Seventeen-year-old pop singer, Billie Eilish, has rapidly been taking the online music scene by storm. About this time last year, she was popping up on social media feeds, distinguishable by her deadpan demeanor, unconventional fashion, and habit of putting spiders in her mouth and posting videos of it to Twitter and Instagram. But it seemed that many people (myself included) didn’t really know who she was. Many of us weren’t aware of her name, or the fact that she was a singer/songwriter, until months later when her presence on YouTube became inescapable. Now, her first full-length studio album, “WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?” is hot off the press (or microphone?…recording booth?), released this pass weekend.
You can likely spot Eilish from a mile away by taking note of her unusual fashion. She almost always sports extremely baggy clothing, chunky shoes, and large, heavy chains around her neck (which are cheap looking, but probably cost more than my college tuition). This is not the only unconventional thing about her though. Her music is quite unique when compared to all popular artists on the radio right now. If you were to ask me who she is similar to, I would struggle to come up with an answer. Eilish herself has yet to break out onto the radio, but I would not be at all surprised if it happens with the release of this new album.
If I’m being honest, I do feel that she is slightly overrated among her very dedicated internet fanbase, but I also really appreciate her fresh and unique style. I truly believe that she is very talented, especially in songwriting (although it is important to note that her brother co-writes her songs, and he seems to be the primary contributor). Her talent and success is so much more impressive given her age (seventeen!). My favorite song of hers, the very mature sounding “idontwannabeyouanymore,” was released when she was only 15 years old!
What’s my take on “WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?”?After spending the weekend listening to the track list multiple times, I can say that, as a casual listener, I do like a fair amount of the songs on this album. It contains a few misses for me—”wish you were gay,” “8,” and “xanny.” But there are a respectable amount of hits—”bad guy,” “when the party’s over,” “my strange addiction,” “you should see me in a crown.” Tracks such as “you should see me in a crown” and “bury a friend” highlight Eilish’s edginess (especially when paired with their music videos), while “when the party’s over” and “i love you” show a more delicate, emotional and depressive side. Coming back to the visual aspect of the album, one of my favorite things about Elish’s work is that she has a very talented team behind her when it comes to the production of her very conceptual and weird music videos. There are already many great ones for the tracks in this album, my favorites at the moment being “bad guy” and “when the party’s over.”
Besides the visually pleasing and interesting music videos, Eilish (and her co-writer brother) have a knack for producing great lyrics. Here’s some of my favorites from this track list:
From “bad guy”—”You said she’s scared of me? I mean, I don’t see what she sees, but maybe it’s ’cause I’m wearing your cologne.”
From “bury a friend”—”We knew right from the start that you’d fall apart ’cause I’m too expensive. Your talk’ll be somethin’ that shouldn’t be said out loud.”
From “all the good girls go to hell”—”Pearly Gates look more like a picket fence once you get inside ’em. Got friends but can’t invite them.”
From “when the party’s over”—”I’ll only hurt you if you let me. Call me friend, but keep me closer….And I’ll call you when the party’s over.”