Billie Eilish – When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

Billie Eilish - When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We GoTry to narrow Billie Eilish down to one idea, description or genre and it can’t be done. It’s even more impressive when you learn the album was recorded when she was 16, at home, with only her brother Finneus on production.

When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? is a homemade, family affair. So you can expect it to not follow musical trends on the basis of no restraints from record labels, but the degree this album steps outside the proverbial box is almost mind-blowing.

At 16, you’re either a cool kid or a weirdo. Billie easily fits the weirdo label and she runs with it, not just by singing about it, but by showing it and the evidence is in the first 14 seconds where she talks about her invisalign. She has a sense of humour and she lets it out throughout the album.

On bad guy, the album’s first proper song, she sings about her rebellious side, and then takes it on a rebellious turn after the second chorus where it morphs into something completely different for the bridge, closing it out. She follows that up with her stance on drug use on xanny, where she sums her feelings up in the line “I can’t afford to lose someone who isn’t dying by mistake.”

you should see me in a crown is one of the album’s more dynamic songs with a chorus that shudders in contrast to its breath-like verses, while bury a friend layers industrial synths over a simple tribal beat as she sings from the perspective of the monster under her bed, where she’s her own worst enemy. If music had a horror/thriller genre, this might fit.

While Billie’s vocals never get particularly melodic and the songs remain pretty minimalistic, the album offers an impressive range of styles and meticulous attention to detail. listen before i go is a haunting ballad from the perspective of one’s final moments before taking their life. It can be a challenging song to listen to where it goes through the motions and thoughts as the sound of a siren pulls closer and strings surround her voice as if to subtly suggest a feeling of euphoria beginning to settle in.

Billie Eilish has carved a niche that clearly separates her from other self-proclaimed weirdos and outsiders with an album that is a fascinating listen for anyone lucky enough to be and embrace being a true weirdo.

Four stars

Check out: you should see me in a crown, bury a friend, 8

1. !!!
2. bad guy
3. xanny
4. you should see me in a crown
5. all the good girls go to hell
6. wish you were gay
7. when the party’s over
8. 8
9. my strange addiction
10. bury a friend
11. ilomilo
12. listen before i go
13. i love you
14. goodbye

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