Manic
A photo of a woman's face with thick blue glittery makeup around her left eye
Studio album by
ReleasedJanuary 17, 2020 (2020-01-17)
Recorded2018–2019
Genre
Length47:36
LabelCapitol
Producer
Halsey chronology
Hopeless Fountain Kingdom
(2017)
Manic
(2020)
Collabs
(2020)
Singles from Manic
  1. "Without Me"
    Released: October 4, 2018
  2. "Graveyard"
    Released: September 13, 2019
  3. "You Should Be Sad"
    Released: January 10, 2020

Manic is the third studio album by American singer Halsey. It was released on January 17, 2020 through Capitol Records. It was preceded by the release of three singles: "Without Me", "Graveyard" and "You Should Be Sad", with featured guest appearances by Dominic Fike, Alanis Morissette, and Suga of South Korean boy band BTS. The album was commercially successful, debuting at number two on the Billboard 200 albums chart in the United States, becoming Halsey's third top-two album on the chart and her biggest album debut on the country to date, selling 239,000 units in its first week.[1]

Following its release, Manic was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in the US, becoming the first album released in 2020 to achieve this.[2] Music production was mainly handled by Halsey herself with the addition of frequent and new collaborators, such as Benny Blanco, Cashmere Cat, FINNEAS, Greg Kurstin, Jon Bellion, Lido, and Louis Bell, among others. Musically, Manic is primarily an electropop, hip hop, and alternative rock record with influences of several other genres, including country, K-pop, pop, and R&B. Halsey described the album as changing its mind as much as she does.[3] To promote the album, Halsey embarked on her third concert tour, the Manic World Tour, following its release.[4]

Background and sound

On October 4, 2018, Halsey released the song "Without Me", her first solo material since her second studio album Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, released in 2017.[5] Originally, the song was intended as a standalone track,[6] but was later included on the record, becoming the actual lead single. In March 2019, Halsey announced that her third studio album would be released in 2020 and that she wanted it to be "perfect".[7] The standalone single, "Nightmare", released on May 17, 2019, was originally intended to be the lead single from the album.[8][9][10] A scene in the music video for “Nightmare” showed Halsey holding a newspaper reading "MANIC" and another scene where she holds a sign reading "H3 / AI / 10--2019", with the actual day not shown, which some speculated as a hint that the album would be released in October 2019.[11] However, it was released on January 17, 2020.

During a question-and-answer session on August 7, 2019, she stated that the album is "less dystopian fantasy world" and that it reflects her current worldview.[12] In her Rolling Stone cover story, Halsey stated that Manic is a sampling of "hip-hop, rock, country, fucking everything—because it's so manic. It's soooooo manic. It's literally just, like, whatever the fuck I felt like making; there was no reason I couldn't make it".[13]

She revealed the album title on her social media on September 12, 2019, along with an official link to a website with the album title.[14] The website contained a livestream of the singer painting the album cover.[15] The album has 16 tracks on the standard edition.[16]

She revealed the tracklist on December 3, 2019, and went live on Instagram shortly after to discuss the album and answer fan questions. During the live, she stated that the album is very personal in which saying, "I feel like you guys have really given me the chance this year to express myself more and be myself in a way that I don't know if I’ve really felt like I have been able to since my first album". She also stated that fans would get to meet a part of her that she's been really excited to show. When asked what her favorite song is, she said that the most personal one is "More", and not being able to pick just one, she listed some of her favorites which include, "I Hate Everybody", "929", "Killing Boys", and "Dominic's Interlude". The album was revealed to have three features including Dominic Fike, Alanis Morissette, and Suga of BTS. Halsey described them as “People who really represent different parts of my psyche and different parts of my personality in so many different ways”.

Manic is a "busy album"[17] and a "raw and honest look into Halsey's head and heart",[18] on which she explores many genres, including "electro-pop, sparkly ballads, hip-hop, twang, and '90s alt rock"[19] and "everything from Lilith Fair folk guitar to South Korean rap".[20] Lyrically, it deals with the singer's struggles with bipolar disorder (previously known as manic depression).[21]

On September 29, 2020, the Expanded Edition of Manic was released in honor of Halsey's birthday. The expanded version features the 16 songs on the original version as well as the deluxe limited edition songs "Wipe Your Tears" and "I'm Not Mad", Halsey's "Be Kind" collaboration with Marshmello, the Juice Wrld and Illenium remixes of "Without Me", the acoustic versions of "Graveyard" and "You Should Be Sad", and stripped versions of "Alanis' Interlude", "Without Me", "Graveyard", and "3AM".

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?7.4/10[22]
Metacritic80/100[23]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[24]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[25]
Exclaim!8/10[26]
The Guardian4/5 stars[27]
The Line of Best Fit9/10[28]
NME4/5 stars[29]
Pitchfork6.5/10[30]
PopMatters7/10 stars[31]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[32]
Slant4/5 stars[33]

At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has an average score of 80 out of 100, which indicates generally favourable reception based on 18 reviews.[23]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic said that the album "showcases Halsey at her nerviest and at her best."[24] Ilana Kaplan from the Entertainment Weekly praised the album calling it "a chaotic amalgamation of self-analysis, rage, depression, ecstasy, and growth" that sees its creator "managing the messiness of fame while trying to stay true to herself."[25] In a positive review from Exclaim!, wrote that Manic is her most personal album to date.[26] Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone gave the album a positive review and named Manic an "excellent new album", praising its versatility of genres and "Halsey's raw autobiographical portrait of [herself] as a young mess, craving her share of love and tenderness in a hostile world".[32] In a four-star review for The Guardian, Ben Beaumont-Thomas praised Halsey's lyrical evolution, citing that "her lyrical confidence is matched by the characterful production, which straddles R&B, country, trashy pop-rock, Kacey Musgraves-ish cosmic Americana and more".[27]

In a positive review for PopMatters, Jeffrey Davies referred to the album as a "refreshingly intimate portrait of a young woman navigating fame, femininity, and mental illness" and wrote: "From an artist whose style and image or lack thereof has tended to take precedence over her music and her psyche, Manic is an honest invitation into the worlds of both Halsey and Ashley Frangipane, and teaches us that the truth is in the ambiguity."[31] Steven Loftin from The Line of Best Fit stated that Manic "revels in the explorative genre-pop bombast, letting the delicates twinkle, and the snarls bare their teeth; yet it's the soul that shines dominantly."[28] He also named it her most complete work to date.[28]

In June and July 2020, the album was included on Billboard, American Songwriter, and Uproxx's list of the best albums of 2020 so far.[34][35][36]

Commercial performance

Manic debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 with 239,000 album-equivalent units, of which 180,000 were pure album sales. It is Halsey's third top-two album and her biggest opening week so far on the chart. The album's tracks earned a total of 75.6 million on-demand US streams in its first week.[1] In Australia the album debuted at number two becoming Halsey's third consecutive album to get blocked from the top spot in the nation.

In the UK the album debuted and peaked at number six becoming Halsey's highest charting album there.

It also reached the top ten in Belgium, Canada, Ireland, and New Zealand.

Singles

On October 4, 2018, Halsey released "Without Me" after teasing the song a few weeks prior during a show in London on September 23, 2018. It was followed by a Spotify vertical video released on October 12, 2018, and a music video a few weeks later on October 29, 2018. The song became commercially successful, reaching the top three in several countries including, Australia, Canada, and the UK. The song also topped the US Billboard Hot 100, spending two weeks at number one, becoming her first chart-topping song as a lead artist.[37] It went on to spend 29 weeks in the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100, making it the third longest-running top ten song by a female artist, behind only Billie Eilish’s "Bad Guy" and LeAnn Rimes' "How Do I Live", and became her third song to spend over a year on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the only female artist in history to achieve this. It was ranked number three on the 2019 Billboard Year End Chart and number 12 on the 2010s’ Billboard Decade End Chart.[38][39] The song's been certified 8x Platinum in Canada, 7x Platinum in Australia and the US, 2x Platinum in New Zealand, Platinum in Italy, Sweden, and the UK, Gold in Belgian. Originally intended to be a standalone single, the song was included in the album's final tracklisting, serving as the album's lead single.

On September 3, 2019, Halsey announced "Graveyard" as the album's second single through her social media, revealing the cover art and release date and was made available for pre-save the same day.[40][41] Halsey performed the song for the first time two days prior to its release on September 11, 2019 at Rihanna's Savage X Fenty show as one of the musical guests.[42] The song was released on September 13, 2019, along with the album preorder, and impacted US radio on September 17, 2019.[43] The accompanying music video was released on October 8, 2019 which features actress, Sydney Sweeney. Commercially, the song reached the top 40 in several countries including, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and the UK while peaking at number 34 on the Billboard Hot 100. It's since been certified 2x Platinum in Australia and Canada, Platinum in the US, and Gold in the UK.

On January 8, 2020, Halsey announced through social media that she would be releasing the album's third official single, "You Should Be Sad", along with its accompanying music video on January 10, 2020, one week ahead of the album's release.[44][45] The song impacted US radio on January 14, 2020.[46] The song debuted at number 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 with it rising to number 26, where it peaked, the following week. It also reached number four in Australia, number five in Ireland, and reached the top 30 in Belgium, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK and has been certified 3x Platinum in Canada, Platinum in Australia and the US, and Gold in New Zealand and the UK.

On April 29, 2020, Halsey announced "Be Kind", an EDM collaboration with American producer Marshmellow that would be released two days later on May 1.[47] Both promoted the song by posting a flower visual on each other's social medias.[48][49] The song impacted US radio on May 5, 2020 with the music video being released on June 27, 2020.[50] The song was commercially successful, debuting and peaking at number 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 while also reaching the top forty in over 16 other countries and has been certified 2× Platinum in Canada and Gold in Australia. It was added to the digital expanded edition of the album on September 29, 2020.[51]

Promotional singles

On September 29, 2019, to celebrate her birthday, Halsey released the first promotional single, "Clementine", as a surprise with no prior announcement.[52] The music video was released the same day.[53]

On December 3, 2019, during an Instagram live, Halsey revealed that two new songs and a music video would be released the following Friday on December 6, 2019. The next day she announced through social media that "Finally // Beautiful Stranger" and "Suga's Interlude" would be the songs she was releasing, serving as the second and third promotional singles respectively.[54] A music video for "Finally // Beautiful Stranger" was released along with the songs.[55] While neither entered the Billboard Hot 100, "Finally // Beautiful Stranger" entered the Bubbling Under Hot 100 at number 17 and "Suga's Interlude" peaked at number ten on the US Pop Digital Song Sales chart.[56][57]

Other songs

On June 15, 2020, Halsey uploaded a video of the original recording of "Wipe Your Tears" which is 2:18 long. She has since revealed there is a third version which features another artist.[58]

On September 29, 2020, to celebrate her twenty-sixth birthday, Halsey released a music video for "929" which features various archive footage of the singer throughout her life.[59]

On October 7, 2020, Halsey released the music video for "Dominic's Interlude" with Dominic Fike. The video was previously used as a visualizer for the song on the Manic World Tour (2020) between Halsey's performance of "Forever ... (Is a Long Time)" and "I Hate Everybody", as it appears on the album.[60]

Track listing

Credits adapted from Tidal[61] and CMG Credits.[62] Halsey revealed the tracklist on her Instagram on December 3, 2019.[63]

Manic – Standard edition
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Ashley"3:06
2."Clementine"
  • Frangipane
  • Johnathan Carter Cunningham
  • Jasper Sheff
  • Halsey
  • Cunningham
3:54
3."Graveyard"
3:01
4."You Should Be Sad"
Kurstin3:25
5."Forever ... (Is a Long Time)"
2:47
6."Dominic's Interlude" (with Dominic Fike)
  • Frangipane
  • Fike
  • Losnegård
  • Andrew Jackson
  • Duck Blackwell
  • Halsey
  • Lido
  • Jackson
  • Blackwell
1:16
7."I Hate Everybody"
2:51
8."3AM"
  • Frangipane
  • Kurstin
Kurstin3:54
9."Without Me"
Bell3:21
10."Finally // Beautiful Stranger"
  • Frangipane
  • Kurstin
Kurstin3:41
11."Alanis' Interlude" (with Alanis Morissette)
  • Frangipane
  • Morissette
  • Losnegård
  • Mike Farrell
  • Jesse Lacey
  • Vincent Accardi
  • Brian Lane
  • Garrett Tierney
  • Halsey
  • Lido
2:41
12."Killing Boys"
  • Halsey
  • Cunningham
2:23
13."Suga's Interlude" (with Suga of BTS)
  • Halsey
  • Lido
  • Suga
  • Pdogg
2:18
14."More"
  • Frangipane
  • Losnegård
  • Levin
  • Høiberg
  • Ammar Malik
  • Andrew Wells
  • Dave Lubben
  • Kevin Snevely
  • Halsey
  • Lido
  • Wells[a]
2:33
15."Still Learning"
3:31
16."929"
  • Frangipane
  • Cunningham
  • Sheff
  • Cunningham
  • Sheff
2:55
Total length:47:34
Manic– Standard Target exclusive and overseas deluxe edition bonus tracks[64]
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
17."You Should Be Sad" (original voicenote)FrangipaneHalsey2:13
18."I'm Not Mad"
  • Frangipane
  • Cunningham
Cunningham2:53
Total length:51:59
Manic– Standard Japanese edition bonus track[65]
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
19."Wipe Your Tears"
  • Frangipane
  • Cunningham[66]
Cunningham1:51
Total length:53:50
Manic– Digital expanded edition - Disc two[67][68]
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Wipe Your Tears"
  • Frangipane
  • Cunningham
Cunningham1:51
2."I'm Not Mad"
  • Frangipane
  • Cunningham
Cunningham2:54
3."Be Kind" (with Marshmello)
  • Comstock
  • Stone
2:53
4."Without Me" (featuring Juice WRLD)
Bell3:50
5."Without Me" (Illenium remix)
  • Frangipane
  • Storch
  • Allen
  • Bell
  • Delacey
  • Timbaland
  • Timberlake
4:08
6."Graveyard" (Acoustic)
  • Frangipane
  • Allen
  • Bellion
  • Bell
  • K. Johnson
  • S. Johnson
  • Williams
Frangipane3:56
7."You Should Be Sad" (Acoustic)
  • Frangipane
  • Kurstin
Frangipane3:19
8."Alanis' Interlude" (Stripped)
  • Frangipane
  • Morissette
  • Farrell
  • Lacey
  • Accardi
  • Lane
  • Tierney
Frangipane2:31
9."Without Me" (Stripped)
  • Frangipane
  • Storch
  • Allen
  • Bell
  • Delacey
  • Timbaland
  • Timberlake
Frangipane3:03
10."Graveyard" (Stripped)
  • Frangipane
  • Allen
  • Bellion
  • Bell
  • K. Johnson
  • S. Johnson
  • Williams
Frangipane3:37
11."3AM" (Stripped)
  • Frangipane
  • Kurstin
Frangipane3:34
Total length:1:23:00

Notes

  • ^[a] signifies as an additional producer
  • ^[b] signifies as an executive producer
  • Standard vinyl edition excludes "Alanis' Interlude", "Killing Boys", and "Suga's Interlude".[69]
  • Song names styling:
  • "3AM" includes an uncredited appearance from singer John Mayer, in the form of a voicemail.[76]
  • The signed 'Ashley' version of the CD has a misprint in the tracklist. "Alanis' Interlude", "Killing Boys", and "Suga's Interlude" are missing from the back cover but are present on the CD.

Samples

Personnel

Credits adapted from CMG Credits.[62]

Performers and musicians

  • Halsey – vocals
  • Dominic Fike – vocals (track 6)
  • Alanis Morissette – vocals (track 11)
  • Suga – vocals (track 13)
  • Benny Blanco – keyboards (track 1, 5, 7, 12)
  • Alex Young – keyboards (track 1)
  • Cashmere Cat – keyboards (track 1, 5, 7, 14)
  • Amy Allen – background vocals, guitar (track 3)
  • Jasper Sheff – drums, piano (track 2) guitar (track 16)
  • Louis Bell – keyboards (track 3)
  • The Monsters & Strangerz – keyboards (track 3)
  • Jon Bellion – keyboards (track 3)
  • Mark Williams – guitar, keyboards (track 3)
  • Greg Kurstin – drums, lap steel guitar (track 4) acoustic guitar, bass, electric guitar, mellotron, percussion (track 8, 10)
  • Happy Perez – guitar (track 12) keyboards, guitar (track 5, 7)
  • Finneas – keyboards (track 7)
  • Chad Smith – drums (track 8)
  • Johnathan Carter Cunningham – drums, guitar (track 12) guitar (track 16)
  • Lido – keyboards (track 14)

Production

  • Halsey – production
  • Benny Blanco – production, programming (track 1, 5, 7, 12, 14), engineering (track 5, 7, 12, 14), executive producer (album)
  • Alex Young – programming (track 1)
  • Cashmere Cat – programming (track 1, 5, 7, 14)
  • Brenton Duvall – programming (track 1)
  • John Cunningham – programming (track 2, 12, 19) engineering (track 16)
  • Louis Bell – programming (track 3, 9, 15) engineering (track 9)
  • The Monsters & Strangerz – programming (track 3)
  • Mark Williams – programming (track 3)
  • Alex Pasco – engineering (track 4, 8, 10)
  • Greg Kurstin – engineering (track 4, 8, 10)
  • Julian Burg – engineering (track 4, 10)
  • Ed Reyes – assistant engineering (track 4, 8, 10)
  • Lido – programming (track 5, 6, 7, 11, 13, 14) engineering (track 6, 11, 13)
  • Happy Perez – programming (track 5, 7, 12)
  • Finneas – programming (track 7)
  • Julian Burg – engineering (track 8)
  • Scott Moore – engineering (track 8)
  • Ricardo Gama – recording (track 9)
  • Daniel S. Acorsi – recording (track 9)
  • Chris Sclafani – engineering (track 12, 14)
  • Suga – programming (track 13)
  • Pdogg – programming (track 13)
  • Andrew Wells – production, programming, engineering (track 14)
  • Fred – co-producer (track 15)
  • Jasper Sheff – programming (track 16)
  • Chris Gehringer – engineering (track 19)
  • Will Quinnell – assistant engineering (track 19)
  • Serban Ghenea – mixing (track 19)
  • John Hanes – mixing (track 19)

Design

  • Garrett Hilliker – art direction
  • Arjun Pulijal – product manager
  • Katie Spoleti – product manager
  • Talisa Gurunian – product manager
  • Tony Bisogno – production
  • Jill Lamothe – production

Charts

Certifications

Sales certifiations for Manic
RegionCertificationCertified units/sales
Argentina (CAPIF)[109]5× Platinum200,000^
Australia (ARIA)[110]Gold35,000double-dagger
Canada (Music Canada)[111]Platinum80,000double-dagger
Mexico (AMPROFON)[112]Platinum60,000double-dagger
Netherlands (NVPI)[113]Gold20,000double-dagger
Norway (IFPI Norway)[114]Platinum20,000*
United States (RIAA)[115]Platinum1,000,000double-dagger

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Release history

Release formats for Manic
CountryDateFormatVersionLabelRef.
VariousJanuary 17, 2020StandardCapitol[116]
LPLP[117]
February 14, 2020CassetteStandard[118]
September 11, 2020LP[119]
September 29, 2020
  • Digital download
  • streaming
Expanded[67][68]

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