While pleasant enough, 'Now or Never' is bland and unoriginal and fails to do justice to the quirky and impressive style Halsey has developed.
After debut album Badlands spawned hits including ‘Gasoline,’ ‘Colours,’ and ‘Castle,’ Halsey has been one of the most impressive breakthrough stars of the last two years. Sadly, her lead offering from June’s hopeless fountain kingdom fails to match her own standards – the unoriginal and repetitive ‘Now Or Never’ fails to capture her unique quirky vocal tones.
The repetitive chorus line (“Baby gon’ love me now, now, now, now, now, now / Now or never”) fails to go beyond expressing the yearning for love with its dull backing. Even when the song appears poised for a sudden turn or to allow an a cappella moment, it ends up sorely disappointing. Instead, there is just a four-line verse on indecision sung with little effort or passion. It almost feels like Halsey has given up at this point.
To put it another way, ‘Now Or Never’ is just rather empty: after listening for four minutes, you forget it instantly and there’s nothing that compels a second listen, pleasant enough as it may be. In fact, the best part is the opening minute: her more stripped-back vocal – strong and well-controlled throughout – starts with promise against a dreamy backdrop, and it is only once the dull chorus beat takes prominence that things head downhill. Halsey’s earlier work was all about the quirky and the new. This just goes against that whole identity – we can only hope hopeless fountain kingdom can manage to restore some faith.
‘Now Or Never’ is out now via Astralwerks