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The Wessex Wire

The Wessex Wire

REVIEW: Billie Eilish’s new album could possibly be ‘The Greatest’

Billie Eilish released her newest album, HIT ME HARD AND SOFT, on May 17.
Album art
Billie Eilish released her newest album, “HIT ME HARD AND SOFT,” on May 17.

Billie Eilish’s latest album, “Hit Me Hard and Soft,” explores a new and interesting path to her lyrical approach. Certain Eilish themes are revisited but this latest album dives much deeper into themes of trauma, body image and relationships. Eilish’s growth is uncompromising as she reinvents herself as a musical artist. Throughout the album, she continues to keep her unique way of mixing simple bedroom pop with a subtle but much more sophisticated production. As with her previous albums, the collaboration with her brother Finneas, is innovative and fresh.

The album’s opening track, “Skinny” explores public perception and self-acceptance. Specifically lyrics like “People say I look happy / Just because I got skinny / But the old me is still me / And maybe the real me / And I think she’s pretty” portrays Eilish’s difficult times dealing with expectations that are imposed on young girls by society. This same theme continues in the song “Lunch” with its infectious bass and candid lyrics that border on raw honesty. Eilish fearlessly showcases her own sexuality and the liberation that comes with the exploration.  

Why the title “Hit Me Hard and Soft?” The album hits hard with emotional depth but also offers soft, tender moments. This duality is encapsulated in the track “Wildflower,” quite possibly Eilish’s most conventionally romantic expression yet. The song’s softer acoustic sound differs from the darkness of previous albums and showcases a new relatability and shift in sound. There’s maturity that is revealed to the audience as they witness this artist’s emotional journey. Eilish’s lyrical craftsmanship shines brightly throughout the album. In the song “Skinny,” lines such as “When I step off the stage, I’m a bird in a cage / I’m a dog and a dog pound” speak to feelings of entrapment despite her public success. The theme of vulnerability is evident throughout her musical journey, each album showing a different more mature aspect of Eilish’s relationship with fame. The pressure of fame for Eilish creates a sense of loneliness that she expresses with heartbreak and humor. It’s almost as if the audience can almost hear her working through her demons in real time through her music

Finneas’s production on “Hit Me Hard and Soft” is once again in lockstep with his sister’s emotional state. His influence brings a rich, more layered sound to the album and should not be underestimated. The duo manages to maintain that distinctive DIY style of the early days while reinventing the sound by incorporating complex arrangements and live instrumentation. It’s a subtle blend of minimalism and sophistication that creates an airy resonant sound that carries through Eilish’s emotional lyrics. This brother and sister duo continuously experiments with different musical styles in order to create something new and contemporary. From the guitar ballad in “Skinny” to the heavy bass-driven “Lunch” their versatility not only highlights their technical musical ability but engages the listener to the point where they’re emotionally invested. This is a big reason why Billie Eilish has such dedicated followers. 

“Hit Me Hard and Soft” is a testament to artistic evolution. The album is able to convey heartfelt, raw, emotional experiences to create something deeply personal, yet relatable. Eilish, once again, pushes the boundaries of contemporary pop music with a distinctive voice and unique sound that makes her an artist to truly stand out, especially in her generation. To borrow a song title from a previous album, “Hit Me Hard and Soft” is truly “Everything I Wanted.”

Behind the Byline
Emma Sceppaguercio
Emma Sceppaguercio, Contributor
Emma Sceppaguercio is a junior contributor for the Wessex Wire. When she isn't playing a sport, you'll likely catch her at the nearest Chipotle! She enjoys listening to music, especially Bruno Mars.
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