Halsey – Hopeless Fountain Kingdom (Deluxe Edition)
1. The Prologue
2. 100 Letters
3. Eyes Closed
4. Heaven In Hiding
6. Now Or Never
8. Good Mourning
9. Lie (Featuring Quavo)
10. Walls Could Talk
11. Bad At Love
12. Don’t Play
13. Strangers (Featuring Lauren Jauregui)
14. Angel On Fire
15. Devil In Me
16. Hopeless (Featuring Cashmere Cat)
Halsey’s Hopeless Fountain Kingdom has been one of my most anticipated album releases of the year and with three solid outings ahead of the full album release in ‘Now Or Never’, ‘Eyes Closed’ and ‘Strangers’ my anticipation grew higher to hear the overall product and now the album is finally out in the world, but is it any good?
Halsey’s debut Badlands is still to this day a fresh and solid record, it has stood the test of time since its release in 2015 which is a good sign for an artists no matter how many albums into their career they are and with Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, Halsey has upped her game in both writing and production values and also on a sonic level, whilst keeping elements of that trademark Halsey sound from Badlands and she seems to have a lot more confidence in what she is doing and how she approaches what it is she is trying to do.
The deluxe edition of the album comes in at around 49 minutes which is the length of many standard editions and with the album following a story, Halsey quickly speeds through the tracks, but this takes nothing away from the quality of this record, she has gone for short quality song over stretching them out when that’s not whats needed here. It also affords her more time to work on each track and make them as good as she can. I also like that the running order for the deluxe edition is different from the standard choosing to extend the story instead as its told rather than just throwing the best leftover songs on at the end, think of the deluxe as the directors cut and the standard as the studio release, this means you get a completely different experience depending on which version of the album you pick up.
There are however a few tracks I could live without, ‘Lie’ which features Quavo doesn’t do much for me, mainly since I don’t see the point of a lot of the modern day auto-tuned rappers who have nothing to say and seem to lay down a verse that has nothing to do with the track that they are guesting on.
‘Walls Could Talk’ which follows the previously mentioned Quavo collaboration also didn’t really do strike upon the first listen either, however after a few more listens my opinion on both these tracks could easily change.
Overall Hopeless Fountain Kingdom is a very solid album and shows artist growth, but at this point I’m not sure if I like it more than Badlands and the three pre album released songs are the true standout tracks here, only time will tell if my opinion will change on this and indeed on how often I go back to it in the coming weeks and months like I did have with Badlands.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Eyes Closed, Now Or Never, Sorry, Bad At Love, Strangers (Featuring Lauren Jauregui)