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Halsey's If I Can't Have Love, I Want Power 🔥

Updated: Jun 29, 2022

Written by: Lucy Widmann

Not one to shy away from the spotlight, Halsey has once again returned with a head-turning album, If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power! Halsey brings light to pregnancy and childbirth, stability and self-sabotage, and even self-preservation and self-destruction. They masterfully discuss these subject matters through each song, and the incredible film that goes along with the album! The thirteen song masterpiece is revolutionary in their catalog. Here is a breakdown of the album’s conceptualization and why it has caught so much attention from those in the music industry today. ❤️‍

No album that Halsey releases is a simple gesture, and if you are a fan of Halsey, then you know how complementary her visuals are to partner with the album at hand. This incredible talent was on display for If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power, whose title is shared with an IMAX film that hit screens in advance on August 25th. Selling out in over 70 locations, the 50 minute film submerged fans into a visual album experience as Halsey depicts “the lifelong social labyrinth of sexuality and birth.” 🤰

But what might be the most important conversation to be held about Halsey’s album If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power is the woven themes of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum that not many artists talk about today. During the time of writing and recording, Halsey was pregnant with her first child, Ender Ridley Aydin, who was later born on July 14, 2021. On the album, Halsey plays with this juxtaposition between being desirable but unfit to be a mother and being a mother but losing the desirability from others. 🌟

This topic had artists like Taylor Swift praising Halsey for being so bold in writing and releasing this album, which is a bold testament for women in music. Halsey was thankful to have the love and support from T-Swift, responding “Thank you T...means so so much.” We love to see how our queen Taylor Swift and other female artists come alongside Halsey in promoting and sharing this conversation! 👑

As well, it is clear from the thirteen tracks on the album that Halsey was intentional with pushing boundaries, being disruptive, and making noise. This can both be seen as sonically and conceptually. Sonically, the album was written with Nine Inch Nail band members Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, in which influences can clearly be heard with specific songs like “Easier than Lying” and “honey”. However conceptually, the album pushes the envelope by truly emptying a bucket of feelings before Halsey becomes a mom. Concepts such as “I am unlovable” are aired out in the album almost as a farewell before Halsey takes the reins to becoming “responsible” for her child's life. 💕

Unlike her other albums, If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power is less girl-powerish and rather an awakening to the journey of pregnancy. Halsey sat down with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe to further discuss how this album differs from the rest. Because of past albums being spear-headed by subjects of femininity, womanhood, and girl-power, Halsey described to Lowe how people wrongly assumed the subject matter of the album just because they were pregnant. Rather than making a “girlish” album because they were pregnant, Halsey set the record straight with Lowe saying that this is not a girl-power album. Halsey explained how they specifically chose “I am not a woman, I’m a god” to be the lead single as a way to straight-forward say, “I’m not a woman.” They instead want people to focus on the overall essence of the album and the experience as a whole during this journey. 💫

Halsey has truly shed light on this topic and we can’t help but look at them in awe! This conversation is important because many artists in the music industry are categorized as either a pop-superstar who can’t have a family, or a settled down, retired pop-sensation. Why can’t they have both? Halsey is the perfect example of an artist who has taken it upon themselves to show the industry that they can thrive and do both! Not just popular because of their vocals and songwriting skills, Halsey also attracts others by their vulnerability and thoughtfulness of the topics they write about. This is what creates such a strong bond between their fan base and themself, being that they talk about real conversations that aren’t necessarily aired out in the open. 🤗

It is so cool to see how the album If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power brings attention to the journey of pregnancy and childbirth and to the realities of the struggles that come with it. Halsey has reclaimed themselves and has established a pride and strength as the life-force for her little one! Halsey is inspiring others around the globe to celebrate the gift they have in bringing another life into the world. What are your thoughts about Halsey’s new album? ✨

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