Halsey reflects on relationships and insecurities in Manic

Bella Coulter, Staff Writer

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By Bella Coulter

After three years of waiting, Halsey’s newest album is finally here in all of its pop glory. She released several songs over the past couple months ahead of the full album release, before putting out the full 16-track album Jan. 17.

Despite her growth as an artist, the songs still very much encompass her unique style. She blends pop and alternative to create an interesting and edgy sound. Her beautiful voice shows her incredible versatility with everything from angry shouts in “clementine” to delicate whispers in “SUGA’s Interlude.” She uses this album to show her growth and maturity, as she tackles a variety of topics, including her reflection on a failed relationship and her innermost insecurities. 

One of the most popular songs on the album released back in 2019, reflects on the effect of her love for a person. In “Graveyard,” she talks about the warnings that her friends had given her about a particular person, but says that “I would’ve followed all the way to the graveyard,” implying that she would do anything for this person. The song also has a darker undertone, suggesting certain toxicity in the relationship when she says, “It’s funny how the warning signs can feel like they’re butterflies.”

A few more songs also address a toxic relationship, including another one of the main songs, “You should be sad.” Starting with simple guitar strums, Halsey transitions into a beautiful blend of instruments and unique synth sounds, as she criticizes her past love for being self-centered. She claims, “You’re not half the man you thought that you were.” She then goes on to say how happy she is that she made it out of the relationship because, “You can’t love nothing unless there’s something in it for you.” As per the song’s title, she says that she feels sorry for the person because of her lover’s toxic personality.

In contrast, she uses songs like “3am” and “Still Learning” to show her more vulnerable side, as she continues to grow as an adult and an artist. “3am” is more chaotic as she recounts a trip to the bar where she left at 3 a.m. She then is suddenly hit with loneliness and worries about never finding a relationship that works out. She admits that “My insecurities are hurting me, someone please come and flirt with me, I really need a man to come along and tell me that I’m fine.” She also mentions insecurities from her past relationships, including “I know it’s complicated, ’cause everyone that I’ve dated says they hate it ’cause they don’t know what to do with me.” 

In “Still Learning,” she mentions some of these same insecurities, saying, “I go home and I got no self esteem.” She talks about how she feels alone because she feels as though no one really understands her. She remains optimistic, however, and says, “I’m still learning to love myself.”

Halsey’s Manic is a beautiful combination of excellently produced songs and soul-baring lyrics that leave fans speechless. This album is an incredibly raw account of the past couple years of her life, and once again she has hit the nail on the head with her powerful and relatable lyrics.