Halsey’s ‘If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power’: 4 Things You Should Know About Their New Album

Halsey just released their latest album titled If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power. The work marks the fourth studio album by the singer-songwriter.

This album is very different from anything Halsey has created before. Here’s everything you need to know about IICHLIWP to enhance your listening experience. 

Halsey in a frilly white and pink dress and dramatic hair and makeup poses for the camera at an event.
Halsey | Kurt Krieger-Corbis/Getty Images)

1. This is Halsey’s highest-rated album on Pitchfork 

The opening for Pitchfork’s review of If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power says, “Produced by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, Halsey’s spectral fourth album confronts the thrill and terror of getting what you want. It’s their strongest work to date.”

Halsey has had a long and storied history with Pitchfork. Their last album, Manic, received a score of 6.5 from the popular music review website. This prompted Halsey to tweet, “can the basement that they run p*tchfork out of just collapse already.” 

Pitchfork isn’t actually run out of a basement, but the One World Trade Center in New York City – the skyscraper that was built after the twin towers collapsed on September 11. Halsey’s comment received a lot of backlash, with some fans thinking she was making a joke about 9/11 or even calling for another attack. Halsey quickly deleted the tweet and made it clear that she had no idea where Pitchfork was located. 

With IICHLIWP, it seems that Halsey has no reason to feel disappointed. Pitchfork gave her latest album a score of 7.0, higher than Manic’s and hopeless fountain kingdom’s 6.5 and Badlands’ 4.9.

Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor wearing suits pose for the camera at an event.
Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor | Chris Pizzello/AP Photo

2. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross from ‘Nine Inch Nails’ produced the album

Reznor and Ross might seem like surprising choices to produce a pop album, but a grittier version of Halsey’s music has been a long time coming. Halsey told Apple Music’s Zane Lowe (per Uproxx) that Reznor, in particular, has always influenced her art, even before working with him. 

“I’ve wanted to work with Trent for years. When I was making Badlands, that language and that thesis of song-making, that theology of song-making, was in every song on the record. It was like, you know, those industrial drums. You can hear it on ‘Castle,’ on the first track. It’s that kind of like stripped bare, minimalist, industrial sound, and I abandoned it afterwards.”

3. Halsey’s album explores themes of ‘the joys and horrors of pregnancy and childbirth’

Halsey just had a baby on July 14, 2021, so much of her new album revolves around what she felt during pregnancy. But don’t expect this to be a bunch of sweet, gentle tracks about the joys of motherhood. 

When Halsey released the cover artwork for her album, they posted it along with the following statement on Instagram: “This album is a concept album about the joys and horrors of pregnancy and childbirth. It was very important to me that the cover art conveyed the sentiment of my journey over the past few months. The dichotomy of the Madonna and the Whore. 

“The idea that me as a sexual being and my body as a vessel and gift to my child are two concepts that can co-exist peacefully and powerfully. My body has belonged to the world in many different ways the past few years, and this image is my means of reclaiming my autonomy and establishing my pride and strength as a life force for my human being.

“This cover image celebrates pregnant and postpartum bodies as something beautiful, to be admired. We have a long way to go with eradicating the social stigma around bodies & breastfeeding. I hope this can be a step in the right direction!”

Halsey walks the red carpet in a long white gown covered in colorful designs.
Halsey | Don Arnold/WireImage

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4. Halsey released an accompanying Imax movie 

Halsey released a 50-minute visual album experience, also titled If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power. The piece was directed by music video filmmaker Colin Tilley, who has also directed videos for Justin Bieber, the Black Eyed Peas, Nicki Minaj, Jason Derulo, and many more. 

According to Deadline, the film grossed $735,000 worldwide from select locations and limited showtimes around the globe. In one evening, the film posted a $5,000 screen average from 100 Imax auditoriums throughout the U.S. and Canada.