The tale of the Hopeless Fountain Kingdom has finally been told.
I have been a fan of Halsey for a few years now, and have excitedly awaited the release of her second album after falling in love with her first album Badlands. Badlands was released in 2015 and in the two-year gap between both albums Halsey hasn’t released too much, but she’s kept herself relevant by keeping her name around whilst she has been working on her newest piece.
The run-up to the release of this album has seen three singles released, one of which I reviewed last week; Strangers.
These three tracks have created a lot of hype around the album, especially Now or Never, a big reason for this being the music video, which was released on Halsey’s Vevo account. The video sits at 6 minutes long and shows us star-crossed lovers in a world unknown to the audience. Halsey is well known for her music videos, however, this one both intrigued and hyped her fan base as it gave her listeners some insight into the type of story Hopeless Fountain Kingdom would unveil.
Hopeless Fountain Kingdom grips its listeners through the use of musical storytelling. The album uses innovative storytelling techniques, the first track The Prologue plays on the idea of star-crossed lovers which we see in the Now or Never video using direct quotes from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The album really does want to entice its listeners into this world fabricated by Halsey; a dystopian world filled with pain and hate where we are focused on a problematic love story which is going wrong as the dystopian world we have been presented with is falling apart music acts as the only escape from the suffering.
The songs on the album are all pretty decent as stand-alone pieces, naturally, some are better than others but I could quite happily listen to all of them. The album only sits at 48 minutes long, which isn’t the longest for 16 songs, however, if you get on board with the story telling aspect of the album there is a lot to digest so 48 minutes is just enough to not be overwhelmed. Now of course if you just listened to the album unaware of the story it is telling you might be disappointed with the length of the album, especially after seeing its 16 tracks long.
I personally think the album is extremely good and has acted as the perfect medium for Halsey to tell a story through her music making skills. From top to bottom this album is such a good piece and has excited me with the prospect of being able to see Halsey live at Reading Festival this year. I would recommend you give the album a listen even if you don’t care about the story aspect of it because it has some bangers!