Balancing motherhood, fame and the past: Halsey’s latest album


Laure Schulders

Halsey’s album features 13 new songs.

Kam Kelly and Ria Ladhani

Halsey’s new release “If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power” is a unique and beautiful album that describes the experiences of childbirth, self-sabotage, sexuality, and how society perceives women as a whole. Written by Halsey themself and produced by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross from the popular band Nine Inch Nails, this album was meant to connect with all listeners to teach them about life-changing experiences that are not as talked about in the media, mainly motherhood and reconciling with one’s past. The style of music is alternative and punk rock, a style starting to make a comeback as it’s utilized more by famous artists such as Willow and Machine Gun Kelly. Their album features a wide variety of rock styles ranging from heavy drums to guitar riffs, all of which makes the album both catchy and containing a relevant message.

The album starts with the songs “The Tradition” and “Bells in Santa Fe” and sings about feeling alone, ignored and used. Halsey talks about their own experiences of feeling lost and alone as a woman in a society where women are thought of as weak and pushovers. It shows how lonely a woman can get and how loneliness can make anyone feel- small and less-than. 

The next songs, “Easier than Lying” and “Lilith” let the audience explore some of Halsey’s issues that they had faced lying to themself and being reckless, which in all caused both their mental health and romantic standards to decrease. 

Up next, “Girl is a Gun” is a song that shows the danger of Halsey’s ruined past relationships and how it affects them to this day. In this song, as the title suggests, they compare themself to a loaded gun. This brings a new layer of power and danger to their identity in relationships: “I’m not a walk in the park, I come loaded with the safety switched off.” 

“You asked for this” is about the corruption and downsides to being a celebrity, something Halsey has years of experience with. Here they share their experiences in the music industry and how it has affected them negatively. 

What they express they want most in this song is to settle down and start a stable family. Halsey recently had a child and the song “Darling” in their album was a lullaby for their child. Unlike the other songs on the album, this song features a soft acoustic melody in the background which makes it very calming. 

The number 1121 is considered an angel number that has positive energy and helps for a better future by letting go of all habits, so it’s no surprise that Halsey used this to title their song about forgetting about the old version of them and learning about who they are and who they could be. Halsey wants to be themself, and they did this by exploring their sexuality and dating a woman for the first time. 

“honey” shows the love shared by Halsey and their female lover. Halsey is openly queer and uses they/them pronouns, providing some much-needed non-binary and bisexual representation in the music industry. By embracing their identity, they inspire their listeners. The mood quickly switches up as the next song, “Whispers”, begins. Halsey questions themself and calls themself a monster for how they were brought up to think. They also talk about how the negativity and hate that comes with being in the public eye has affected them through overthinking and questioning almost all their actions. 

In another tone switch, the title track, “I am not a woman, I’m a god”, immediately follows. This song is all about the empowerment of women and how strong they are. It is the most empowering song on the album. 

Finally, the album finishes with “Ya’aburnee” which roughly translates to “you bury me.” It describes the rush of love and passion they have for their newborn child. 

Overall, this album teaches the audience about the life and struggles of an artist entering a new stage in their life while also containing relevant messages about society and individual struggle. Their wordplay shows how much talent they have not only in songwriting but also in telling their story with such depth and description. Their artistry is further proved in the music videos which are truly pieces of art.