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.

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