Is Billie Eilish’s “everything i wanted” everything we wanted?


By crommelincklars -[email protected]/48590442776/, CC BY 2.0, Link

Music artist Billie Eilish recently dropped a new, highly-anticipated single.

By Reggie Zheng, The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science

In the span of two years, Billie Eilish—comically known as Billie Eyelash—has rapidly proven herself to be the new angsty alternative artist on the block. Known for iconic songs such as “bad guy” and “lovely,” she consistently infuses alternative pop sounds with heart-felt lyrics and messages.

Having only released her first studio album “When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” in March at the age of 17, she recently dropped a new song titled “everything i wanted.” In the song, she narrates a nightmare in which she commits suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge, but her death goes unnoticed by her friends and fans.

The cover art for the song depicts a colorful abstract painting of the bridge. The vibrant, innocent image and title drastically contrasts with the gloomy lyrics. This isn’t the first time Billie has done this as she does the same in “lovely.” The song then progresses to the chorus which tells of the incredible bond between Billie and her brother, Finneas. Finneas helps write and produce Billie’s songs, but he is also one of her best friends.

The song follows the basic song pattern of verse, pre-chorus, chorus. Lyrically, the song accomplishes an amazing job illustrating Billie’s friendship with her brother; however, sonically, the song is lackluster and uninspired. The verses and pre-choruses are accompanied by an elegant piano progression and feathery synths as well as kick drums and claps. The chorus builds on the sounds previously established with deeper synths and a more complex percussion. Although these are beautiful instrumentals, it is nothing Billie has not done before. Billie falls into a trap many artists experience in which their songs sound monotonous and indistinguishable.

Vocally, Billie uses her signature light, airy voice, which is popular among many modern pop songs. This is also a factor of Billie’s monotonous sound as she uses the same voice in almost all of her songs. Personally, I would like to see growth in Billie’s vocals and musical direction. As of right now, it seems that Billie is stuck in a standstill of the same sounds. 

It is disappointing to see someone like Billie, who prides herself on avoiding the norm, becoming trapped in the cycle of reusing the same sounds she knows will work with her audience instead of taking risks. Risks were what characterized her first EP, “Don’t Smile at Me,” producing many songs I still adore, such as “COPYCAT” and “my boy.” In both of the songs, she experiments with dramatic chord progressions and heavy bass synths that will surely vibrate your ears. She has since lost that adventurous attitude and opted for a safer one.

“Everything i wanted” is a song you can typically expect from Billie, but this is the problem. Even though it is undaring and dull, it still serves as a good enough distraction for her fans until her next album. Let’s hope she will take musical freedom and once again challenge the music industry. Until then, “everything i wanted” is lyrically powerful but sonically mundane–and not everything I wanted.

This story was originally published on The Vision MSMS on November 21, 2019.