Due to her creative music and eccentric personality, Billie Eilish has managed to come out leaps and bounds above the competition with her eerie and surreal debut album.
“When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” is the debut studio album by American singer/songwriter Billie Eilish. Eilish has exploded onto the music scene recently from her eccentric take on pop music and creative songwriting, and has gathered a massive following (16.5 million followers on Instagram) for any up-and-coming artist, let alone a 17 year old. Even more impressive is that every song on the new LP was written by Eilish herself alongside her brother Finneas O’Connell, who’s an up-and-coming artist in his own right. On this new record, Eilish seems to be continuing the trend of stylising songs in all lowercase, as Ariana Grande and Bring Me The Horizon did earlier this year. But after all the followers she’s gained and the hype behind this new release, is it any good?
The album starts off with a fourteen second intro titled “!!!!!!!” where Eilish takes out her transparent braces, says “I’ve taken out my invisalign, and here’s the album,” and then laughs hysterically. Before you even have a second to process what you’ve just listened to, the infectiously groovy bass-line for “bad guy” starts thumping at your speakers. Billie’s soft, calm vocals on top of the crunchy bass works wonders and will have your toes tapping almost immediately. However when Eilish delivers the line “I’m the bad guy,” her vocals stutter in an odd and slightly uncomfortable manner. Followed by “Duh”, a heavy bass drop and a clean synth line to carry out the chorus, this track had me hooked from the start. The following track “xanny” is a much more stripped back, and minimalistic song that powers through with that eerie atmosphere that Eilish is able to pull off so well.
The album gets it’s most heavy during the track “you should see me in a crown,” where Eilish proves her songwriting ability by crafting something that’s both calm and gentle, and oddly grotesque at once. The chorus for this song left me very confused upon initial listens, and even now I’m not sure how I feel about it. “wish you were gay” is a nice upbeat piece, that serves as a nice break from the surreal sounds of the record’s first half. The song details the narrator’s feelings after being rejected by a boy that she liked, and wishing there was a reason for him to turn her down, rather than it being her fault. It’s likely the most happy-sounding, easy sing-along track on the whole album.
The eighth track (appropriately titled “8”) is a ukulele driven song that sounds very sweet to the ears and Eilish’s pitched-up vocals suit the track flawlessly and “my strange addiction” is sure to get stuck in your head between the catchy synth-line and the samples from “The Office” (US version). Towards the album’s end, the penultimate track “i love you” begins with a soft guitar and piano combination that seem to blend together very well. Her vocal melody on the track at one point, does sound oddly reminiscent of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” however the topline eventually branches off into it’s own thing, resulting in a beautiful track that seems respectful yet unique in it’s own way.
Overall, Eilish and O’Connell hit a real home run with this record. The majority of the tracks are not only enjoyable to listen to, but are pushing the limits on current pop music and forcing people to take note. Even though some tracks like “ilomilo” and “listen before i go” don’t do much to stay memorable, the entire record is an experience that is truly deserving of praise. Not many people reach such massive success with their debut album, but between her creative music and her eccentric personality, Billie Eilish has managed to come out leaps and bounds above the competition (at age 17 no less).