Billie Eilish’s first studio album begins with a series of slurping and clicking noises. Then Eilish declares, “I have taken out my Invisalign, and this is the album!” She laughs with her older brother, Finneas O’Connell, before the song transitions into the second track called “bad guy.” Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell – known in the music industry as Billie Eilish – released her first studio album Friday, March 29 at midnight. I waited in anticipation on Friday night as the time drew closer to the release date. Once the clock struck midnight, I refreshed Spotify frantically and did not stop swiping until the new album “WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?” appeared on my fingerprint-smudged screen. As I expected, Eilish’s album is an experience in and of itself.
Spotify offers a unique method of consuming the songs called the “Billie Eilish Experience” which features beautiful animated fan-art specific to each song. As an avid fan of the young pop artist, I was delighted that the first song “!!!!!!!” allowed listeners to hear Eilish having fun with the creative process. “!!!!!!!” also came across as a charming callback to her humble beginnings since the teenage icon grew up collaborating on music with her brother.
I started listening to Eilish’s album expecting the songs to resemble those released prior to the full album like “you should see me in a crown,” “bury a friend” and “wish you were gay.” To my surprise, each song is refreshing and contrasts against the ones before it. Though the songs differ in terms of melody and beat, the themes in the album are consistent in their dark and somber overtones. “bad guy,” “bury a friend” and “all good girls go to hell” entertain the idea of sin juxtaposed against the ideas of a moral high ground. “i love you,” “when the party’s over” and “ilomilo” handles ideas of lost love with soft melodies and sweet, sad lyrics.
She bares her soul in her songs, mixing sadness and longing with an almost manic energy.
Compared to her earlier work like “COPYCAT,” “Ocean Eyes” and “idontwannabeyouanymore,” Eilish’s newest album is decidedly creepier. Her songs are experimental and feature bold, sometimes jarring creative choices. In “mystrangeaddiction,” she uses audio clips from “The Office” in between lyrics like “Bite my glass, set myself on fire,” creating an overall effect of playfulness. In “xanny,” Eilish utilizes a heavy bass synthesizer overtop some of her vocals, making it sound like the listener is tuning into a radio station with poor connection. The outro of “all the good girls go to hell” ends with Eilish declaring – in a charming but strange voice – “I cannot do this, snowflake!”
I have listened to “WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?” countless times since its release. Each time I listen, I discover something new that fascinates me. As per usual. Eilish’s lyrics are thought-provoking, and her melodies are insanely catchy. She bares her soul in her songs, mixing sadness and longing with an almost manic energy. Eilish stands out in the music industry as as artist who is unabashedly herself, and her album follows suit.
Doménica Castro is a third-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in Spanish. DC874612@wcupa.edu