reznor, You Are So Derivative — Why Did You Have To Rip Off Tori Amos On Halsey’s New Album?

by Shelt Garner

In this instance, I don’t really anything untoward happened, but Trent Reznor was definitely thinking of straining a Tori Amos song through his NIN sensibilities.

Listen to this song by Halsey:

Then listen to this Tori Amos classic:

The only reason why this is even an issue for me for is when I hear the Halsey song, my mind finishes the song with the lyrics from Cornflake Girl and it causes some cognative dissidence.

Otherwise, lulz. I think it’s just a wink and a nod to Amos’ brillance.

But you would think that Reznor — who is no slouch himself — could be a little bit more creative.

I Know What You Did On Halsey’s Song ‘You Asked For This,’ Trent Reznor

by Shelt Garner

Ok, I really — really — like Halsey’s new album. But there are a few points in the album where I sit up and take notice at how…derivative some of the songs are in their production. The entire album has the usual NIN vibe to it thanks to producer Trent Reznor. That’s a gimmie. But there a few other tracks that make you go what the what?

Listen this all the way through.

I want you listen to the whole thing, then listen to these two songs. First, listen to this classic by Blur.

And then listen to this song by Garbage.

The Blur song is provides the very beginning of the Halsey song. But it’s the latter song that is ripped off the most. The two songs have a very similar macro beat structure. The only reason why I even mention it is to my ear, the echo of the Garbage song in the Halsey song is so potent that it kind of drives me crazy until I can get some closure.

Anyway. I gotcha, Trent! (To be fair, I listened again and it’s not THAT obvious. But the two songs definitely seem similar if you know them both.)

Let’s Talk Halsey (& NIN)

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.

LOS ANGELES – MARCH 14: Halsey attends the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards on March 14, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Glenn Francis/Pacific Pro Digital Photography)

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.