Ashley Nicolette Frangipane AKA Halsey gives zero f*cks with what anyone thinks. On her recently released sophomore album hopeless fountain kingdom, the singer takes her fans on a complete ride loosely emulating the 1996 version of Romeo + Juliet directed by Baz Luhrmann. In fact, in an interview with iHeartMedia, Halsey revealed that the album itself is, “a story of two people who want to be in love so badly so they’re willing to change themselves for their love.”
The very first track “The Prologue” is the exact opening of Romeo + Juliet which sets the tone for the rest of the album. Sit down and get familiar with the leading roles in this tale: Luna from the house of Aureum and Solis from the house of Angelus.
With each single song, you undoubtedly get the feeling of frustration, destruction, hurt, love, lust, and deception. There is no room for happiness because spoiler alert in case you aren’t familiar with Romeo and Juliet’s story, nothing is ever “happy” and nor were some incidents in Halsey’s own personal life that she fearlessly put into words for complete strangers (AKA us) to hear. Props to you, Halsey.
I’m biased because I am absolutely obsessed with what Halsey puts out there in the world. From starting in her teen years to now, this artist doesn’t go by the rules of the typical pop album. She’s all about concept building that pushes boundaries. For god sakes, she’s one of the very few artists out there to publish a song with Fifth Harmony member Lauren Jauregi that is an openly LGBTQ love song.
We’ll skip the three songs you’re already familiar with: “Now or Never”, “Eyes Closed”, and “Strangers.” BUT! That shouldn’t stop you from listening to the album from start to finish because there is a story through it all. Two star crossed lovers who inevitably find themselves unable to have a lasting relationships.
Dive straight into “Alone” for most likely the next song you’ll hear spinning on the radio with its catchy melody but for all you Great Gatsby lovers, listen for the similarities in the stories. “Bad At Love” goes into Halsey’s past relationships and how in the end she ultimately believes she’s just bad at love after reflecting on what went down. “Heaven in Hiding” has been interpreted on the internet as the famous ball scene in Romeo + Juliet where they first meet and are draw towards one another.
While you’re listening, don’t forget to listen to the innuendos Halsey tends to slip in here and there. Everything she puts out and says isn’t for pure entertainment. Every lyric has a meaning whether it seems like it or not. With this being only her sophomore album, I’m excited to see what her next project will be like.