Billie Eilish’s debut album explores moody pop sound

Unique, individual sound impresses


Fair use from Interscope Records

Maddie Schutte

Billie Eilish’s debut album “WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?” produces a refreshing take on alternative pop music and explores Eilish’s dark and complex mind.

The album starts out with the track “bad guy,” which was an instant favorite for me. The song gradually builds intensity with each verse until reaching the unique chorus with a funky, electronic sound. With a hint of sass throughout, “bad guy” is the perfect hype up song.

Two singles leading up to the release of the album, “you should see me in a crown” and “bury a friend,” are both songs that grew on me the more I listened. The sudden noises and screams throughout the songs create a bizarre yet enjoyable listen. I was also impressed with how well both songs seemed to fit into the tracklist despite their individuality from the other songs.

“Listen before i go” takes a break from the abundance of 808s and hi-hats found in the majority of the tracks on the album and replaces it with a heavy feeling. Eilish sings about her struggles with suicidal thoughts over a soft piano background, making it an overwhelmingly emotional listen. The raw and whispy sound of her voice gives an extra sentimental touch that makes “listen before i go” another favorite of mine. For the duration of the song, the eerie and emotional feel of the song takes you out of your head and into a glimpse of Eilish’s feelings. The track “i love you” has a similar feel to that of the aforementioned song, with a haunting acoustic sound. It’s refreshing to hear Eilish’s voice without synthesizing or auto-tune and adds more emotional depth to these songs.

“8” and “ilomo” were two songs off the album that didn’t make the cut for me. “Ilomo” had an unresolved and awkward electronic sound that made it an uncomfortable listen. With little anticipation and lack of a defined chorus, the album could have done without this track. Similarly, “8” had a chaotic feel, switching back and forth between electronic and acoustic, and high and low pitched vocals. Neither songs were enjoyable and take away from the superior tracks on the album.

Eilish creates a goofy and groovy sound with “my strange addiction.” The incorporation of various audio clips from the TV show “The Office” throughout the song make it a wacky track and a perfect fit for the strange title. This track is reminiscent of Eilish’s crazy personality, which makes me respect the song more. Her ability to have unique music that’s true to herself while still sounding good is something you don’t see often in today’s music industry.

“Xanny” was another stand out song. The track starts out with a nearly acapella sound, then the tempo builds up quickly to be exciting but still slow. I didn’t mind the auto-tune effects over her voice on this track, as it added to the anticipation before the beat takes off. By the end of the song, the beat dies off until it’s only Eilish singing and finally finishes off with harmonized humming. Her beautiful voice is breathtaking and a satisfying end to the song.

“WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?” creates a creepy, emotionally raw and unique world that you can’t find anywhere else.