Written by Beth Judge
The feather-like hush of the tingling verses. The immense echoes of the crashing choruses. The uninterrupted intimacy of this seductive single could only soundtrack best selling novel 50 shades darker, and only performed by rising star and uber sexy singer/songwriter Halsey.
The sinful sounding lyrics of Not Afraid Anymore are beyond the advocacy for abusive relationships, that Halsey fans alluded to recently on twitter, and doubtlessly epitomise the film’s storyline of Anastasia gaining power and confidence within her relationship with Mr Grey.
Lyrics such as ‘I am not afraid anymore’ and ‘I am not ashamed anymore’, on the surface, imply that this is a song about empowering women, facing their fears, and proving their worth.
However, not even the continued repetition of these courageous lines can camouflage the suggestiveness of the record. Salty innuendos such as ‘Dying to taste this sick sweet warmth’ are constant reminders that this song is most definitely about sex, and classically 50 shades.
Although, it’s the music behind the voice that’s truly representative of the tone. The alchemistic heartbeat of the song is given a lease of life with the crashes of thundering drums and occasional twinkling piano notes, scattered throughout the composition, dramatising the sense of enigma. The easing vibrations of bowed instruments at the very end secure that, although self assured and steamy, an aura of elegance remains obtained, making it a perfect fit for the film, yet still questionably for the charts.
This particular song from the 50 shades sequel completely opposes that of the arguably more popular single by Zayn and Taylor Swift. With the vocal stamina and bold message of confidence evoked by Halsey during Not Afraid Anymore, makes it a far better debut single for the film, and deserves much more recognition. However, it could be said that The Weekends ‘Earned It’, from the first film, marked the start of his chart topping career in mainstream music. Perhaps it’s still all just the beginning for Halsey. Watch this space.
50 Shades Darker is out in cinemas across the UK now.
Halsey’s single ‘Not Afraid Anymore’ is also available to download now.
Image Credit: Halsey’s Instagram