Let me tell you a story. I associate music with periods of my life, as I’m sure most of us do on here, so for me to talk about Halsey, I need to talk about my story. As a Swiftie (registered trademark of Taylor Nation, LLC.), I spent a lot of time on Tumblr growing up in an attempt to be noticed by Taylor. Pathetic, I know, but I made multiple friends through this site and also discovered one of my favourite artists of all time. On one of the many hours I spent on that dark blue hellhole, one of my friends had reblogged a poem by a user called se7enteenblack. The poem went “You were red. You liked me ‘cause I was blue. You touched me and suddenly I was a lilac sky and you decided purple just wasn’t for you”. See, this had [REDACTED] year old me shaking. I could relate to it a lot, as a [REDACTED] dabbling with love for the first time. At the time, the song this quote comes from hadn’t been released, but one of the reblogs had a link to a performance of the song. I was hooked from the moment I heard Colors. That same night, I ran to Spotify trying to find the song, only to realise she had only released an EP at the time. I hadn’t really noticed until I decided to run this rate how much of Room 94 - EP I associate with 2014-15. The outro of Is There Somewhere still gives me chills to this day, just as if it was the first time I heard it. Ghost is a Halsey classic at this point, I don’t care. I was entranced by the synths and cohesiveness of her project. She kept performing more songs off her untitled debut album at the time, fans kept trying to guess song titles and the lyrics from shitty phone recordings of live shows. It was a wild time to be on Tumblr. When she announced the concept for BADLANDS, I was excited. Seeing the tracklist house Colors had me even more excited, I needed the studio version. I adored everything, the clunky concept, the cover art was serving Tumblr aesthetics and I was living for it. She dropped New Americana, but I won’t talk about her until she inevitably gets eliminated early on. And so, after a year of waiting, August 28th, 2015 rolled by and BADLANDS was released. The way this album took over my life... I don’t have last.fm but I’m sure this is one of my most streamed albums of all time, sitting right beside Taylor Swift’s Speak Now and Robyn’s self-titled. There are duds on here, I will not lie about this, but sometimes a song is so attached to memories growing up that for pure nostalgic purpose it stays with you, terrorising your music library. I bought the deluxe CD, and flicking through the booklet, she was already teasing her forthcoming studio album with the abbreviation “hfk” finishing the booklet, and boy was I ready. In my life, a lot changed in the two years between BADLANDS and the follow-up. I went through some difficult times, I got better. I moved to London, which was a giant move for me, both in my career and personal life. I became freer, happier and was finally finding my footing in the world. I went through my first major heartache; I met my current boyfriend. I started making the first steps into getting my dream job. I let go of Tumblr, which also changed my music taste quite drastically. Only one artist remained in my heavy rotation, and that was Halsey. She had gotten her first #1 hit at the time, with Closer and no longer was a small name. In February 2017, one of my old friends from Tumblr found my Twitter somehow, and DM’d me excitedly about the new Halsey album. Apparently, she had played some tracks of the album in London, and had the girls perched. She kept telling me about the alleged concept, huge budget… I was ready. She announced the album and dropped Now Or Never. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t 100% on board with the track at the time, but I’ll spare you my thoughts on that until she gets eliminated. I still hate the album name, but I understand the story behind it. The album cover was revealed, and the “concept” became clearer. An album set in the style of Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet? Connected music videos… Consistent visuals… I was being fed. As some of you know, I am a massive film buff, so seeing someone take visual inspiration from a film which is known for its aesthetics more than anything else had me perched. And so came June 2nd, 2017, and fuck, she did it again. She had built upon what made BADLANDS great and kept some of the things that made it not work, but it was a clear improvement. This felt like a blockbuster album. Some of the tracks on here… I felt personally attacked by Sorry and Eyes Closed in particular. FUCK. Strangers just started to play on shuffle. Halsey was inescapable at the time, and I was so, so happy to see her succeed. She had a really rough life, and I find her resilience and strength to be admirable, so seeing her go from being homeless to reaching well-deserved worldwide stardom was incredible, especially since I was there from the early days. It was announced she would play the Eventim Apollo in London for two nights, and I simply had to go. Years of stanning and I would finally get to see her live. As expected, I went both nights and loved every minute. At the end of the second show, she teased Without Me… Little did we know at the time this would become the hit it now is. Around this time, I joined this pink prison to discuss Robyn (on brand since the very first day x). And so Without Me came out, becoming a pop radio juggernaut of its own right. At the time, it was being billed as a standalone single. I remember very clearly Halsey talking about this song on Beats 1, speaking that this was her first song where she wasn’t hiding under a persona. This was a song by Ashley, not Halsey. This became the concept for Halsey’s 2020 release, Manic. After the release of 11 Minutes, it seemed like Halsey was gearing up for a punk rock album - she has always been an avid fan of this sound (see: the blink 182 cover in Mall of America). Honestly, I was perched for this. As any other depressed queer, I went through my emo phase. The concept for this album being punk rock kept being pushed when what was thought would be the lead single for Manic came out. Nightmare. My favourite song on BADLANDS was Gasoline, and we all know that Gasoline walked so Nightmare could run and flop. In promotion for the single, she performed at a random club in Camden. I had to go. I somehow managed to get tickets and that was one of the best moments in my life. The setlist was perfection and had everyone in the audience really excited for the album. She wore a shirt that had the faces of Melania Geymonat and her partner Chris, the lesbian couple who were assaulted during a homophobic attack on a London bus on May 30, 2019. She spoke very eloquently about it and how the queer experience is filled with fear, but it’s the safe spaces we create for each other that matter the most. As an openly gay man who grew up most of his life getting bullied, this hit hard. She is so vital to the pop scene. Manic was being teased, allegedly coming out on October 2019, but after Nightmare flopped, it was the clear the label wanted a clean slate with the LP, so the album concept was slightly modified with new artwork and a “softer” sound. Nightmare was ditched off the album in favour of more radio friendly songs. I wonder what the reception for this album would have been had Nightmare done better. The album came out, peaking at #2 in the Billboard 200 Albums Chart. I’ll be honest, I loved this mixed bag of an album. What I personally loved about it is the concept, that Halsey no longer feels she needs to hide under a persona to write songs. As she said, this is an album by Ashley for Halsey. It’s also seen in the album cover, with “H3” in reference to it being the 3rd Halsey and “A01” in reference to this being the first ‘Ashley’ album. Considering I’ve loved every single time I’ve seen her live, I went to see her live again in the Manic World Tour, right before COVID-19 had all of us in quarantine. Here, she admitted she wanted to take a break after this album to better herself. Here we find ourselves now. Welcome to The Halsey Rate. Spoiler: PM Friendly List ROOM 93 Is There Somewhere Empty Gold Trouble (Stripped) BADLANDS Castle Hold Me Down New Americana Drive Hurricane Roman Holiday Ghost Colors Colors, Pt. 2 Strange Love Coming Down Haunting Gasoline Control Young God I Walk The Line You(th) [Demo] Tokyo Narita (Freestyle) HOPELESS FOUNTAIN KINGDOM The Prologue 100 Letters Eyes Closed Heaven In Hiding Alone Now Or Never Sorry Good Mourning Lie (feat. Quavo) Walls Could Talk Bad At Love Don’t Play Strangers (feat. Lauren Jauregui) Angel On Fire Devil In Me Hopeless (feat. Cashmere Cat) Not Afraid Anymore MANIC Ashley Clementine Graveyard You Should Be Sad Forever (Is A Long Time) Dominic’s Interlude (feat. Dominic Fike) I Hate Everybody 3AM Without Me Finally / Beautiful Stranger Alanis’ Interlude (feat. Alanis Morissette) Killing Boys SUGA’s Interlude (feat. SUGA of BTS) More Still Learning 929 I’m Not Mad Wipe Your Tears Nightmare Experiment On Me EXTRAS Justin Bieber - The Feeling (feat. Halsey) The Chainsmokers - Closer (feat. Halsey) PARTYNEXTDOOR - Damage (feat. Halsey) G Eazy & Halsey - Him & I Thirty Seconds To Mars - Love Is Madness (feat. Halsey) Benny Blanco - Eastside (feat. Halsey & Khalid) YUNGBLUD & Halsey - 11 Minutes (feat. Travis Barker) BTS - Boy With Luv (feat. Halsey) Post Malone - Die For Me (feat. Future & Halsey) Bring Me The Horizon - ¿ (feat. Halsey) Kelsea Ballerini - The Other Girl (feat. Halsey) Marshmello & Halsey - Be Kind (the playlist is missing You(th) [Demo], I'm Not Mad and Wipe Your Tears) R U L E S Give a score of 1-10 to every song in the list. Decimals (0.25, 0.5, 0.75) are allowed. You are allowed one 0 and one 11 in the entire rate. The 0 should go to your most disliked song, and the 11 to your absolute favourite Halsey track. You don’t have to use your 0 or your 11 if you wish to do so. Commentary is highly encouraged but not required. I’m terrible with words (see above and The Robyn Rate), so your commentary helps me do the write-ups significantly. You’re allowed to comment in the album as a whole. In the PM friendly list, you will see it’s divided by album you can write commentary for it. Go crazy. PM me (@aux) your scores by the 9th of May. Yes, that’s right, she’s going solo this time around. DEADLINE: 18th OF MAY Perched for the mess that's about to ensue.