“Manic” Reflects Unapologetic Self-love and Growth

The official cover for Halsey's

Courtesy of Pitchfork

The official cover for Halsey's "Manic". This album takes one through a journey of heartbreak, healing, and self-reflection.

Emma Alexander, Staff Writer

Kick-starting her career by writing music and making appearances on social media apps such as YouTube and Kik at just 17 years old, Ashley Frangipane, who is now best known by her stage name Halsey, released her third album, “Manic,” which takes her audience on a poetic and emotional rollercoaster through heartbreak, health and personal growth. 

Opening the album with ‘Ashley’ creates an intimate approach for her listeners and it just so happens to be my personal favorite. I immediately fell in love with the relatability behind the lyrics and how comfortable I felt listening to it. Throughout the song she speaks on her own mortality and how experiencing bad days are inevitable and are apart of self-growth, which I feel is an important topic to touch on. 

Following her personal testimony, she wrote a love song based on her past relationship with Dominic Harrison (YUNGBLUD) and even dedicated an entire interlude to him called “Dominic’s Interlude.” “Forever…(is a long time)” is based on her falling in love with him. The song has a variety of instruments including piano, compelling twinkling tones, and even birds singing which essentiates the love-song vibe and sounds absolutely beautiful.

Although Halsey often produces alternative or indie style music, the song “3am” takes a ‘rock n’ roll’ turn. Heavy drums, guitar and a serious bass is not something you typically hear from her but, along with many of her fans, I am here for it. This is the type of song you listen to with the windows down and the volume all the way up. But despite it being an almost polar-opposite from the rest of the songs on the album, the lyrics still hide relatability when she speaks on often feeling like she has no one to talk or go to when in need of advice. 

This is the type of song you listen to with the windows down and the volume all the way up,”

— Emma Alexander

Halsey describes herself as, “…impulsive, uncensored and leading with emotion rather than logic,” in a recent interview with Apple music’s Zane Lowe. She then explains how her personal life is a disaster and that she faces the same struggles everyone else does.

Going along with that statement, the song “More” was written based on how she felt when she was told she could very well have children one day. She states that having a family was not something she would likely get to experience due to medical reasons. She was shocked when she was told by her gynecologist that she might be able to. 

“It felt like this ascension into a different kind of womanhood. All of the sudden, everything is different,” Halsey said to Apple music’s Zane Lowe. 

At the end of the song, she adds the audio of a sonogram, which depicts the sound of what you hear from inside the womb. This song was extremely heartwarming and my second favorite on the album. 

Ending this extremely personal and intimate album, “Still Learning” touches heavily on self-love and reflection. Listening to this song gave me a sense of empowerment, courage and an understanding that it is okay to put your own well-being before someone else’s. 

The personal aspects of this album completely won me over. The connection she strives to have with her fans through her music is greatly appreciated. She once again did not disappoint me and I am thrilled to hear future projects.