When Halsey met Ashley

Halsey shows the world another side of her

By Cara McCarthy

Associate Editor

Ashley Frangipane, better known as Halsey, started her year on a high note when she released her latest album, “Manic,” in January 2020.

“Manic” is Halsey’s third album release, and much like her previous albums – it has a life of its own.

The album strives to take the listener through one of Halsey’s manic episodes. The singer has been open about being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder when she was 17, and has said the album was written during a manic episode of her own.

In an interview with “Rolling Stone,” Halsey described a manic episode as “that thing in the back of our minds that drives us to outrageous thoughts.” She went on to say it’s during these periods of time when you could be on top of a building and think, “What would happen if I jumped?”

This is a feeling she attempted to mimic in her album – a goal that she achieved.

The album opens up with “Ashley” – where she reintroduces herself to fans. She tells her listeners to throw away any preconceived notions they may have of her.

She ends the track with a line spoken by Kate Winslet from the film “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “I’m just a f***ed up girl, looking for her own peace of mind, don’t assign me yours.”

The album comes just over a year after Halsey’s public breakup with G-Eazy.

In an interview with Zane Lowe, she said the album is focused on her struggles with bipolar, endometriosis, and her failed relationships.

In October 2018, Halsey released the first single from the album titled “Without Me,” which was confirmed in an interview with “Glamour Magazine” to be “partially about” her breakup with G-Eazy.

There are also clues in the track, “You Should Be Sad,” which allude to her breakup with the rapper – specifically her telling him she’s moved on. She says, “Got no anger / got no malice / just a little bit of regret.”

The 16-track album features other big-name artists such as Dominic Fike, Alanis Morissette, SUGA, and BTS – each have their own interlude with Halsey.

The track “Beautiful Stranger,” however, received some backlash shortly after the release of the album.

The track resembles Lady Gaga’s song “You and I,” with the only notable difference being Halsey’s track is backed up by acoustic guitar, while Lady Gaga’s is accompanied by a piano – when played side by side, the resemblance is painfully obvious.

However, it has not been confirmed whether this was intentional, and Halsey has been known to be inspired by other artists – specifically on this album.

In “Without Me,” she quotes Justin Timberlake’s song, “Cry Me A River.”

Halsey sings, “You don’t have to say / just what you did / I already know / I had to go and find out from them.” She then defended herself by Tweeting, “I felt the song has CMAR vibes. It’s not a direct sample.”

Perhaps the Gaga parallels are the same situation.

This album is more than just another Halsey album – it’s Ashley making her first appearance.

Halsey has been quoted saying her first three albums were based on the ancient saying, “You have three faces:” – the one you show the world, the one you show those closest to you, and the third face – the one you show no one.

She set out to reach one goal with her third album – to show the world her third face. The sheer vulnerability she was willing to broadcast to the world is admirable and for that – this album is a masterpiece.

Halsey admits her own desire to be loved, but also that she is learning to love herself – something even the most confident people struggle to accept – she confessed this is a goal Ashley has not yet accomplished.

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