On June 2nd, 2017, alt-pop singer Ashely Nicollette Frangipane (better known as Halsey) released her highly anticipated sophomore album Hopeless Fountain Kingdom. HFK is a concept album based on the story of Romeo and Juliet. Sound-wise, HFK differentiates from Halsey’s previous album Badlands in the sense that it sounds much more R&B influenced than rock, though Halsey still considers herself an alternative artist. Without further ado, here are my top five favorite songs from Halsey’s sophomore record Hopeless Fountain Kingdom.
Serving as one of few ballads on the album, “Sorry” is about unrequited love, except in this scenario Halsey is the one who doesn’t feel the same about someone who seemingly loves her.“Someone will love you, but someone isn’t me.” she sings vulnerable over a piano in the post-chorus. “Sorry” is definitely a tear-jerker, and really showcases Halsey’s vocal skills.
4. Walls Could Talk
Upon first listen, this is the song that immediately stuck out to me. Sound-wise, “Walls Could Talk” is very reminiscent of Maroon 5’s early days. “And I’m thinking, “Damn, if these walls could talk” Well, they’d be like “Shit is crazy, right? That ain’t your baby no more”” she sings in the chorus. My only complaint about this song is that I wish it was longer, as it clocks in at only one minute and forty-two seconds.
3. Bad At Love
On this track, Halsey goes through the history of her previous relationships and details what went wrong with each of them. She ultimately comes to the conclusion that she is bad at love and relationships in general. “I’m bad at love but you can’t blame me for tryin’, you know I’d be lyin’ sayin’ you were the one that could finally fix me. Lookin’ at my history I’m bad at love.” she belts in the chorus. This track is definitely one of the more upbeat R&B-esque moments on the record.
2. 100 Letters
“100 Letters” is a pop ballad in which Halsey sings of a previous relationship where she tried to make things work with her partner and ultimately failed. The lyrics are inspired heavily by Romeo and Juliet in the sense she felt like she was living it. “I’m going through this relationship where I feel like a version of myself and a version of himself are dying for the sake of wanting to make our love work,” she said of the song. “100 Letters” has a painstakingly relatable chorus in which Halsey sings “And now I can’t stop thinking that I can’t stop thinking that I almost gave you everything. And now the whole thing’s finished and I can’t stop wishing that I never gave you anything.”, something that everyone who’s ever gone through a breakup can relate to.
“Alone” was instantly my favorite the first time I listened, and has remained my #1 ever since. “Alone” is about someone’s desire to meet you, but insisting that once they do they’ll regret it. “I know you’re dying to meet me, but I can just tell you this. Baby, as soon as you meet me, you’ll wish that you never did.” she croons in the chorus. What makes “Alone” so special to me is the upbeat, infectious, sound the song carries. It is definitely one of the most danceable tracks on the record and is definitely sure to uplift your mood, just by the way it sounds.
Overall, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom is a stellar album. Halsey’s vision for the record really shines through, and even though it is a concept album it isn’t gimmicky. Each song has it’s own flair but still ties into one another very nicely and cohesively. If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend you check out Halsey’s Hopeless Fountain Kingdom.