- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 8, 2015





The New Jersey artist known as Halsey explores the “Badlands” — but not the Springsteen variety — on this curious new disc for Astralwerks.

“Castle” presents an intriguing mix of deep house with chorale singing thrown in for good measure, while “New Americana” is an uptempo clarion cry of the musical yearnings of the current generation. “Drive” is a thoughtful meditation on the wide expanses of the Golden State, declaring, “California, you never felt like home to me until I had you on the open road” — at once celebrating and subverting the mystery of the country’s most mythologized state. Switching coasts, “Hurricane” tells of a tempestuous love affair in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvescent neighborhood by a narrator grappling for the words and imagery to fully capture the whirlwind love. “Colors” parts 1 and 2 is a reverie-inducing meditation, and “Strange Love” is intriguing, if a tad repetitive. Album slumps for a bit then, until “Haunting” comes back with a revived verve and attitude. The disc closes with the ethereal “Young God” and a stirring, downtempo cover of Johnny Cash’s “I Walk the Line.

Halsey will play the District’s 9:30 Club on Oct. 20. Visit 930.com for more information.

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