Halsey - 'Manic'

8/10

While it always seems that there is a great level of background interference in creating the next big pop star, there is always an example of an act that had the fame and pressure that comes with it forced upon them. The story of Halsey thus far has been a true rags to riches tale, but with a sting in its tail from the very start. After being discovered at 19 and thrust into the limelight, her first two albums 'Badlands' and 'Hopeless Fountain Kingdom' were huge hits the world over. But now she looks to be more self-reflective on her third effort 'Manic', a record that bears the scars of her struggles these last few years.

The title of this new album certainly gives us an idea of its direction, as 'Manic' seems to suffer greatly from an identity crisis from the very start, reflecting Halsey's own insecurity about her place in the industry. Yet despite its untethered intentions, the release regularly manages to pull something special out of nowhere at almost every turn. Maintaining its focus on the pop dynamic she has been carving since her sophomore full-length, this new collection sees her move away from the simple and basic approach the commercial sound can suffer from and deliver a bold and eclectic offering in the process.

Halsey has always been an artist with more to say than she lets on, and 'Manic' is her first chance to truly unleash those hidden eccentricities. It almost feels like we are seeing the beginning of a new direction for the frontwoman, something that gives her even more kudos and ambition than we thought possible.

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