Weekly Album Review: WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? by Billie Eilish

Cameron Shandrow, Staff Reporter

Billie Eilish recently released a new album following her 2017 album titled, “Don’t Smile at Me”.

Personally, I’ve had a difficult time liking much of Eilish’s content, so listening to this album was a bit of a stretch for me and I might be biased, but here goes:

The album’s first track titled “Bad Guy” opens with smooth baseline that carries the song. There’s not very many instrumental layers over the baseline, but I dig the simplicity the song brings. It can get a little repetitive but the track gets away with it being two minutes long. My only complaint is that I absolutely hate the tag at the end of the song. The fun, simple “Bad Guy” ends and out of complete silence comes a beat with heavy bass and no real good vocal laters over it. If that tag was cut from the song completely I’d have no issue with the track.

Track seven on her album titled “When the Party’s Over” is absolutely beautiful. The mostly acapella song features bass and Eilish’s vocal chops. It has a very “Glass Eyes” by Radiohead vibe to it. The filters over Eilish’s voice with the reverberated piano create a very melancholy Radio Head feel.

Track ten titled “Bury a Friend” is completely built upon the opening beat and baseline of the intro (a technique seen in most of her songs on this album). The song is very put together but creates a chaotic tense feeling for the listener. Her harmonies create really well placed tension in the verses and they resolve on the chorus’s, which places a very artistic touch on the track as a whole.

The only track I absolutely hated was titled “8”. It opened up with a ukulele and honeslty anytime a song opens with a ukulele, I’m inclined to not take it seriously…and my inclinations were correct on this piece. Eilish’s voice has a filter over her vocals that make it sound like she sang it on helium but at the same time it’s auto tuned to vocally fluctuate between high and low frequencies.

While I am fairly critical of the album as a whole, I appreciate how different most of Eilish’s music is, there really aren’t many artists you could compare her to. The only way I feel appropriate to describe her is that of a young Lady Gaga. When Gaga started her career, she started off straight up weird. She’d wear wild outfits, crazy wigs, and on one occasion, a dress made of completely raw meat. If you were to mention the name Lady Gaga to someone on the street, it’s more likely that people would know her by her wild outfits rather than her actual musical talent (which is a shame because even in her early stages Lady Gaga was a phenomenal vocalist). In order to be noticed at the start of her career, Lady Gaga seemed to be aware of  how much attention she had to draw to herself physically before she could draw attention to herself vocally in her music career. Lady Gaga in 2019 has gained a lot more credibility in her career as a musician and there’s more attention to her talent rather than physical appearance.

I feel this album and Billie Eilish entire aesthetic is a spitting image of Lady Gaga’s earlier years. Many of tracks include voice filters to make Eilish’s voice sound higher and random screams playing in the background of her songs. Her “You Should See Me in a Crown” music video features her wearing a crown on her head covered in live spiders. In her “When the Party’s Over” music video, she cries this weird black gooey liquid.

When you look past both Gaga’s 2010 era and Eilish’s outer persona and distracting tracks, you can really tell that they both have incredible vocal ability.

Overall I give this album a 3 out of 5; there’s a few tracks that are really strong and that I really enjoy, but not every song is a winner.