If you’re a fan of pop music, you’ve probably gotten used to the formula in which most pop music is offered up. Few times in the genre does an artist get to release a pop album that’s heavily sculpted, lush with tones that aren’t typical while giving listeners a new take on what pop music can be. With her debut full length When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, Billie Eilish takes back the beginnings of pop music while redefining what the genre can sound like at the same time.
The album is an exercise in precision crafted sounds. At most times, Eilish has a disaffected tone in her voice, though at times she opens up and reveals there’s more heart underneath her tough exterior. The pulsating beat and uptempo stride of “bad guy” has Eilish keeping her signature sound in tact while still giving fans a banger that’s new and fresh. “you should see me in a crown” starts dark and mysterious with Eilish quietly singing before the beat drops and the song reveals all of its craft, complete with grime dusted hip hop synths that give the track more depth. The darkness of “all the good girls go to hell” though,is pure pop magic. The backing vocal set up just works, the happy-go-lucky pacing gets masked with hip hop touches, but the song is so solid that you just bop your head in the time signature like you’re supposed to.
There are though, true gems that seem to come from somewhere else on the album. “8” finds a way to make a ukulele interesting while Eilish feels like she’s singing a personal and deep burner for someone she’ll never reach. “”ilomilo” has nuances of J pop that sounds like it was mixed by SOPHIE, though it quickly shows that it’s not a rip with its techno and R&B slices of sound. Of course the tender sound of “i love you” takes the way you may have seen Eilish all of these years, and lets you realize that underneath the crafted facade, the well deserved stardom and the masterfully honed sounds, Billie Eilish can still grip your soul when she’s not dropping bangers that make you want to dance.
You can stream When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? on all streaming sites, you can purchase it in all digital music retailers, or you can pick it up in multiple bundles and physical formats directly from Interscope Records. Billie Eilish is on tour beginning April 13 in Indio, CA at Coachella until September 21 in Las Vegas, NV at Iheartradio Festival. A complete list of her upcoming performances can be found here.
Image Credits: Photo by Dan Regan.