At the age of 17, Billie Eilish has been making waves with her debut album, “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” The album made it to number one on the Billboard Top 200 Album Charts. Furthermore, the new album received critical praise from various publications. Eilish announced a world tour starting April 24.
Prior to the release of “When We All Fall Asleep,” singles such as “You Should See Me In a Crown” and “When the Party’s Over” created anticipation for the album. They featured unsettling music videos. For example, “When the Party’s Over” displayed symbolism inside Eilish’s drink; it represented her metaphorically drinking up negative thoughts. As the video progressed, we see her crying with the liquid she drank instead of her tears. This continues until the end of the where it drowned out the entire room she is in.
It was pretty alarming to read about these type of lyrics for a 17-year-old. This is kind of content is something that continues onto the new record. In the track “xanny,” Eilish talks about how she doesn’t want to lose any more friends over something that can cost them their lives. It is believed to be about the drug Xanax. In the chorus, Eilish sings, “I don’t need a Xanny to feel better | On designated drives home | Only one who’s not stoned | Don’t give me a Xanny, now or ever.”
Although “When We All Fall Asleep” features heavy topics, that doesn’t mean that the music is completely melancholic. “Bad Guy” and “You Should See Me In A Crown” feature pulsing beats that give intensity to the lyrics. This helps bring excitement and variety to prevent the whole album from being completely soft and melancholic.
When listening to this album, it is easy to draw comparisons to her contemporaries. There are times where I am reminded of Lorde’s last album when listening to “When We All Fall Asleep.” This is mostly because they both share similar lyrical topics and have a variety of instrumentation to their music. However, the difference is when I hear Eilish’s music, it gives me a sense of paranoia. In fact, the upbeat tracks on “When We All Fall Asleep” add unpredictability to her attitude.
“All the Good Girls Go to Hell” backs up this point. It contains a bass riff that complements Eilish’s crooning. I can’t help but draw parallels to various Cure songs such as “Lullaby” and “Close to Me.” Lyrically, the song sees Eilish playing with the dichotomy of good and evil in religion. Is the afterlife really supposed as gloriously as we are told? She describes it as a “picket fence” and wonders if humans are truly good since we have a dark side inside all of us.
To conclude, “When We All Fall Asleep” is a great package of pop songs with thought-provoking topics. While the hype surrounding the new album can be ludicrous, it is a stunning album that makes me look forward to hearing more of Eilish’s music in the future.
Listen to “When We All Fall Asleep” on Spotify: