Halsey’s ‘Manic’: Album Review
Manic is the third studio album by American singer Halsey and was released on January 17th, 2020. The album consists of 16 tracks, with six of them preceded by single releases and the most popular being ‘Without me’ and ‘Graveyard’.
“It’s scary because it’s so much to me, so if people don’t like it, it feels like they don’t like me.” The 25-year-old pop singer opens up about how she cares about the album. Based on her personal experience living with bipolar disorder, the album details her self-reflection on her devastating life stories, alongside living with mental illness.
The first track ‘Ashley’ , begins a narrative portrayal of the depressed feeling’s experienced by Halsey’s real identity, Ashley. “And I don’t wanna be somebody in America just fighting the hysteria, I only wanna die someday.” The lyrics make it clear that she is being treated for the symptoms of bipolar disorder. It is an introduction to differentiate her reality and her stage identity Halsey.
‘More’ is my personal favourite from her new album. “They told me it’s useless, there’s no hope in store, but somehow I just want you more.” The line illustrates the scene of a woman losing her child because of miscarriage and her eagerness to become a mother in the future. It is a sad song referring to Halsey’s miscarriage experience.
What is evident when listening to Manic, is that the artist did not limit herself to a specific music genre when writing the songs. Shifting between mainly Electropop, Hip Hop and Alternative Rock, with influences of other genres including R&B, Country and K-pop, Halsey depicts her feeling’s openly with ever-changing musical styles.
Despite all the tough experiences during her youth, the last two tracks ‘Still Learning’ and ‘929’ express her optimism towards the future and the fact that she is learning to love herself, while living with bipolar.
While Halsey narrates most of the songs by herself, she also collaborates with several artists such as Dominic Fike, Alanis Morissette, and SUGA from BTS. It is notable that SUGA, the famous Korean rapper, has published a solo project about mental health issues previously.
Within an interview with Apple Music, Halsey stated that the initial image of the album is different from the way it is. “Manic to us in the media is self-destructive, unsure, irresponsible kind of panic mentality. That’s what I thought too and I couldn’t get a word out. And then I had to do a real self-inventory about what am I really like when I’m manic. And the answer is I am loving, I am passionate, I am open to anyone who wants to come into my life and be a part of it.”
Through this album, the artist encourages her fans to embrace the imperfections of their life and discusses mental illness with an open-minded approach. The album shows that she is not only a famous pop star, but also an artist who delivers a positive message to society.
To conclude, Manic is a personal and expressive album which portrays the inner side of Halsey. If you are experiencing pain and seeking understanding, I guarantee you will connect with a song within Manic.
If you are seeking support you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14, or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.