'Manic' Album Review: Part One

The New Jersey-born artist, Ashley Frangipane, who goes by the stage name of Halsey recently released her third full-length album (January 17, 2020). Packed full with sixteen songs where she completely pours her heart out, listeners are in for a treat. Although she prides herself on always being authentic with her songs, this is the first time that she admits she dug into a new part of herself and wrote the songs as Ashley, not her stage persona, Halsey. Halsey wears a wig and puts on a smiling face for her audience, Ashley is real and isn’t afraid to shed a tear, crack a note, or show emotion on stage. 


The album Manic is packed with emotion and is the rawest album to date by the amazing Halsey. Starting with “Ashley”, you have a bop. It is an upbeat song that is full of impactful lyrics and meaningful phrases. The fact that she uses her name as the title as opposed to her stage name introduces you to the idea that this is truly her deepest thoughts and emotions. “I’m just a fucked up girl looking for my own peace of mind, don’t assign me yours,” a quote from Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind, is recited at the end of the song that sets the mood for the entire album. 


“Ashley” goes right into “clementine” starting with the lyrics “I’d like to tell you that my skies not blue its violet rain, And in my world, the people on the streets don’t know my name, in my world I’m seven feet tall and the boys always call and the girls do too.” “clementine” is a heartfelt song that, while it was released as a single back in September of 2019, does not lose any emotion or feel like a loose end. We are finally able to see how it helps the album flow together. 


“Graveyard” is emotional, the opening lyrics are telling the story of how a relationship that you are in whole-heartedly is tearing you down. “It’s crazy when, the thing you love the most is the detriment. Let that sink in.”  Then the bridge says “It’s funny how the warning signs can feel like they’re butterflies.” it is a poetic tragedy of what happens to so many of us. We think that we can fix the ones we love but in reality sometimes they are tearing us down with them. 


“You Should Be Sad”, is a call-out song. In this song, Ashley talks about how happy she is that she realized how the person she was in a relationship with was selfish. She says “I’m so glad I never had a baby with you, cause you can’t love nothing unless there’s something in it for you.” Following with how they can save their “alligator” tear because she’s done. This song is packed with emotion and packed with guitar and a quick tempo. Halsey is a master at making what could be sad songs seem like they are happy. 


“Forever… is a long time” is a song packed full of gorgeous piano and is the transition from optimism to pure anxiety. “Talk to your man, tell him he’s got bad news coming” are the closing lyrics and transitions us into “Dominic’s interlude”.