New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)
Halsey (Nine Inch) nails a terrific new direction
“If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power,” by Halsey (Capitol)
Halsey gave birth this summer and she supplied her own baby gift — a terrific new album in a new musical direction.
The 13-track “If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power” sees Halsey teaming up with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross of the rock band Nine Inch Nails and who are frequent movie soundtrack collaborators. It marks the most divergent sound in Halsey’s career.
The album captures the thrill and fear of impending motherhood, and, as always, an artist looking with unsentimental harshness at their weaknesses. Reznor and Ross have imbued the project with their special brand of ambient and post-industrial dread.
This is the sound of ambition, an evolution of Halsey’s sound from the criminally underappreciated “Badlands” or the Romeo-and-Juliet concept album “Hopeless Fountain Kingdom” and 2020’s busy, single-driven breakup album “Manic.” It’s the sound of a mom who can have it all: love and power.