Billie Eilish’s ‘HIT ME HARD AND SOFT’ is a Concussion Caused by Devotion

Dressed in an all black outfit, Billie Eilish has fallen through a door, submerged into a body of water. With weights attached to her arms and legs, she’s dragged deeper. 

Yet, there’s no fear in her face. She seems serene — comfortable in her plight.

As the album’s title suggests, “HIT ME HARD AND SOFT” varies in its intensity. As the listener follows Eilish into the seabed, the album explores self-discovery and what it means to be comfortable in one’s own skin. 

Eilish’s voice is familiar on the opening track “SKINNY.” Her soft, burning vocals glide alongside guitar and violin. Eilish sings for two minutes of the three-and-a-half minute song before an instrumental marks the transition to the next track and first hard hit of the album. 

Where “SKINNY” is heartfelt and slow, “LUNCH” is the opposite. The fast-paced track is filled with screeching tires, quips and the full throttle dive into a more electronic production style. 

Eilish confirmed her attraction to women in an interview with Variety and “LUNCH” is her first studio album single that explores her sexuality. 

“I could eat that girl for lunch / She dances on my tongue / I know it’s just a hunch / But she might be the one,” Eilish sings. 

“CHIHIRO” shares all the best qualities of Eilish’s previous hits. The production builds in intensity, in a manner akin to her 2021 album “Happier Than Ever.” A thumping, heartbeat throughline synthesized with repetitive lyricism mimics songs from the 2019 album “WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?” The maturity in her vocals parallel the haunting patterns of “dont smile at me.” 

The upbeat production and jovial lyrics of the fourth track “BIRDS OF A FEATHER” renews Eilish’s outlier status within the pop genre. Keyboard notes and jingle bells disruptively overpower Eilish’s vocals.

The gut-punch of “WILDFLOWER” quickly alters the album’s tone. The song begins with the sound of drizzling rain as Eilish sings about comforting a woman after a breakup and entering a romantic relationship with their ex partner. 

Vulnerability reigns throughout “THE GREATEST.” An overwhelming backbeat initially juxtaposes Eilish’s calm, reflective tone as she describes altering herself to fit another’s standards. Eilish then joins the backbeat, showcasing her vocal prowess with unfettered belting towards the end of the song. 

Sarcastic vocals open the seventh track “L’AMOUR DE MA VIE” just before adjusting production at the midway mark, dividing the song into two parts. 

“I wish you the best for the rest of your life / Felt sorry for you when I looked in your eyes / But I need to confess, I told you a lie / I said you / You were the love of my life,” Eilish sings. 

The latter half of the song is the album’s crown jewel, tastefully auto-tuning Eilish atop synth-style instrumentation. Half a mimicked apology song, half a jab at a former partner, “L’AMOUR DE MA VIE” is an unexpected, yet welcomed track. 

“Wanna know what I told her / With her hand on my shoulder? / You were so mediocre / And we’re so glad it’s over now,” an auto tuned Eilish sings. 

“THE DINER” is a horror story told from a stalker’s perspective. While the content is disturbing, so is the heavy, bass-riddled production making the track an uncomfortable listen.

“BITTERSUITE” is the last hard strike, describing the intricacies and societal pervasiveness that come with a sapphic relationship. The first half of the song expresses the obsessive yearning involved with queerness, while the second half explores why Eilish hasn’t acted on her sexuality. 

“I’m looking at thе boys / I’ve never filled the void / Out of spite / You seem so paralyzed / It’s so romanticized,” Eilish sings. 

“BLUE,” once titled “true blue” and originally written around the time as “ocean eyes” has found its home as the final track on “HIT ME HARD AND SOFT.”  

The song smoothly recaps the entire album, with the exception of “THE DINER.” The instrumental outro is both serene and haunting, mirroring Eilish’s expression on the album cover. 

“But when can I hear the next one?” Eilish asks in the last few seconds. 

Eilish’s third studio album, “HIT ME HARD AND SOFT” is the 22-year-old finding her own stride, embracing herself and proving she isn’t stopping any time soon. 

“HIT ME HARD AND SOFT” is now available on all major streaming platforms.

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