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Album Review: Billie Eilish – HIT ME HARD AND SOFT

3 min read
Album Review: Billie Eilish - HIT ME HARD AND SOFT #billieeilish

Billie Eilish at this point needs no real introduction. With multiple Grammy’s under her belt, as well as two Oscars and a multitude of hit songs, there aren’t many people on the planet right now that don’t know who she is, or that haven’t heard at least one of her billion-stream songs. For her latest album, she has tried to fly as far under the radar as possible, releasing no singles and announcing the record not long before it was released. The reveal of this secrecy has been HIT ME HARD AND SOFT.

SKINNY kicks things off on a similarly dower note to that of Billie’s recent hit What Was I Made For? but with guitar driven rhythm section. Lyrically she explores the struggle of trying to feel comfortable in your own skin whilst being at the mercy of the public eye. ‘The internet is hungry for the meanest kind of funny; and somebody’s gotta feed it’. This moment is followed by what could be the polar opposite thematically LUNCH. The indie-pop single bounces along with its driving drum beat and groovy bass. CHIHIRO continues the groove, the low-key instrumental and funky bass being elevated by Billie’s incredible vocals. The track takes its time, ebbing and flowing with synth flourishes that mark the midway point and the ending. BIRDS OF A FEATHER is a by-the-numbers soft indie ballad, while WILDFLOWER brings back the power, building gradually from acoustic guitar to a harmony laden and drum heavy chorus.

THE GREATEST features probably one of Billie’s most powerful and souring vocal takes, flying above the anthemic instrumentation while singing about the hidden pain of being unappreciated. L’AMOUR DE MA VIE is an intriguing song of two halves, the first being a Laufey-esc, jazz inspired power ballad and the second building into an upbeat, autotune heavy dance chorus. It’s enjoyable, if a little jarring, as are the vocal effects on following song THE DINNER, but they fit with the bizarre subject matter of the lyrics. The album concludes with two juxtaposing songs. BITTERSUITE, a track comprising of three different sections, all of which embrace an interesting characteristic, and BLUE, a gorgeous tune that does a similar thing structurally but in a seemingly more heartfelt and satisfying way, weaving between guitar and drums, piano and ambience, and glitchy drum machines and strings.

HIT ME HARD AND SOFT certainly does what it says on the tin. The mix of instrumental pallets makes the album feel like a true passion project rather than a methodically planned out piece, but the proficiency of the lyricism and the sound prove just how talented both Billie and her brother Finneas are. It’s not an album for the non-believers, but it is definitely a challenging record for existing fans in all the right ways.