Am i the only one who doesnt get the concept of badlands? I feel like she hyped it up too much. It doesnt even speak on political or societal issues. Its just relationships and shit.
Except she didn’t over hype anything. This album is exactly what she said it would be.
Castle is about our patriarchal society and how they expect so much from her, yet so little. They expect her to be everything they
want her to be, and they also expect her to be quiet and not speak out
about what’s wrong and attempt to change the system. The old man she
sings about in that song represents patriarchy.
Hold Me Down is about her needing help from her demons in
order to speak out about what she knows is wrong. She’d like to do it on
her own, but she doesn’t really have that level of courage yet so she
relies on them to give her that extra push. But, that push turns into a
shove and next thing you know, she’s angry and wreaking havoc
everywhere, and her demons are enjoying it. The demons are actually the
judgements everyone has toward her, yet they’re the only thing holding
her down because she finds positivity in the negative remarks people say
about her being different. She likes being different.
New Americana is about how this generation is less
scared of diversity and how we’re more accepting of things. Take the
line “raised on Biggie and Nirvana” for example. Two very different
types of music, yet both were loved by nearly everyone. It also touches a
little on homosexuality with her James Dean verse, and how we’re okay
with that too.
Drive is about two people who obviously have feelings for each
other, but they refuse to say anything or make the first move. So
they’re kinda just stuck.
Hurricane is about a girl who’s
with a guy who’s not too good for her and takes advantage of her. He
thinks he has her wrapped around his finger, but she’s a wanderess. She
doesn’t stay with anyone and she doesn’t stay in one place; she belongs
Roman Holiday is about an emotionally toxic
relationship that’s coming to an end. Lots of people think its just a
ditzy love song, but if you look into the lyrics, its so much more. They
know they’re gonna break up, but they’re having one last “adventure”
together, then they’re done.
Ghost is about being in a
relationship where your partner is emotionally detached and its kinda
just like their body is there, not their heart. Then you make up your
mind and realize that you deserve better, so you leave that
Colors is about a guy who’s addicted to drugs
and how he can’t find happiness unless he takes them. When he does take
them, he pours out deep thoughts into her and kind of turns her into
him. But then, he doesn’t like what she’s turned into, so he leaves her.
Its also saying how he’s lost his colors and how he’s gray and dull.
Colors Part 2 is kinda like a memory of that, like she’s hallucinating and reminiscing on it.
is basically a big ass “Fuck you, mind your own gohdamn business” to
those people who keep asking her about her and Matty Healy’s (from The
1975) rumored relationship. Colors was supposedly about him, but I don’t know if that’s true or not, so I didn’t use his name.
is about her loving someone who’s toxic for her, but she loves him so
much that she’s willing to sacrifice her happiness to be with him (idk
if that made sense). She compares him to a God, but also a Devil,
obviously because he’s both. He’s a God because he makes her feel so
warm inside, but he’s also a Devil because of how he takes advantage of
her and how he has control over her. He could also be a Devil because of
how sexy he is and how he gets her all hot and bothered. He also kind
of puts her down, which is where the toxic part of him comes in. He
tells her that she’s never gonna be who she wants to become and he
crushes her self-esteem.
At this point, this is where the darkness of Badlands takes place.
Haunting is about her wanting her Ghost
(a character from an earlier song) to come back and continue “haunting”
her. Even though she’s got a better boyfriend, she can’t stop thinking
about her ex. She describes herself as “cold” because she kind of feels
off without him. Its almost like she can’t find herself without him, so
she needs him back so he could do it for her. She’s used to relying on
Gasoline is about society and the effect it
has on her. It causes something in her to snap, which is why she
describes herself as insane and deranged. She kind of compares society
to robots (like how robots are filled with gasoline in order to work),
like how they’re programmed to think certain ways, practically from the
moment they’re born. They judge her a hell of a lot and its like she can
never get a break from them. When she sings “low on self-esteem, so you run on gasoline”,
she’s talking about how they can’t think for themselves and how they’re
so judgmental that they even judge themselves, so they just continue
doing what everybody else does and keeps putting others down and its
basically just like an endless cycle. When she sings “I think there’s a fault in my code”, she’s talking about how she’s different from those people.
is about her bipolar disorder. They’re the demons in her head, battling
each other for control. She feels like her vibe is kind of scary, which
she clearly shows when she sings “All the kids cried out ‘please stop you’re scaring me’, I can’t help this awful energy”.
The good side of her apologizes for her bad vibe and feels sympathetic.
But then, the bad side takes over and kind of brags about it, saying “Goddamn right, you should be scared of me. Who’s in control?” And its almost like its proud of being so evil.
is about another toxic relationship, but it started out sweet. In the
beginning, he was kind to her. He calls her a queen and himself a king,
and she’s so infatuated with him. There’s a little foreshadowing though,
when she sings “I’ve been sitting at the bottom of a swimming pool for a while now, drowning my thoughts out with sounds”.
I think it means that she has that gut feeling that the relationship is
gonna take a turn sooner or later. She ends up being right because he
becomes conceited and cocky, calling himself a king, but not calling her
his queen like he used to. Instead, he’s kind of belittling her and he
uses his tongue as a “weapon”, which goes both ways. It can mean that
he’s occasionally sweet to her to keep her with him, or it could mean
that he uses his tongue on her to make her feel so good that she doesn’t
wanna leave him.
I Walk The Line is actually a cover of
Johnny Cash, just a little more sultry. Nevertheless, its basically a
conclusion of this album because she’s singing about how all of this has
given her emotional damage that she feels is permanent. Now, she
watches out who she gives her heart to, whether it be a friend or a
potential lover. She’s got walls around her now and she’s careful about
who she lets inside.
So, there you go. Badlands. She didn’t
over hype anything, you just need to look deeper into her lyrics and sit
there and think about it.