Ashley Nicolette Frangipane (we all know her as Halsey) first came to notice with her 2015 album Badlands which established her as a polished electro-pop princess.
Five years and two albums later the single You Should Be Sad, taken from her latest LP Manic, is a big leap away from her electro-pop songs such as Çolors and piano ballads like Sorry. Pop with slight country overtones and a simple yet very appealing tune, it is the lyrics in You Should Be Sad which really capture the heart.
The track tells the story of love gone wrong, where the fact of how good it was making the dissolution all the more bitter; where the commitment was one sided and a woman loses out to a lover who cloaked their true nature from her. She fell for the front he put up, but it was the self-centeredness and his real desire for wealth and material possessions that destroyed them in the end.
She is distraught and he should be (but probably is not) for losing all they had. It is all wrapped up in the killer line, ‘I’m so glad I never had a baby with you’. The tragedy is underscored by sudden, fuzzy guitar injects and clouded over vocals.
The song was written by Frangipane in collaboration with the mega successful Greg Kurstin, who has worked with such stars as Pink, Lana Del Ray, and Katy Perry.
The hypersexual line dancing/Lady Godiva video that goes with the song is a bizarre choice, having no apparent connection with the lyrics. Never mind that, as You Should Be Sad is a beautiful package with a very sharp vocal delivery and great songwriting.