Track Review: Halsey, ‘Not Afraid Anymore’
Halsey returns with a new single, “Not Afraid Anymore,” the second single from the Fifty Shades Darker motion picture soundtrack.
Fifty Shades of Grey was kind of a big deal. First, there was the book series, which received its fair share of praise and criticism. Then, in 2015, the first film of the trilogy, had everybody talking. Along with the film came a soundtrack, led by superb songs from The Weeknd (“Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey)”) and Ellie Goulding (“Love Me Like You Do”).
Now, the second film arrives, along with an accompanying, star-studded soundtrack. The first single that arrived from the soundtrack was the ZAYN and Taylor Swift collaboration, “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever (Fifty Shades Darker).” Ultimately, the single was enjoyable. Now, ahead of the arrival of the soundtrack, Halsey was tapped for “Not Afraid Anymore.” The results – sound, but not transcendent or game changing.
“Not Afraid Anymore” opens mysteriously. The sound fits the sensual tone of the film. The production work is interesting, blending pop, electronic, and rock. Halsey shows off her powerful vocals on the chorus. The verses are more restrained, and in some respects, lest distinct. The refrain, expectedly, is the highlight of the single:
“And touch me like you never / and push me like you never / and touch me like you never / ‘cause I am not afraid, I am not afraid anymore…”
Like the lyrics, Halsey’s vocal tone is best on the chorus as opposed to the verses. Furthermore, her tone on the chorus outshines that of the bridge. The bridge does something rare – lyrically and vocally it doesn’t pick up any steam. There is a build-up, but this occurs instrumentally, not vocally or lyrically.
“Not Afraid Anymore” has its pros, namely the chorus. Even so, it doesn’t feel like a home run like any of the singles from the previous Fifty Shades soundtrack. Okay, but not particularly memorable.