Following 2017’s hopeless fountain kingdom and 2020’s Manic, this latest record is a cinematic exhibition on the extremities of Halsey’s life experience, spanning a spectrum between self-love and self-sabotage. More specifically, the concept album is “about the joys and horrors of pregnancy and childbirth,” according to the singer.
The tracklist’s theatrical aspect is no coincidence either — the chart-topper is releasing If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power in tandem with an hour-long IMAX film of the same moniker. In lieu of typical pre-release singles, Halsey opted to instead lure fans with mythical trailers and a grand reveal of the album artwork at The Met.
“It was very important to me that the cover art conveyed the sentiment of my journey over the past few months,” Halsey previously wrote on Instagram of the artwork. “The dichotomy of the Madonna and the Whore. The idea that me as a sexual being and my body as a vessel and gift to my child are two concepts that can co-exist peacefully and powerfully.”
The 13-track record, executive produced by Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, employs instrumental accompaniments from Dave Grohl, Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham, The Bug’s Kevin Martin, TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek, Pino Palladino, Karriem Riggins and Meat Beat Manifesto. With no features, the album is a profound dive into Halsey’s solitary introspection and their newfound motherhood.