Album Review by Noelle Simeon
Halsey’s If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power is an emotional and haunting album from start to finish. Completed with collaborators Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross as producers, Halsey strayed from her usual pop sound to deliver a beautifully dark and vulnerable record. Last year, Halsey posted that the album is about “the joys and horrors of pregnancy and childbirth.” Still, it also seems to be a confessional to her new child.
IICHLIWP opens with “The Tradition,” a piano ballad about the tradition of women being used repeatedly by men without a thought.
Her voice accentuates the industrial-style synths and moody lyrics of “Bells in Sante Fe” and “1121”, my favorite songs on the album.
“Easier than Lying” is a pop-punk anthem about doubting someone you love. Singing playfully with a more traditional Halsey-ish sound, “Lilith” seems to call upon the complicated emotions of being a modern-day woman.
Following the upbeat tempo of “Lilith” is “Girl is a Gun,” an electronica beat coupled with lyrics about the sexuality of women.
“You asked for this” seems to be Halsey’s song to herself, trying to accept her life while also being afraid of getting what she wants.
IICHLIWP includes 2 lullabies, with Halsey making promises and professing the Love she feels for her child. In “Darling,” she sings, “foolish men have tried, but only you have shown me how to love being alive”. “Ya’arburnee” asks, “but what’s worse, tellin’ you my feelings or to die without revealing, that you got inside my head and set a fire there instead?”
“honey” is a fun, poppy track about loving all the parts of yourself, from sweet to mean.
One of the more haunting songs is “Whispers,” where she doubts and self-destruction surface.
“I am not a woman, I’m a God” is a dance-inducing hit, complete with a harp strumming to her powerhouse vocals.
Halsey sings of not wanting to save a man in “The Lighthouse,” as she “just wanted to be found.”
I believe Halsey has made an intense album that will stand the test of time and become a classic in her overall work. She has broken out of the top-40 bubble many pop artists become trapped in and shown the world her poetic lyricism. Maybe Halsey can attain the Love and power she so deserves.