The Guardian

Billie Eilish debut disappoints in some respects despite flaws

Luka Turanjanin, Staff Reporter

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Billie Eilish’s new album “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” is honestly just plain weird. Unlike many pop albums, this one takes melodies and musical moments and turns them into these twisted, abnormal songs.

Eilish’s popularity over the past two years has grown tremedously. With “When We All Fall Asleep” being her first full proper album, the anticipation from her fans had been very high.

Even though Eilish has some enticing songs, I feel as if some of the songs in this album are almost too bizarre. The songs tell stories in an interesting way, but the sounds on this album and song structures are almost too unconventional.

The album’s 14 songs span the whole spectrum of alternative rock. The first track is just a skit of Eilish and her brother (also the producer of the albums songs), laughing while Eilish says she took her Invisalign retainer off for the recording.

Eilish’s voice is prominent throughout the album. There’s a sinister calm to it. Her voice for most of the album sounds malevolent and gives off an energy like she’s ready to screech at a pitch higher then what dogs can hear. The demonic tone of her voice, along with the bass-driven percussion of some of her songs, gives her tracks an uneasy vibe.

The constant use of a whisper-like singing voice throughout the album seems like something that would eventually get on your nerves, but it complements the production rather well.

Lyrically, each song on the album over certain situations from Eilish’s point of view. Certain songs like, “Wish You Were Gay,” where Eilish wants to find a reason for why a guy rejected her. (She actually found out her crush was gay after writing the song). Other songs including “Bad Guy,” and “When the Party’s Over” contain more out of the ordinary lyrical approaches.

Two highlights of the album are “Xanny” and “Listen Before I Go.” “Xanny” covers Eilish’s perspective on drug use (she claims to never have abused drugs), and the song’s name references an antidepressant. That formula mixed with an alternative instrumental really adds a strong vibe to the track.

“Listen Before I Go” is the saddest song on the album. On this track, Eilish discusses a person telling his or her lover to listen quickly before they kill themself. The tone of Eilish’s voice perfectly encapsulates the last few minutes of a person’s life, almost like an ultimate goodbye. The track gives off such and atmosphere of hopelessness, and it hurts you with the sadness of what the song is.

Despite these highlights, “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” could’ve been better than what it is. The weird, confusing and abnormal sounding songs just simply feel off-putting for casual listeners.

I’m not trying to deny Eilish’s musical capabilities, and maybe the record requires multiple listens, but the vibe and mix on the album make the listener work.

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Billie Eilish debut disappoints in some respects despite flaws