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Halsey brings the heat with her sophomore album, “Hopeless Fountain Kingdom.”

Makenzie Shubnell, Editor-in-Chief

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After a freshman album release, world tour, and plenty of festivals played, pop singer Halsey is back in the game with the release of her sophomore album, “Hopeless Fountain Kingdom.” The long-awaited album hit stores and streaming sites on Friday, June 2, after the artist dropped multiple hints last summer about what was coming next. The deluxe album consists of 16 tracks, all contributing to the thematic and well thought-out ambiance of the album, something Halsey has been known to do since her early career. This album specifically focuses around two Romeo and Juliet-type houses, Aurem and Angelus, and follows two characters, Solis and Luna, throughout a doomed relationship. Between the cinematic disposition of her artwork and the coherent sound of each song, “Hopeless Fountain Kingdom” has brought a lot to the table thus far.

After dropping hints about the second album with mysterious tweets and concert projections, Halsey finally released her first single off of “Hopeless Fountain Kingdom” at the beginning of May called “Now or Never.” The single is a low-beat, slower pop song, and has been receiving a lot of love from both fans and radio stations alike. Not only was the song the first single, but it was also accompanied by a lengthy, cinematic music video that prefaces the mood of the album and portrays the Romeo and Juliet aspect. While this song is a hit, it definitely isn’t a sufficient representation of the artistry in the album.

A track that shows Halsey’s full range in terms of songwriting ability and vocal range is “100 Letters,” a song that conveys the story of an abusive relationship being broken by the character Halsey portrays. The thematic element of this song is not only sensitive, but beautifully written, and stands out as being one of the softer songs on the album. Something about the harmonies before each chorus gives this song a chilling effect, and makes for a mysteriously dark tune that is definitely among the most emotional tracks. Another song that seems to hold this mood is “Sorry,” which is the only true ballad on “Hopeless Fountain Kingdom.” This song is quite different from the rest, being a slow, toned-down version of Halsey’s usually powerful demeanor.

Considering the importance of artistry and theme in this album, “Hopeless Fountain Kingdom” includes multiple shortened tracks, including “Prologue,” “Walls Could Talk,” and “Good Mourning,” all standing under the two minute mark. These tidbits include not only musical elements, but speaking parts as well, describing the setting of the kingdom as well as the actual prologue to William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” These may seem unnecessary to some, but they actually add quite a bit of character to the record, tying the rest of the full-length songs to one another and setting up the mood changes in the music.

To last track on the album is a song called, “Hopeless,” fitting both the tone and title of the album quite well. The song is one of the more emotional, being written about the two characters’ inevitably failing relationship. This is a clever way to close the album, as it brings the Romeo and Juliet theme to a lose by concluding the fate of the two lovers.

“Hopeless Fountain Kingdom” by Halsey is not only composed of great music, but full of artistry, passion and thought. These factors blend to form a tragically beautiful story, album, and tracklist, wholly deserving 5/5 stars.

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Halsey brings the heat with her sophomore album, “Hopeless Fountain Kingdom.”