The student news site of Emmaus High School



The student news site of Emmaus High School



Billie Eilish’s album sparks “cultural reset” in music industry

Photo courtesy of Spotify.
Photo courtesy of Spotify.

Following her highly praised sophomore album, “Happier Than Ever,” Billie Eilish releases her third studio album “Hit Me Hard and Soft”, produced by her brother Finneas.

Eilish began her music career with her widely successful single “Ocean Eyes,” she followed this with her extended play, “Don’t Smile At Me,” which amassed wide success. Eilish released her debut album “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” in 2019. Her album was a massive success becoming the most streamed album on Spotify in 2019. Eilish’s song “Bad Guy” received massive success with the release of her album. Eilish’s sophomore album “Happier Than Ever” became a large success.

Eilish took the internet by storm with her ballad for the film, ”Barbie.” “What Was I Made For” is an emotional song in which Eilish speaks about feeling numb and how life can feel meaningless when searching for a purpose. Eilish revealed in an interview with Rolling Stones that “Skinny,” a sister song to “What Was I Made For” exuded a similar style of sound.

Eilish’s new album “Hit Me Hard and Soft”, gained its name due to its impact on the listener being both hard, sentimental and resonating, and soft, upbeat and buoyant, according to Eilish.

The album opens with the beautiful ballad, “Skinny” speaking about the struggles of weight loss and self image through lyrics such as; “People say I look happy / Just because I got skinny / But the old me is still me, and maybe the real me / And I think she’s pretty.” The song continues to speak about maturity and relationships followed by an orchestral outro that fades into a trap and bass influenced beat of the next track.

“Lunch,” the second track, is a danceable and groovy track which talks about Eilish’s “crave” for a person named Claire throughout the song. Eilish describes this person as if they were food, “Somebody write down the recipe / Been trying hard not to overeat / You’re just so sweet.”

Referencing the anime “Spirited Away” in its title, “Chihiro” follows Eilish attempting to return to a relationship in which her love was taken away. The bridge —– “I don’t, I don’t know why I called / I don’t know you at all / I don’t know you / not at all.” Eilish repeatedly asks one to “open up the door” attempting to speak to someone, but to no avail.

The fourth track, “Birds Of A Feather,” reveals Eilish wanting to stay with her love forever. Eilish sings, “It might not be long, but baby, I / I’ll love you till the day that I die.” Eilish continues throughout the song, comparing her love to birds of a feather. Nearing the end, Eilish sings, “Might not be long, but baby, I / Don’t wanna say goodbye.” The song shows how Eilish comes to terms with the fact that the relationship isn’t going to last forever. Eilish closes the song with the lyrics, “I knew you in another life / You had that same look in your eyes / I love you, don’t act so surprised.”

Eilish opens the soft guitar ballad “Wildflower” speaking about comforting a girl after a breakup, then having a romantic relationship with the person the girl had broken up with shortly after. Eilish expresses her guilt, as she speaks about how the relationship ended, because nothing good lasts. Eilish closes with the line, “I know you didn’t mean to hurt me, so I kept it to myself.” The song portrays an innocent love song, filled with confusion and conflict, as she asks if she is in the wrong for dating this person.

“The Greatest”, might just be the greatest on this album, the simple guitar song portrays how EIlish feels attached, and would take the blame just to end the arguments. Eilish gives herself credit in the chorus, for all of the things she does to maintain this love, “Man, am I the greatest / My congratulations / All my love and patience / All my admiration / All the times I waited / For you to want me naked / Made it all look painless / Man, am I the greatest.” Eilish ends the song with the powerful lyrics, “You said your heart was jaded / You couldn’t even break it / I shouldn’t have to say it / You could’ve been the greatest.” As the song continues, it becomes a louder song, with electric instruments becoming present, much like Eilish’s song “Happier Than Ever”.

“L’amour De Ma Vie”, the French title reads “the love of my life”, despite the fact the song contains no French lyrics. Eilish wishes her past partner the best after it ended, as she confesses in the song that she lied when she said that they were the love of her life. Eilish speaks about feeling trapped in the relationship in fear of hurting the others feelings, until the other tries to break her heart. Eilish seems to close the song with her taunting lyrics, “Thought I was depressed or losing my mind / My stomach upset almost all the time / But after I left, it was obvious why / Because for you, you / I was the love of your life / But you were not mine.” The song seems to slowly end afterward before a beat begins to play revealing another half of the song. Eilish sings; “Wanna know what I told her / With her hand on my shoulder / You were so mediocre / And we’re so glad it’s over now / It’s over now / It’s over now / It’s over now.”

“The Diner,” a haunting song, which is believed to be referencing a man who was caught after he broke into Billie’s property, as the song speaks of stalking through the perspective of Eilish. Eilish shares that she continues to stalk a person, saying that she could change their life within the song. Eilish describes breaking into their house, and leaving a calling card so they knew it was her. Eilish closes the song as she repeats a phone number after claiming she memorized their phone number. 310-807-3956, when fans called the number, an audio with Eilish’s voice claims to be unable to hear the person on the other end, before she says “let me call you back”. Fans have claimed this supports the “ilomilo theory”, this theory is based on Eilish’s song “ilomilo”, the concept that Eilish’s album “Hit Me Hard and Soft” will be accompanied by a second album with themes of red. Many have speculated that the “ilomilo theory” is true as Eilish will call back with this new album some time this year.

The ninth song, “Bittersuite”, speaks about how Eilish wants a relationship with a person despite not allowing herself to have said relationship. Eilish begins to speak about how this person constantly is on her mind. Eilish goes on to say that they can hide the relationship, “We can be discreet,” Eilish sings. “L’amour de ma vie / Love so bittersweet / Open up the door for me, for me.” The track closes as a familiar synth piano beat is played, leading to the final track.

Eilish’s popular unreleased song “True Blue”, has been brought back to life with her new album. Despite the lyric changes, the chorus and the instrumental is nearly identical to the unreleased track. The song speaks about trying to heal after a relationship, as Eilish sings, “I try to live in black and white, but I’m so blue / I’d like to mean it when I say I’m over you / But that’s still not true / And I’m still so blue.” The first verse references all of the previous songs on the album (excluding “The Diner”) as did her album closer for her first album “goodbye”, the song describes a relationship that felt right but wasn’t. As the chorus repeats once more the song begins to fade out, but it isn’t over.

Vocalizing is heard as the beat becomes melancholy piano chords. Eilish sings, “You were born bluer than a butterfly / Beautiful and so deprived of oxygen / Colder than your father’s eyes / He never learned to sympathize with anyone / I don’t blame you.” Eilish continues, “You were born reachin’ for your mother’s hands / victim of your father’s plans to rule the world / Too afraid to step outside / Paranoid and petrified of what you’ve heard of.” This song is believed to be an unreleased song titled “Born Blue” from Eilish’s album “Happier Than Ever”, due to the lyrics. The unexpected ending shocked many, Eilish continues to sing as the beat comes back to contain more trap elements. She reassures with her lyrics, “I don’t blame you / I can’t change you / I don’t hate you / But we can’t save you.” Before closing her album with, “It’s over now / It’s over now / It’s over now.” At the very end, Eilish’s voice can be heard saying, “But when can I hear the next one?” Many believe this confirms the “ilomilo theory”, as she is referring to the next album.

Over the past five years, I have grown much interest in Eilish’s artistic abilities. Before Eilish released “Hit Me Hard and Soft”, I claimed that “Happier Than Ever” was her best album. But after listening to “Hit Me Hard and Soft” several times, it is easily her best collection of songs. The transitions between songs are amazing as they flow into one another, while still making it known when a new song is being listened to. The album itself leaves an ethereal tone, her lyricism is honest and her vocal abilities are very present. It is easily a cultural reset for the music industry as Eilish has had much influence in the past, as she practically reinvented the bedroom pop genre with her debut album.

Finally, here is my honest ranking of the album, despite it feeling nearly impossible to rank as all of the songs are amazing. I think this album is a 10/10, and couldn’t possibly be any better in any aspect. I could not recommend an album more than this album which features heavy topics of romance, and heartbreak.

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