Billie Eilish dropped her debut album “When We All Fall Asleep, WHERE DO WE GO?” last friday. It is easily one of the most anticipated albums in recent memory and has garnered quite a bit of buzz due to Eilish’s fan following and internet presence. The roll out has featured stellar singles like “bury a friend” and loads of highly viewed interviews, which have only added to this roaring fire.
With all this hype surrounding the album, my expectations were pretty high going in. I had previously listened to and enjoyed her EP, “don’t smile at me”, back in 2017. While I didn’t exactly think it was anything special, it was clear to me that Eilish possessed immense talent and I had hoped she would be able to make a huge leap forward on her debut.
While not exactly the huge leap I wanted, this album is still a well-made pop record that deserves its time in the spotlight.
What keeps the album from being truly great is also one of the reasons many love it. The age of the artist. Billie is only 17, and while that may cause many to fall in love with this album,I think it only stands to hinder it. Some of the lines can be outright cringe inducing, and Billie doesn’t really explore any new ideas on the record or have any underlying themes that are anything to write home about.
Billie, more or less comes across as someone trying to make an edgy pop album, rather than someone who does so without trying. Tracks that left me scratching my head include “8” and parts of the songs “bad guy” and “my strange addiction”. The artistic choices here just really didn’t vibe with me well, wth the former coming across as just plain not good and the latter possessing some insanely cringey lyricism.
That being said, the album does have some amazing highlights and is altogether a very well made pop debut in the vein of something like Pure Heroine from Lorde. The production featured is absolutely amazing, combining Billie’s soft vocals with a dark, nasty bass to create what can only be described as a beautiful nightmare.
Stand out tracks include “ilomilo”, “all the good girls go to hell”, and “when the party’s over”. These tracks all convey Billie’s overarching theme for the album well while simultaneously sounding wonderful.
While I don’t believe it is necessarily the next classic pop album, I do think it’s at least worth a listen. Billie flexes her creative muscles and vocal prowess here but doesn’t ever take it to the next level like I had hoped. I think that in the future she will be forced to make that leap to keep her place in the industry, but for right now a simple, fun pop album is good enough. Give the album a listen and decide for yourself.
Header photo courtesy of Flickr.