Album Review: Billie Eilish


Aaron Pellican

Billie Eilish, a seventeen-year-old American singer and songwriter, has experienced her rise to fame at an astronomical rate.

Since releasing her debut single “Ocean Eyes” on SoundCloud in 2016, Eilish has seven gold and two platinum singles under her belt, including features with prominent faces in the music industry such as Khalid and Vince Staples. She was signed to Interscope Records at the incredibly young age of sixteen, proving that Eilish is revered as an incredibly high potential talent within the industry.

On Friday, the singer released her debut album, “WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?” The album is an in-depth dive into the beautifully intricate, somewhat dark, and very aware mind of Eilish.

Eilish has already shown her ability to stand out through her small sample size of art in her music and her videos, but she hammers home her incredibly unique sound on this project.

The first song on the album, “bad guy,” sets the tone for the raw and haunting sound that this record produces. The song is lead by a contagiously funky bassline which is accompanied by a daunting EDM synth and Eilish’s catchy but extremely raw vocals.

Eilish’s vocals, along with her songwriting, were the clear standouts throughout the entire project. The tone and sound of her voice oozes emotion on practically every track, and her songwriting is so authentic and deep as it depicts the sound in a way that only Eilish could.

This emotion is particularly felt on songs like “xanny,” “listen before I go,” “I love you,” “goodbye,” and specifically is felt on the chilling track “when the party is over.” It’s a beautiful piece of art front to back. This song was released well before the release of the album as a single, but once the song is in the context of the album, its raw emotion seems to be even more relatable and felt on a different level.

The song evokes true emotion for the listener as you can tell that Eilish is singing directly from the soul in the recording. Other songs such as “bad guy,” “all the good girls go to hell,” “bury a friend,” “ilomilo,” and my personal favorite, “my strange addiction,” are undeniably catchy tracks which veer far left from the stereotypical pop sound we are disappointingly accustomed to today.

In fact, it seems like Eilish was influenced by modern pop minimally throughout the record as she never delivers a sound which is different from her own. If anything, Eilish seemed to have turned to the more raw and metallic sounds developed in EDM, rock, and certain forms of hip hop to help design her unique take on the pop sound.

The production of the entire album is thorough, individualized, and well done. The production on a few songs stood out to me because of their likeness to a popular hip hop album by Kanye West, “Yeezus.” The metallic and futuristic sounds of songs like “bury a friend” and “my strange addiction” seem to be either directly sampled from the Kanye West album or perhaps crafted in respect to West to the liking of Eilish.

Eilish’s personality shines through when she stretches the genre of pop into this new zone of her own. The new zone that Eilish is propelling the pop sound to is absolutely what the pop community, as well as the music industry, truly needs.

Billie Eilish is breaking barriers of sound left and right, and this album is nothing short of her staple as a new, prominent face in the music industry and she is well on her way to the largest heights of superstardom in music. Kudos to Billie Eilish for bringing real music back to the main stage and for pouring her soul into music for all of us to listen and resonate with.