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Hopeless Fountain Kingdom is Halsey's second studio album that was released on June 2, 2017 by Astralwerks.

TracklistingEdit

  1. The Prologue 1:47
  2. 100 Letters 3:29
  3. Eyes Closed 3:22
  4. Alone 3:25
  5. Now Or Never 3:34
  6. Sorry 3:40
  7. Good Mourning 1:07
  8. Lie (featuring Quavo) 2:29
  9. Walls Could Talk 1:41
  10. Bad At Love 3:01
  11. Strangers (featuring Lauren Jauregui) 3:41
  12. Devil In Me 4:09
  13. Hopeless (featuring Cashmere Cat) 3:07

iTunes deluxe edition bonus track

  1. Alone (featuring Big Sean and Stefflon Don) 3:27

Album BackgroundEdit

"Hopeless Fountain Kingdom" is a concept album that connects with her previous album, "Badlands."

Halsey has explained various parallels between lyrics on songs from both albums. She also hinted that something on the album was inspired by the song "Empty Gold" from her debut EP, "Room 93."

The album's story and characters are mostly inspired by William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet, with the opening track "The Prologue" featuring the play's prologue spoken by Halsey.

The inspiration for the album has also come from Halsey removing herself from a toxic relationship. It is noted for swapping the genders of "Romeo and Juliet", and including same sex relationships.

The main character is a bisexual female named Luna Aureum (Luna meaning "moon"), and her main love interest is male character Solis Angelus (Solis meaning "sun") with references to female love interests in the songs "Bad at Love" & "Strangers" (featuring Lauren Jauregui who is bisexual herself).

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, New York.

In the behind-the-scenes video for the first single, "Now or Never", Halsey revealed that the Hopeless Fountain Kingdom is a sort of purgatory for people who are too bad for heaven, but too good for hell. Luna and Solis are rumored to be the only two people born inside the Kingdom.

The music video for "Now or Never" was heavily influenced by Baz Luhrmann's 1996 film adaptation of the play, "Romeo + Juliet."

Musically, Halsey stated that she didn't want her first album to be a radio album and that although this album has a more radio-friendly sound she still sees herself as an alternative artist. She also said that she is "more than capable of writing radio music".

For this album, Halsey worked with several producers, including Greg Kurstin, Benny Blanco and Ricky Reed. The album is mainly rooted on pop music, specifically synth-pop and electropop-R&B.

Chart PerformanceEdit

"Hopeless Fountain Kingdom" debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 with 106,000 album-equivalent units, of which 76,000 were pure album sales; this feat made Halsey the first female act in 2017 to open atop the chart.

In Australia, the album debuted at number two with first-week sales of 4,300 copies. It debuted at #12 on the UK Albums Chart, selling 7,123 copies in its first week.

Critical ReceptionEdit

At Metacritic, "Hopeless Fountain Kingdom" has an average score of 66 out of 100, which indicates "generally favorable reviews" based on 10 reviews.

Rob Sheffield from Rolling Stone stated Halsey "shows off all her wild musical ambitions" on her "bold" second album. "It's her sprawling science-fiction breakup tale, indulging her taste for wide-screen melodrama." Musically, he opined that Halsey is "going for adult dystopian synth-pop realness."

For The Observer, Kitty Empire noted Halsey's "generic guest spot on a massive 2016 hit by The Chainsmokers, 'Closer', was an omen" as the album "does succumb to post-hit syndrome. It is not remotely bad; it certainly sounds just like one of the most hotly awaited pop albums of 2017. But you can discern, just off stage, the chorus of unignorable industry types bearing down on one bankable creative, advising this timely collaboration, that hot producer, this set of references."

Jon Caramanica in The New York Times opined it "liberally borrows styles from other singers." He highlighted "where Halsey sets herself apart is in her subject matter and manner of delivery. Her tales have rough edges and ellipsis endings," however, "there isn't a flicker of musical edge on this album, only a belief in the crowdsourcing of ideas."

USA Today's Maeve McDermott expressed similar sentiments in a mixed review, noting that the album "borrows magpie-like from other stars' signature sounds, with some working better than others."

PromotionEdit

Halsey referenced the album as early as 2014, posting "(and the Kingdom)" on Twitter,[21] and in 2016 when playing in Madison Square Garden she displayed the words "you can find me in the Kingdom" on a screen.[14] In February of 2017, she invited 100 fans in London to a church to hear four new songs from the album.[22]

In March, multiple Twitter accounts connected to Halsey began hinting at a storyline present in the album, seemingly involving two characters named Luna and Solis belonging to two different houses called the House of Aureum and the House of Angelus.

Soon after the tweets were released, Halsey began mailing out quotes from Romeo and Juliet to fans. In the first song on the album titled "The Prologue," she recites the beginning lines of the play.

The story of Luna and Solis in "Hopeless Fountain Kingdom" takes significant influence from William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" (in particular the Baz Luhrmann directed adaptation "Romeo + Juliet").

Halsey and Luhrmann would later be interviewed by Beats 1's Zane Lowe about their respective adaptation processes

The album was announced on March 7, 2017 via Halsey's Twitter account, along with a photograph of her holding a rose. On March 23, 20197, she announced the release date of June 2, 2017.

To release the album cover, she had a global scavenger hunt, where miniature gun shaped USB's were hidden in 9 cities around the world with pieces of the cover.

When all the pieces were found, they revealed the album cover art along with the announcement of the first single, "Now or Never".

On May 16, 2017, Halsey hinted via her Twitter account that the album would be accompanied by a series of connected music videos.

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