If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power

If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power is the fourth studio album by American singer-songwriter Halsey, released on August 27, 2021, by Capitol Records. It was written by Halsey, Johnathan Cunningham, Greg Kurstin, and its producers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross of Nine Inch Nails. Halsey described the project as “a concept album about the joys and horrors of pregnancy and childbirth“.

2021 studio album by Halsey
If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power

Standard cover[note 1]
Studio album by

Released August 27, 2021 (2021-08-27)
Recorded 2020–2021
Genre
Length 42:52
Label Capitol
Producer
Halsey chronology
Badlands (Live from Webster Hall)
(2020)
If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power
(2021)
Singles from If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power
  1. I Am Not a Woman, I’m a God
    Released: August 31, 2021
  2. “You Asked for This”
    Released: September 7, 2021

The cover artwork of If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power was inspired by artistic depictions of Mary, mother of Jesus. A theatrical film directed by American filmmaker Colin Tilley, titled after the album and featuring its music, screened in select IMAX cinemas around the world on August 25 and 26, 2021, leading up to the album release. If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power is an alternative rock, grunge-pop, and pop punk effort with heavy industrial influence, driven by clattering drums, distorted guitars, and a cinematic texture to its music. Its lyrics center on feminist themes, such as addressing patriarchy and institutionalizedmisogyny.

Music critics reviewed the album positively, most of whom praised its ambitious concept and theatrical production. Two singles were released to promote the album: “I Am Not a Woman, I’m a God” to United States contemporary hit radio on August 31, 2021, followed by “You Asked for This” to U.S. alternative radio on September 7, 2021. Commercially, If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power reached the top 10 in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, Scotland, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Scoring Halsey’s fourth consecutive record to chart inside the top two of the U.S. Billboard 200, the album also topped the Top Album Sales and Alternative Albums charts. The album is nominated for Best Alternative Music Album at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards.

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American singer-songwriter Halsey released her[note 2] third studio album, Manic, on January 17, 2020.[2] It included the successful single, “Without Me” (2018),[3] the second Billboard Hot 100 number-one song of Halsey’s career.[4] In 2020, she contributed to the soundtrack for the superhero filmBirds of Prey, with a track titled “Experiment on Me”, which is a nu-metal song produced by Oliver Sykes and Jordan Fish from the British rock band Bring Me the Horizon,[5] and released collaborative songs with other artists, such as Kelsea Ballerini‘s “The Other Girl“, Juice Wrld‘s “Life’s a Mess“, and Machine Gun Kelly‘s “Forget Me Too“.[2] Halsey was slated to embark on her third concert tour, titled Manic World Tour, in 2020, but after postponing and rescheduling many dates due to the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, the tour was announced cancelled on January 23, 2021.[6] She also announced her first pregnancy, with American screenwriter Alev Aydin, after suffering several miscarriages due to endometriosis[2] and undergoing a surgery in 2017.[3]

On June 28, 2021, numerous billboards went up across major cities of the United States, announcing the fourth studio album by Halsey, titled If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power.[2] The singer confirmed it herself through her social media accounts on the same day.[7] Together with the announcement, she also previewed one of the tracks from the album.[8] It was also revealed that the album was produced by American musician Trent Reznor and English musician Atticus Ross, members of American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails.[9] In a short teaser video, Halsey hinted at the album’s punk rock sound.[2] On July 7, 2021, Halsey unveiled the cover art and announced that If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power would be released on August 27, 2021.[10] Halsey gave birth to her child, Ender Ridley Aydin, on July 14, 2021.[11]

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