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The Student News Site of Elkhorn South High School

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The Student News Site of Elkhorn South High School

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BILLIE EILISH

HIT ME HARD AND SOFT Album Review
BILLIE+EILISH

The well acclaimed artist, Billie Eilish, released her highly anticipated album recently on Friday, May 17, 2024. She began teasing fans with a new album during her Happier Than Ever tour in 2022 and 2023. She officially announced her newest album “Hit Me Hard and Soft” would drop on May 17, 2024 just six weeks prior to its release. The album name juxtaposes the two styles of music Eilish enjoys creating, intense music and soft, lovely music. In an interview with Rolling Stone, she says, “– I’m a pretty extremist person, and I really like when things are really intense physically, but I also love when things are very tender and sweet. I want two things at once. So I thought that was a really good way to describe me, and I love that it’s not possible.”  This album takes the listener through a winding ride of emotions, perfectly described here by Eilish, despite it only containing 10 tracks (so far…)

 

Track one: SKINNY
The album opens with “SKINNY”, containing a tender melody, accompanied by Billie’s angelic voice. One of the opening lines is, “People say I look happy / Just because I got skinny / But the old me is still me and maybe the real me / And I think she’s pretty.” Eilish is no stranger to public body shaming and the ongoing scrutiny on her appearance. I love that she continues to address it in her music as a show of strength and empowerment towards all women like her. This track parallels “Not My Responsibility” from her last album, and fans are quickly falling in love with Eilish’s rawness and vulnerability. In this song, Eilish also addresses her last heartbreak and navigating life in the public eye through her lyrics and it is truly magical and so touching. The last minute of this three minute thirty-nine second song consists of only an instrumental melody that leaves listeners in reflection of Eilish’s heavy words. In my opinion this was a great opening track after not releasing singles, and I was not left disappointed. 

Track two: LUNCH
“LUNCH” is the next track in the album, and there is a stark contrast when compared to the previous song, “SKINNY”. “LUNCH” is an up-beat, disco-influenced jam, and Eilish sounds like she’s having fun singing it. In 2024 it’s no surprise when an A-list pop star drops a single about same-sex desire, and evidently, we’ve come a long way since “I Kissed A Girl” by Katy Perry. Eilish has successfully expanded the narrative when it comes to the public acceptance of gay pop, considering this song is already such a hit. Generally speaking, I enjoyed the beat of this song and am glad Eilish is working toward a more inclusive music industry. I would not recommend listening to this song with any children or family members because of the suggestive language used, but for a slightly older audience, it’s a great song. 

Track three: CHIHIRO
The next track in the album is the highly anticipated “CHIHIRO”. Eilish released a 14 second teaser of this song a few weeks prior to its release in an Apple Music interview, and fans have been going crazy over it. The released part of the song goes, “Open up the door, can you open up the door?/ I know you said before you can’t cope with anymore”. The way this song flows is truly magical and it is very high on my listening list at the moment. Billie sounds truly angelic singing it and the meaning behind the song, when listening to and carefully interpreting the lyrics, is genius. Her meaning behind this song, in my understanding, is to reflect on the temporary nature of love and the lingering pain of loss. There is a lot of emotion packed into this five minute, three second song and I really enjoy listening to it. This song, like many others of hers, has different parts that make it feel almost like different tracks merged into one. At about two minutes into the song, the melody shifts from slow and soft, to futuristic and very expressive. I’m in love with the entirety of this song and would highly recommend giving it a listen. 

Track four: BIRDS OF A FEATHER
“BIRDS OF A FEATHER”, the next track, is another one of my favorites. She teased a segment of this song in the Heartstopper season 3 teaser and fans have been obsessed with it ever since. Now, “BIRDS OF A FEATHER” is here and it’s Billie’s most romantic song yet. This song is absolutely beautiful and Eilish sounds absolutely amazing, yet again, singing it. In the first verse, Billie reveals that she wants to be with the person the song is about forever. She sings: “I want you to stay / ‘Til I’m in the grave / ‘Til I rot away, dead and buried / ‘Til I’m in the casket you carry / If you go, I’m goin’ too, uh / ‘Cause it was always you (Alright) / And if I’m turnin’ blue, please don’t save me / Nothin’ left to lose without my baby.” I adore Eilish’s music, so I’m biased, however I think this song is lyrically masterful and yet another hit. 

Track five: WILDFLOWER
Next is “WILDFLOWER” on the track list and this song hits pretty hard also. It opens with a soft melody and Billie’s amazing voice. She sings: “But I see her in the back of my mind all the time/ Like a fever, like I’m burning alive, like a sign/ Did I cross the line?” This part of the song has already gone viral on TikTok and is overall just amazing. The song has a story line of relationship and friendship troubles and leaves the listener thinking. I really loved this song because of how differently the lyrics can be interpreted and how beautiful the sound is. Again, very high on my list as of late, and I highly recommend giving “WILDFLOWER” a listen. 

Track Six: THE GREATEST
The following track is “THE GREATEST” and this song is definitely up there on my list next to its following track, “L’AMOUR DE MA VIE”. This track genuinely brought tears to my eyes, not necessarily because it’s sad, but because of how raw and authentic Eilish sounds and the beauty of her sound. Eilish isn’t known to belt in any of her music, but this song is different. In this track she belts out most of the lyrics and I think it is one of her most impressive vocal performances ever. This song did not let me down at all and I recommend that everyone listen to it. 

Track seven: L’AMOUR DE MA VIE
The next track “L’AMOUR DE MA VIE” is without a doubt my favorite song of the album so far for many reasons. The song opens with Eilish’s vocals sounding clear and at the forefront of the song, not hidden at all by background effects. In the first half of the song she has a very rich and resonant tone to her voice, yet sarcastic because of the meaning behind her lyrics. The first three and a half minutes of the song carries a sense of nostalgia with the way Eilish delivers it, and I found myself captivated by the song’s charm and timeless qualities. One of the opening lines says, “–Then you moved on, immediately/ But I wish you the best for the rest of your life/ Felt sorry for you when I looked in your eyes–.” This part of the song expresses sarcasm and bitterness toward a past relationship and leaves the listener with conflicting emotions. This conflict is soon resolved at approximately three minutes and forty-five seconds into the song, where there is a complete shift in melody and emotion to make it feel as though we’ve begun a new track. In this part of the song Eilish delivers a defiant and empowered tone, decaring “We’re so glad it’s over now” repeatedly, in order to express her relief of the relationship being over. The melody at the end of this song is energetic and vibrant with a futuristic twist that encourages listeners to dance along and leave the song with the same newfound happiness Eilish tries to convey through her final words of the track.  

Track eight: THE DINER
“THE DINER” is a chilling song and has a very different feel compared to other songs in the album. While it is a well executed song and I do enjoy it, it’s not my favorite from this album. In the song, Eilish expresses the dark side of fame through her lyrics by taking on the perspective of a stalker. The song says; “Don’t be afraid of me/ I’m what you need.” This establishes a sense of unease in the early moments of the song and leaves the listener both disturbed by this unfortunate truth, but also in awe of Billie’s vocals and expressive tone. Generally, I enjoyed this song but it’s not high on my list.  

Track nine: BITTERSUITE
The second to last song in the album, “BITTERSUITE” had me in absolute shock. I didn’t pick up much of a story line from this song, however it creates the perfect listening experience and successfully sets the scene for the last song in the album. “BITTERSUITE” includes lots of conflicting sounds and emotions, which perfectly describes the ongoing theme of this album. The first chorus includes the lyrics: “Cause I can’t fall in love with you/ No matter how bad I want to.” This line created a sense of longing that I felt in Eilish’s voice throughout the duration of the four minute and fifty-eight second emotional rollercoaster. The entirety of this song was flawless to me, but the part that had me in complete shock was the very end beat, after a long moment of silence. The beat was a warped melody from an unreleased song, by Billie Eilish, that she wrote and performed before she gained her fame, and was never officially released. Fans, including myself, have listened to unreleased versions of the song “True Blue” for years in hopes that Eilish would officially re-record it and publish it one day. With that, “BITTERSUITE” ended and the last track of the album “BLUE” began. 

 Track ten: BLUE
Finally the last, and most anticipated, track “BLUE”. This song transitioned from the last track “BITTERSUITE” and the beginning brought tears to my eyes. This is the song Eilish fans have waited for for years since she last performed it when she was 14, but was never released. “BLUE” isn’t identical to its unreleased reference track, “True Blue”, but Billie and her music style has changed a significant amount since that time as well. The beginning of the song goes: “Mm, mm, mm/ I try to live in black and white, but I’m so blue/ I’d like to mean it when I say I’m over you/ But that’s still not true (Blue)/ And I’m still so blue”. This perfectly mirrors the unreleased version and Billie’s new spin on it sounds absolutely amazing. I love how she managed to take such an old song of hers and turn it into something completely new, while also leaving some parts raw for the original fans, like myself. This five and a half minute song is full of emotion and different parts that include references to not only “True Blue”, but the previous tracks in this same album as well. This song was a great way to wrap up “Hit Me Hard And Soft ” and I am definitely hoping the rumors of this potentially being a double album are true. So on that note, to be continued?…

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About the Contributor
Ava Panneton
Ava Panneton, Reporter
Hey! I’m Ava Panneton, I’m a junior and this is my first year on the Storm Alert staff! My favorite part about journalism is photography, and I love taking pictures for my friends. My favorite stories to write would be opinion pieces and short, design based stories… I’m so excited for our coming issues!

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