Hopeless Fountain Kingdom (stylized as hopeless fountain kingdom) is the second studio album by American singer Halsey, released on June 2, 2017, through Astralwerks.
Halsey released her debut studio album, Badlands, in August 2015. It charted at number 2 on the US Billboard 200, and went on to sell 500,000 copies. According to Halsey in an interview with Rolling Stone on March 2017, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom is a concept album, like her previous album Badlands. The story centers on a pair of lovers in a limbo-like realm that connects to the futuristic setting of the previous album: "I was a big comic-book kid... a big Marvel nerd", she stated. Speaking about her debut album, she contends that it "wasn't supposed to be a radio album." Though she still sees herself as an "alternative artist" ("'alternative' used to mean alternative rock", she says, "but I think in 2017 the word 'alternative' means alternative pop"), she expected Hopeless Fountain Kingdom to generate some airplay. "I am more than capable of writing radio music", she says, "and hopefully I'll put my money where my mouth is on this album." On the album, Halsey worked with producers including Greg Kurstin, Benny Blanco and Ricky Reed.
Billboard has pointed out that the album title might be named after a real fountain built by Halsey's ex-boyfriend off the L train's Halsey Street stop in Brooklyn.
User Album Review
Appearing on The Chainsmokers’ 2016 mega-hit ‘Closer’ has had a big impact on Ashley Nicolette Frangipane, AKA Halsey. Her 2015 debut ‘Badlands’ made her a cult popstar. ‘Closer’ made her a household name.
In truth, ‘Closer’ has a trace of blandness Halsey stampedes past when working on her own. ‘Hopeless Fountain Kingdom’ gets by on a universal quality, but there’s a personal touch you don’t find on everyday pop full-lengths. It’s a break-up album, placed in the context of a Romeo And Juliet-inspired world. The record even begins with the prologue to the Shakespearean tragedy, while the video for ‘Now Or Never’ is like her own take on Baz Luhrmann’s iconic 1996 film.
On ‘Sorry’ she admits to treating “the people that I love like jewellery” over heart-wrenching pianos. “I didn’t mean to try you on,” she sings. ‘Good Mourning’ gives Rihanna-gone-sci-fi-vibes, while ‘Bad At Love’ recalls the singer’s past relationships.
‘Hopeless Fountain Kingdom’ might be defiantly ambitious, but it’s surprisingly cohesive. Even cameos from Fifth Harmony’s Lauren Jauregui and Migos’ Quavo, and co-writes from Sia and Greg Kurstin can’t derail the feeling this is 100 per cent her own output.
The only time a guest threatens to overshadow her is on ‘Eyes Closed’, co-written by The Weeknd and drenched in his brooding R&B signature. But it’s far from the best song on the record, proving Halsey’s fast moving from cult hero to global superstar.
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