Album Review: If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power by Halsey

If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power by Halsey

Release Date: August 26th, 2021

Label: Capitol Records; ℗ 2021 UMG Recordings, Inc.

She was sweet like honey / And all I can taste is the blood in my mouth / And the bitterness in goodbye

honey by Halsey

Mother. Warrior. Killer. Queen.

Just when I think Halsey is finished surprising me, she releases an album like If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power. Produced by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross of Nine Inch Nails fame, Halsey’s senior effort showcases the work of an artist who has come fully into their own. If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power is lush, cinematic, and crackling with electricity. Its shifting tonality is also quite pleasing, going from the heavy industrial sounds crafted by Reznor and Ross on songs like “Bells in Santa Fe” to the tender guitar-driven lyricism of songs like “Darling”—like chasing salty fries with greedy gulps of ice-cold Coca-Cola.

If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power is lush, cinematic, and crackling with electricity.

Everything in the album from the artwork on the cover to the lyrics speaking of the beauty and heartbreak involved in childbirth and motherhood, invokes religious iconography of the Holy Madonna.

I am not a woman, I’m a god / I am not a martyr, I’m a problem / I am not a legend, I’m a fraud

I am not a woman, I’m a god by Halsey

All in all, H4 is a powerhouse of a record, shattering expectations and assumptions while asserting a confidence borne of both pain and pleasure. Honestly, I’m kicking myself for not preordering the limited edition vinyl. If you know where I can get one, email me. 😭😭😭

Favorite Tracks

“You asked for this”, “honey”, and “I am not a woman, I’m a god”.

If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power is available to order or purchase wherever music is sold.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter and Instagram @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

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