The Halsey Rate™ | #13 - "The Weeknd says hi" | Page 34 | The Popjustice Forum

The Halsey Rate™ | #13 - "The Weeknd says hi"

Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by aux, Apr 13, 2020.


What is Halsey's best album?

  1. Room 94

    1 vote(s)

    8 vote(s)
  3. hopeless fountain kingdom

    14 vote(s)
  4. Manic

    22 vote(s)
  1. I legitimately forgot The Other Girl is still in. It’s cute but it’s probably time for her to exit the premises, especially when you consider the last few tracks we’ve eliminated.
    tea, elektroxx, Jonathan27 and 2 others like this.
  2. aux


    I agree.




    Highest - 10 x4 (@Ashling92, @Music Is Life, @savilizabeths, @vague) / 9.5 x1 (@Rem) / 9 x7 (@aux, @fatyoshi, @Crisp X, @RUNAWAY, @Cutlery, @Slice of Life, @tea)

    Lowest - 4 x1 (@BTG) / 4.5 x1 (@Petty Mayonnaise) / 6 x3 (@Phonetics Boy, @sexercise, @Sanctuary)

    @aux's score - 9

    This is a super cute track! I really liked it upon release, but I'd probably give it an eight these days. Kelsea Ballerini and Y'allsey's voices really complement each other extremely well. I'd be here for another collaboration later in the future because this is just that good. The production is quite interesting, as it blends country with Halsey's style. The chemistry is just effervescent throughout.

    @pop3blow2 (8.7) compares this to another Halsey track, "This is pretty good. Sort of a bumpkin'd up attempt at a ’Strangers’. Very Taylor-Swifty in places." Speaking of Taylor Swift, @Babyface (7) says "She’s a cute girl (this song and Kelsea in general). That post chorus is great but I wish this ended with them both deciding to dump his ass instead."

    @Crisp X (9) writes "This isn’t a style I remember from Kelsea Ballerini. I need to catch up with her discography. Both compliment themselves well." I've not really heard much from Miss Ballerini, but I did enjoy her latest offering.

    The girls complemented the vocals on this track a lot. @tea (9) comments "their voices mesh really well, she lowkey made the song hers." Similarly, @RUNAWAY (9) echoes the same sentiment, commenting "their voices go so well together. I love this collab." On that note, @livefrommelbs (8.5) says "This is really great. Plays to both the gals' strengths, without feeling like either is doing artist cosplay." I totally agree with the final point, I think it's what makes this collaboration great.

    I'm... impressed by how long this lasted - I'm guessing it was due to a phenomena that appears to attack rates quite often - the recency effect. See, this track was released just as this rate opened, which is pretty much what happened with the last remaining extra in the rate - Be Kind.

    Up next...

    A track from her second album is eliminated.

    Miss Lange, tea, Guy and 21 others like this.
  3. She deserved better.
  4. A track from Hopeless Fountain Kingdom out next? Let’s see if I can keep my hot streak going, I’m going to guess Walls Could Talk. It’s great but at less than 2 minutes long I could see it getting a few low scores from voters who viewed it as an interlude.
    Music Is Life, aux and Phonetics Boy like this.
  5. bye Heaven in Hiding!
    aux likes this.
  6. BOOOO. The Other Girl is so good and there's definitely a few songs that could've vacated before it.
    Music Is Life, aux and savilizabeths like this.
  7. I agree that The Other Girl is very Taylor, especially the post-chorus, which is definitely the best part of the song. I just wish the chorus itself was a bit better. It's an 8 for me, and got eliminated at about the right time.

    (oop at this being my 22222nd post dd)
    aux likes this.
  8. aux


    I'm making up for the lack of elimination yesterday with a double elimination today. One of them is going to be the longest elimination I've ever written in a rate, ever. It's so long, I'm spreading it across three posts for ultimate like-farming because of the character limit. This elimination isn't that one though.




    Highest - 10 x4 (@Crisp X, @Music Is Life, @Slice of Life, @savilizabeths) / 9.5 x1 (@RainOnFire) / 9.25 x1 (@vague)

    Lowest - 4 x1 (@Hurricane Drunk) / 5 x2 (@tea, @happiestgirl) / 6 x2 (@BTG, @Cutlery)

    @aux's score - 8.5

    Remember how I told y'all that Hopeless Fountain Kingdom has an intricate storyline? I've barely touched on it bar the original write-up for the album, so allow me to use this song to frame the narrative. As I've spoken in the past, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom is based upon Romeo + Juliet; Heaven In Hiding falls in the plot as the party scene from the film, except it's seen from the perspective of Lauren Jauregui's character (who appears in the song Strangers) but it's still sung by Halsey. This party scene is later replicated and seen from Luna / Halsey's perspective in the following song, Alone. The song also works on a metaphorical level, as it talks about hiding their love - hence the putting on a show refrain - which is what happens in Romeo + Juliet. I know, enthralling stuff.

    As for the song itself, I don't particularly feel strong about it either way - I expected this to be eliminated bang in the middle, rather than - y'know, the top thirty.

    @eccentricsimply (8) thinks this sounds like one of Dua's psalms, writing "Is it just me or does the beat sound similar to Dua's Blow Your Mind dddd." I'm not sure I hear it, but maybe the other sistren do? Let's continue with the K-Pop subforum legends, @RUNAWAY (7.5) comments "some of the chorus lyrics were really REALLY basic, but I did enjoy most of this song." Another unnie, @Slice of Life (10) provides an extremely fascinating commentary, "ok wig she made some points."

    On the opposite, @Aidan (6) isn't crazy about this, commenting "It’s only 3 minutes long but it feels like it goes on for much longer." @Ashling92 (9) praises the chorus, saying "That chorus though." On the total opposite, @tea (5) comments "melody is kind of all over the place, chorus does not stand out much." Speaking of melodies, @Babyface (7.5) writes "The 'I can put on a show' melody strongly reminds me of something but I can’t quite place it. This isn’t quite up there with the album highlights for me, but it’s a quality album track especially relative to some of the… choicey tracks that come later."

    To close off, I leave us with @Crisp X who writes "This is one of the earliest times she’s reached her potential to me. Everything is on point. The production flourishes are exquisite, reminding me of trip-hop and even ambient? I love when she goes in that triplet rhythm in the chorus, which is probably one of her best vocal performances to date."

    Later today...

    A single takes a hit.

    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
    Miss Lange, tea, Guy and 21 others like this.
  9. Heaven in Hiding is just fine to me and definitely not top 30 (or 40) material. Alone is all we need from that scene tbh. It's not hard to see why it was relegated to a bonus track, in that sense.
    can Without Me go next?
    aux likes this.
  10. Heaven in Hiding is great should have made the top 25 at the very least.

    Also was Is There Somewhere a single? That needs to go, I can't believe it's still in.
    Music Is Life, vague and aux like this.
  11. I'm scared.
  12. Another favorite going out way too early. It's clear my tastes differ to those of Halsey's most fervent stans nn.
    Music Is Life, vague and aux like this.
  13. aux


    tea, Music Is Life, junkos and 7 others like this.
  14. Eh, I get that her vocal performance is at its most affected but it's one of her best early choruses and she fully leans into the earnestness of the song in a way that captures the intimacy of the night she's describing. It isn't on my shortlist for favorite Halsey songs but I do think it easily belongs in the upper half of the rate.
    Ashling92 and aux like this.
  15. aux


    Get ready girls, this is a big one.


    The posts are split into three. The first post is my commentary, the second is the voters commentary and the final post is a dissertation which was sent by one of you.




    Highest - 11 x3 (@fatyoshi, @RainOnFire, @pop3blow2) / 10 x6 (@aux, @Phonetics Boy, @sexercise, @Music Is Life, @savilizabeths, @Aidan) / 9.5 x3 (@jacobhalkohit, @Dijah., @junkos)

    Lowest - 2 x1 (@Dangerous Maknae) / 4 x2 (@Ashling92, @BTG) / 5 x1 (@Hurricane Drunk)

    @aux's score - 10

    PART I: @aux's Commentary

    As I’m sure many of us did, I went through an emo phase many years ago. Back in 2011, my love for Robyn was flailing as I went into a depression for a plethora of reasons. I don’t really talk a lot about this, but my deep love for Robyn comes mainly for her music always being an escape from everything. Anyways, I had a lot of anger in me, and this moved to my music taste. You Me At Six were one of my favourite bands at the time, and this was just as their album Sinners Never Sleep came out. It housed a track titled Bite My Tongue, which featured Oliver Sykes from Bring Me The Horizon. This was my gateway into their catalogue which I rarely listen to these days as I associate many dark days with it. Because of this, I’m always a massive fan of artists who channel their anger into tracks inspired by this sound. In comes Halsey’s Experiment On Me.

    Experiment On Me is one of Halsey’s most impressive songs. It’s an intense nu-metal track, flourished with heart drum and bass, distorted guitars and a pulsating synth. It’s her craziest song to date. This was rumoured to have been part of the original Manic track-listing, so once again, I find myself salivating at the thought of an album in the vein of this.

    It was written in conjunction with Bring Me The Horizon members’ Oliver Sykes and Jordan Fish, and it also interpolates one of their tracks. The line “I’m pretty like a car crash, ugly as a lullaby,” references directly Bring Me The Horizon’s ‘Deathbeds’ which has the line “Eyes like a car crash / I know I shouldn’t look, but I can’t turn away.” This summates how Halsey portrays this song, it’s abrasive and harsh - like a car crash - but one can’t help but be entranced listening to it.

    I’m not exactly sure how to phrase this, but @Phonetics Boy’s fantastic commentary for Nightmare really explains why I love Experiment On Me. I won’t put their commentary here, you’ll have to wait until Nightmare gets eliminated. The gist is, there is something enthralling about seeing our favourite pop stars express rage in songs. There are many ways of doing this. For example, Hayley Williams’ Simmer is the perfect example of ‘quiet rage’ and it is an extremely powerful song. Another great example of ‘quiet rage’ would be Taylor Swift’s Dear John.

    But then, you’ve got a far harsher, deeper rage which is where Experiment On Me comes into play. See Rina Sawayama’s STFU!, a song which tackles racist micro-aggressions and how ethnic minorities aren’t allowed to be angry in the same way white people are, seen in the line “How come you don’t expect me / to get mad when I’m angry?”

    This line is mirrored in Halsey’s song, “‘Seen not heard,’ is what they told me,” which talks about how the patriarchal society we live in places women in a position where they ‘have to behave’ by being quiet and not drawing attention to themselves. The bridge is excellent at portraying this, “Lock up your sons / Make way for the daughters / You’ll be the lamb and we’ll be the slaughterer / You’ve burnt the witches, now you’re defenceless / Who needs a Y with this many X’s?” The final line is essentially saying why do we need men, a question I find myself asking often.

    Experiment On Me is a heavy knockout from Halsey. The song slaps you with a firm hand and all you have to do is say “Thank you.” What a fucking home-run. More of this Miss Frangipane.​
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
    Miss Lange, sexercise, tea and 25 others like this.
  16. aux


    PART II: Voters' Commentary


    Okay, now that my commentary is out my system, let's see what you girls had to say about Experiment On Me.

    Let's start with @Babyface (6.5) who is the only one of the 'lowest' scorers who left commentary, he writes "Probably an unpopular opinion but…I don’t love this? I appreciate how bonkers it is and I love a good rock chick Hasley moment but it’s a little loud and shouty for my personal preference, at least until the excellent bridge." In the nicest way possible, you're too pure and soft for this song king.

    Onto the positive commentary, @livefrommelbs (9) is in awe, writing "God this one is so angry and I fucking love it." Same here sis, same here. @Aidan (10) comments on the soundtrack this song was released in, writing "Another absolute banger which fit really well in the scene of Birds of Prey it was was used for. Wouldn’t mind a whole album produced by Bring Me The Horizon." Honestly, an album entirely produced by Bring Me The Horizon would be a dream.

    @Remorque (8) references Pretty Little Liars, commenting "Maybe she snapped." There's no maybe about it. Speaking of references, @slaybellz (9) says "This is like a cross between No Sleep Tonight by Enter Shikari and The Pretender by Foo Fighters."

    Known rock connoisseur, @Crisp X (9), comments "You know what direction to follow next, Screamshley. I just could do without the overbearing effect on the vocals at times. It feels very label pushing their 00’s post-hardcore bands to hide the screams for the single mixes." With the same score as the packet of crisps, @tea (9) comments "everything about this just works, it really benefits from the extra grittiness, the way her voice is produced and the screaming at the end suits her so well!"

    To close off, I leave y'all with @pop3blow2's dissertation on Experiment On Me.​
    Miss Lange, sexercise, tea and 22 others like this.
  17. aux


    PART III: @pop3blow2's Dissertation

    "'Fucked up, don't know why / You poor little boy' - Manic Street Preachers - Of Walking Abortion

    "'I'm pretty like a car crash / Ugly as a lullaby' - Halsey - Experiment On Me

    "Some musical things I love kinda live on their own little island and aren’t really the usual PJ fare. They spring up in random thoughts, threads, or convos on here... but aren’t really artists that are the typical fodder for discussion. As such, they remain a bit siloed.

    "One of those things is the band Manic Street Preachers. They are my band. One of my most favorite things I’ve ever loved in my life. Even in the last 10-15 years where my music listening skewed heavily away from rock music... they remain my untouchable & favorite band of all time. For many reasons, they kind of live on their own special column in my world.

    "The last artist I expected to tap into my love of them was Halsey. Yet, in the most dramatic way possible she did. She crossed paths with them in my brain and by doing so has elevated herself to a place I didn’t expect. Looking back at her career, maybe it's less shocking than it should be.

    "Lots of things for me to connect here, so let me try.

    "Oddly, radical feminist author, and attempted murderer of Andy Warhol starts the dominos falling here. Valerie Solanos wrote a book called the SCUM Manifesto in the 1960s. A book that has its roots in radical ideas of a female takeover, that can either be read 100% at face value or through a more critical satire.
    SCUM Manifesto is a radical feminist manifesto by Valerie Solanas, published in 1967. It argues that men have ruined the world, and that it is up to women to fix it. To achieve this goal, it suggests the formation of SCUM, an organization dedicated to overthrowing society and eliminating the male sex."

    "Regardless, its impact on many concepts of feminism were real, interesting, & jumping off point for discussion.

    "One of the manifestos cornerstones is even fascinating with the cornerstone of science (or pseudoscience, to some).
    Solanas begins by presenting a theory of the male as an "incomplete female" who is genetically deficient due to the Y chromosome. According to Solanas, this genetic deficiency causes the male to be emotionally limited, egocentric, and incapable of mental passion or genuine interaction.

    "While not a doctor or scientist... her jumping off point was not completely unfounded. As genectic studies ramped up over the decades legitimate research has been done into concept of the male chromosome being, with some coming to interesting conclusions. As our knowledge of genealogy has grown, more theories in the vein of Valerie’s rather bold claim has been put forth.

    "Is the Y chromosome a flawed or malformed X chromosome? In the my heightened state of all these discoveries in my early 20’s... I was fascinated!

    "In the early 2000s I read a few books on the subject. Two were by author & Oxford genetics instructor Brian Sykes. He touched on the topic in several works, most notably in his book: Adam's Curse: A Story of Sex, Genetics, and the Extinction of Men.

    "Skyke's claim is that the Y-Chromosome is flawed and perhaps even slowly mutating itself out of existence. (Sample of Google Books)

    "While his theories & hypotheses can’t really be proved and have been shot down by some in his community. I find the concept endlessly intriguing. An insane amount of the violence, murder, rape, and more perpetuated through the history of our existence... stems from the male.

    "Someone else found the concept intriguing. My favorite band: Manic Street Preachers.

    "They too touched on this topic in many of their songs, starting as early as their first album in 1991 with the song 'Little Baby Nothing' (which was intended to feature Kylie Minogue on vocals, but due to label drama they wound up roping in Traci Lords instead). The song played with the idea & concept that male driven culture marginalizes the female experience into digestable commodified bites that work best for them. Many a YouTuber makes video essays about this kinda stuff now, but in the 90s hearing a major label band sing about this kind of stuff was mind blowing.

    "The Manics really refined & amped up tackling the concept in their a seminal & classic 1994 albube: The Holy Bible. The whole album (tied for my fave album of all time with Mandy Moore’s Coverage.... I’ve got your ‘manic’ brain right here... ddd) is a nihilistic, brutal, nightmare of album that tackles such light topics as: the Holocaust, anorexia and self-harm. *Trigger warning highly placed here*. One of my favorite reviews of all time stated: ‘Fuck being ‘radio friendly’, The Holy Bible isn't even ‘people friendly’.

    "Halsey plays into all this because of track three on the above mentioned album. The song is titled: ‘Of Walking Abortion’. It’s a song that was inspired by the work of Valerie Solanos & then filtered through Richey’s (the lyricists) very own nihilistic view of how fucked up mankind is.

    "The album touches on the topic other places: but when I heard ‘Experiement On Me’ the first time, I about fell over. Halsey not only tackled some of the same very interesting feminist theories in a very bold way, but even more so , she sonically tapped into the rage of 90s alternative rock (like the Manic Street Preachers, Rage Against The Machine, and more) in a way I hadn’t heard in a long time. And in way I most certainly didn’t expect from her.

    "I love concept of call and response, yin and yang... or delayed echo kind of songs. ‘Experiment On Me’ feels so much like the female response to ‘Of Walking Abortion’ that I’ve taken to listening to them together often. Halsey fucking did that.

    "This song coming after the album Manic was a one-two punch of perfection. I have loved Halsey since my first listen of her , but I have had some moments the last 5 years where I wasn't sure about her. Was she too much hype? Is she too self-serious? Is she not serious enough? She was like a puzzle where I had all the pieces, but they weren't quite fitting together.

    "In one fail swoop, those doubts were not just washed away, but I found myself comparing her to a band I consider once of the greatest in rock...and ’Experiment On Me’ is so amazing , it didn’t even seem weird.

    "I should note there I want the only one to focus in some of this. Once of my fave podcasts ‘Switched On Pop’ about made me burst... as one day this spring they did an episode about the resurgence of the guitar in recent pop. They highlighted 'Experiement On Me' on the episode & even flirted with some of subversive symbolism in both the lyrics & sonics of the song I’ve alluded to here. It’s a really good episode and you should check it out.

    "My gawd, I’m so sorry this is so long and there is really so much more about this song I love and could go into (it’s inclusion in Birds Of Prey, a lyrical analysis of how making her allusions to witchcraft are, just so much more!) It’s quite possibly my favorite song of 2020 so far and will be something I think about for a long time. And this song mixed with Manic elevated Halsey from a someone whom I really liked and an artist I find among the most interesting of her generation. There is pure genius in this woman."

    And that, queers, was the longest commentary received for The Halsey Rate, with one thousand two hundred words.

    As for the next elimination...

    One of you is about to lose their 11.

    Miss Lange, sexercise, tea and 24 others like this.
  18. Without Me is horrible why is it still here, was it bc it went #1? Gross
  19. It's hardly among her best but horrible? No ma'am.
    tea, soratami, Music Is Life and 6 others like this.
  20. Also on the topic of rage, I didn't have a proper emo phase or anything but Experiment on Me gives me the same feelings as Alice Glass' solo music and still some of the work she has in her catalogue as part of Crystal Castles. Needless to say, songs like Through the Hosiery, Alice Practice or Xxzxcuzx Me are difficult to listen from a torrent in the context of Alice's story, but the rage is a state that has carried over her solo output (i.e. White Lies, Forgiveness and especially Natural Selection) so I'll definitely always be here for a cathartic loud track like Experiment on Me and those examples
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