Billie Eilish’s highly-anticipated debut album, When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, has finally dropped – and the hype is well-deserved.
Eilish shows us her progressive and nuanced style right from the off, with her whispered, husky vocal style building in harmonic layers on Bad Guy. In Xanny, she switches effortlessly to crooner-like jazz that’s paired with an almost supernatural gothic piano waltz.
You Should See Me In A Crown sounds like it will be an immediate A-list club track, brimming with attitude and dark atmosphere, and My Strange Addiction has a R’n’B swagger and stomp that supports the infectious chorus, “My doctor can’t explain/My symptoms or my pain/But you are my strange addiction”. When The Party’s Over and Bury A Friend really highlight the sophistication behind her minimal emo-pop songwriting, pairing emotionally heavy lyrics with Kanye-esque production tricks.
The self-deprecation and sadness reach a pinnacle with the closing tear-jerkers I Love You and Goodbye, which are a wash of dreamy harmonies as reflective as they are heartbreaking.
This feels like a tipping point for pop. Eilish has borrowed ideas and styles from others, but turned them into her own. With such a strong starting piece, she could well be the inspiration that the likes of Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, and Katy Perry will use to try to stay relevant.