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Eilish’s new album closes door on earlier sounds, themes

Billie Eilishs latest album, Hit Me Hard and Soft, was released today. Image courtesy of Interscope Records.
Billie Eilish’s latest album, “Hit Me Hard and Soft,” was released today. Image courtesy of Interscope Records.

Hit Me Hard and Soft, today’s addition to Billie Eilish’s album catalog, stands as a landmark for modern music. 

As the name suggests, Hit Me Hard and Soft takes listeners through a complex journey, with some parts mellow and soothing, while others are deep and jarring. Altogether, the album creates a beautiful blend portraying the inconsistency of life. 

This motif is developed through the album’s tracks, including “Bittersuite,” which is true to its title, as it undergoes many beat and tempo changes, while still creating a fluid and masterful melody. 

Due to the storytelling flow of the album, Hit Me Hard and Soft is meant to be consumed as one cohesive piece of media, similar to an art exhibition. 

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The album is one of Eilish’s most symbolic works, not only through her metaphorical lyrics, but also her vocals. Eilish is known for having a breathy, wispy sound, but in Hit Me Hard and Soft, each track beautifully portrays her musical growth, with deep, chilling belts. 

Her music has discussed harsh topics surrounding body image, identity, abuse, and celebrity culture.”

Her vocals are most profoundly displayed in tracks such as “Chihiro” and “The Diner,” both of which convey her dismission of submission, and her path towards reclaiming her voice and her life. 

Eilish mentions “opening up a door” in “Chihiro,” “Blue,” and other songs as well, which shows her maturity. The recurring metaphor of opening up a door represents her change in song topics and the maturity in her vocals.

Another aspect of Eilish’s career that sets her apart from other artists is her transparency. Eilish began releasing music when she was only 13 with her track “Ocean Eyes”, and her writing has openly discussed and portrayed her life ever since.

Her music has discussed harsh topics surrounding body image, identity, abuse, and celebrity culture, all of which are enhanced by her passionate and emotional voice. Her life is an open book, written through her art, and in Hit Me Hard and Soft, her growth and ability to “open up a door”  is evident. 

“Lunch” taps into Eilish’s exploration of her identity, while offering an unsuspecting and catchy beat. Following this trend, “Wildflower” revisits her struggles with sexuality, but in a much darker and reflective tone, giving the listener time to feel her whole struggle. 

Some of these darker undertones are portrayed through lyrics such as “But I see her in the back of my mind all the time / Like a fever, like I’m burning alive, like a sign / Did I cross the line?”

Her life is an open book, written through her art.

The last track on Hit Me Hard and Soft is “Blue” which was highly anticipated by fans as it was previously teased years before the album was released. “Blue” features Eilish’s heartbreaking take on sadness in the lives of music artists.

She sings, “In the back of my mind, I’m still overseas / A bird in a cage, thought you were made for me,” encapsulating one of the more grief-filled moments on the album.  

In the literal sense, having “Blue” as the closing track on Hit Me Hard and Soft is symbolic in closing this chapter of Eilish’s life, since it has already been heard by many fans.

This story was originally published on Purbalite on May 17, 2024.