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Billie Eilish WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? gets 9/10


Billie Eilish 

WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?
Universal

9/10

Billie Eilish delighted eagerly awaiting fans last Friday when practically the whole world tuned in to get a taste of her highly anticipated debut album WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? After a steady run of hugely successful singles and a dazzling EP, Billie took her time in crafting her first full length release. Tracks like you should see me in a crown and bury a friend dipped into the darker, twisted corners of the 17 year old’s creative psyche while when the party’s over and wish you were gay felt reminiscent of the singer’s earlier stylings; the combination of singles gave little indication of which direction the album would be pulling. From experimental and outlandish, to a stripped back piano ballad; all with layers upon layers of Eilish’s inimitable tone.

After so much hype it would have been easy for the record to be a disappointment. But somehow it strikes the perfect balance between old and new, presenting a sound that continues to explore and expand whilst maintaining it’s familiarity. WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? takes what she began with don’t smile at me and blows it up, each falling piece a venture into the undeniably endearing mind of Billie Eilish.

The album is an experience – something Eilish makes certain of. Tracks like my strange addiction carry the same unhinged essence that Billie manages to cultivate and own. Lyrically taunting “bad, bad news/ one of us is gonna lose,” while simultaneously sampling The Office throughout, the production feels visceral and triggers unusual yet expected imagery – like skeletons playing their own spines as if they were a xylophone to create the constant bouncing melody throughout.

The production is consistently outstanding, and is the main contributor in making the record feel so effortlessly cohesive. It turns Billie’s music into a sound; into a genre of its own. ilomilo and all the good girls go to hell each fall into the same slightly deranged and overtly experimental section of the record as the likes of bury a friend. These tracks shine a light on her creative and lyrical maturity, repeatedly unveiling her unique ability for conceptual pieces.

The back end of the record slows down, delving deeply into her personal brand of slow, piano driven pop ballads. listen before i go and i love you showcase her range and ability, a gentle exploration of her vulnerability. In some ways it feels as though this is the side of Billie that we’ve had the most exposure to, with previous deep cuts like ocean eyes and bitches broken hearts prepping listeners for an even deeper flesh wound. Her delivery is a performance, an embodiment of the song and all of its parts.

Closing with goodbye, a short, equally enchanting and disorienting moment with a medley like structure, WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? feels conclusive and definitive. It’s a journey, undoubtedly. Every sound, every sample, every second and every single choice made throughout the record is deliberate. It’s more than just an album; it’s every art form condensed into one. After such a flawlessly creative release, it’s hard to imagine Billie ever doing wrong. If anything, it’s an assurance that such an artist will continue to grow, slowly taking over the world as she does.

CAITLIN NORRIS

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