I have to be honest, I have been waiting for this ever since she announced it with the single “Now or never”. I hyped this album in my brain and I was so freaking happy when it arrived to my adress. I had to listen to it on youtube on repeat for a whole two days.
I absolutely loved Badlandls and was very curious to see how Hopeless Fountain Kingdom was going to be the bigger picture and to see if she has succeded in doing that.
To start of, I have to say that I love each and every one of the songs on the album. I think the record does tell a compelling story in the right way, and I actually could feel every bit of the emotion when I was listening to it for the second and third time ( it was not a first time success with me I have to say). After I while I started wandering, where is the bigger picture?
Because in Badlands, she created a dystopian like world where she touched many subjects, including love, religion (Castle), sex (Coming Down), control, the new generation and what is expected of her (to be a machine) while she is a hurricane, a young god.
However, all I still hear in Hopeless Fountain Kingdom is the break up, the relationship that was uneven and bound to fail. She talks about how it changed her (Angel on Fire), how she found out the other side of her (Devil in me), how they managed to find heaven at times when everything was great, how it all might have been a lie and that he/she was just playing with her. In the end, all they became is strangers.
Until the end we don’t know who that person is.
The song order is exceptionally fitting, finishing with Hopeless, because I think that is what she thinks love is after such a relationship.
The music itself is more raw and a little less indie I should say, with a lot of different sounds. I especially like Good Morning as a storytelling track that sets apart the album into two halves, marking a catarsis where her eyes are just beginning to open that it is not all milk and honey.
Overall, when you think about it, the bigger picture is there. It says that you are your own center, that you always come first and that is how the natural order of things should be. You shouldn’t change for anyone and they should even want you to. The bigger picture is to love yourself and not let others define your being. You are unique, just like this album.
In the meantime, listen to it religiously on repeat and die a little every time you hear it. The live versions are ven more intense then the studio versions.