Billie Eilish's debut album is innovative and emotional

By DANIELLE DEANGELIS
On April 3, 2019

Photo courtesy of Justin Higuchi, Flickr

On Friday, March 29, Billie Eilish’s debut album “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” was released. At only 17 years old, Eilish has proven her sound with this work, from synth beats to ukulele instrumentals to personalized laugh tracks.

The album starts off with the introductory track “!!!!!!!” where  the first sounds on the album are of Eilish taking the Invisalign out of her mouth. From there, the first song “bad guy” follows as a zenith to her crisp vocals and noteworthy sound.

The tone of the album remains slow and dreamy until the beat in the chorus for “you should see me in a crown” drops. Her “silence is my favorite sound” in the song is representative of why the beginning tracks to this work were so tame. Eilish initially presents the sound she is comfortable with: tameness, sounds of her talking presumably underwater, quietness.

Once the beat drops in “you should see me in a crown” the album turns dark and nearly chaotic. Paired with dark visuals of spiders crawling out of her mouth in the coinciding music video, this song is, in every sense, eerie and ominous. This is where the album picks up to be a work of art that doesn’t seem to have been done before.

“bury a friend” is the most notable track on “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” This is where Eilish’s range of vocals prove to be astounding, with lyrics that are innovative and raw.

The line, “Keep you in the dark, what had you expected? / Me to make you my art and make you a star / And get you connected?” is a prime example of Eilish opening up to her listeners with real yet unique problems regarding relationships and friendships.

A distinctive feature on this work is the final track. Eilish exclaims that she titled the song “goodbye” and made it a true outro to the album because she feels uncomfortable when albums abruptly end with no goodbye. She explains in her interview with Vulture, “I don’t like when a song just ends an album and then nothing feels like it’s actually over. I really wanted something to feel like a finish line…” She makes a great point and avoids this with a satisfying ending.

One of the aspects of this album that makes it so brilliant is the fact that there are no holes. Nothing feels out of place, and every song belongs where it is listed. There are no filler songs; each song has its own purpose to tell the story of present-day Billie Eilish. This is perhaps one of the most cohesive albums you can listen to.

If you enjoyed her previous work, you will enjoy “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” even more. This album is mature, yet youthful and the idiosyncratic sound is admirable. It is her sound and aesthetic through and through.

5 stars

 

ddeange1@ramapo.edu

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