Music Analysis #2 – Now or Never

You going to love me now or never? Halsey’s relationship with her lover has reached a critical stage. According to the lyrics, she is fed up with her lovers lack of commitment, she feels like they don’t spend enough time together and he never calls her. She tells him in this song that it is now time to “draw the line” and make his mind up. It’s “now or never.”

Now or Never was the first single released on April 4, 2017, written by Halsey and Starrah along with other producers. During an interview with Zane Lowe Halsey explained the album, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, was inspired by a “prolonged, toxic” breakup. While the song on it’s own is actually about two impatient young lovers. The video for ‘Now Or Never’ is one part of a long narrative that tells the story of two people in love despite the forces trying to keep them apart. The video was shot in Mexico City and inspired by Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 film Romeo and Juliet because Halsey felt like she was living the life of Romeo and Juliet.


Unlike many other songs by Halsey, “Now or Never” is her least vocally present songs and moves at a slow, neutered creep.  The song possessed a very slow tempo in the beginning that gradually gets stronger when the chorus hits and the beat is introduced at “…baby you gonna love me now… now or never…” The beat and tempo tend to only speed up only during the chorus and slows back down in between.


The unaccompanied melody in the beginning does a great job at introducing this rather slow love story. Through research, many critics say that this is rather “worrisome” of Halsey to have such a slow song. Another article, posted by Anna Gaca of spin, stated that it “sounds like someone left a can of Rihanna’s “Needed Me” on the counter until it went flat.” Halsey does express emotion through her tone of voice. Expressing her pain and sadness in the beginning. Although it is deeply effective, it’s not the true Halsey.


In this song that explains the troubles the relationship has been having between two young lovers, the chord progression stays at the normal 3-4 chord progression. Throughout the entire song, it is maintained very steady and simple.

Timbre Choices 

As I mentioned previously, the song is very slow and speeds up at the chorus to show the dramatic change in the lyrics. Halsey goes from explaining the difficulties in her relationship with a soft piano playing. As soon as the beat drops, the tone and the lyrics change the piano also fades out and is replaced with the drums and a heavy-bass.


Halsey Drops Riveting New Single ‘Eyes Closed’


3 thoughts on “Music Analysis #2 – Now or Never

  1. I like that you started off asking the question, it leads to me wanting to read more of your blog. I only hear this song once and never thought to look up the music video. I thought the music video was a bit dramatic like it could have come out of an actual movie! Good job on talking about the elements. In an article I found it says that she was the first female artist on the Billboard 200 for 2017. Here’s the piece:


  2. I love the way you described parts of the song. For instance, when you described the tempo as a “crawl”- very nice!
    The cinematography is gorgeous- it reminds me a little of My Chemical Romance’s “Danger Days” album.
    I am not sure if you have ever heard of Hyolyn, but I’ll put a video down below so you can hear her vocals. I think you might like it. I love the visuals of this music video! It is such a simple concept, but it really stands out because of it. The woman featured is a famous longboarder from Korean named Hyo Joo. I hope you enjoy!


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