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REVIEW: HIT ME HARD AND SOFT- An ode to all the eras of Eilish

“HIT ME HARD AND SOFT” does exactly as its title envisages to do to listeners. 


A mixture of club beats and beautiful ballads, Eilish’s third album showcases her storytelling through lyricism and gives listeners a window into the singer exploring her sexuality.


Intertwined by juxtaposing genre and sound, every track has a different emotion, story, and outlook. 



Credit: “HIT ME HARD AND SOFT” Album cover - by William Drumm

With the promotion of “HIT ME HARD AND SOFT”, there was no single released in anticipation. 


Instead, the artist chose to rely solely on snippets of her songs finding their way onto TikTok. When the snippets went viral, it built hype drawing in listeners to hear the tracks in full.


The album also features probably one of the most anticipated songs amongst Billie Eilish fans, “BLUE”. Before its 2024 release, it had been circulated by fans online for years and has slowly become a favourite unreleased track of Eilish’s.


So, when she started leaking its lyrics on billboards around the world, the fandom was sent into a frenzy. 


Produced and composed alongside her brother Finneas O'Connell, the sister-brother duo sure knows how to produce a hard-hitting album of catchy tunes and emotive heartfelt lyrics. 



“SKINNY” is the opening track on the album, a sombre and slow opening, featuring delicate violins that uplift and hold throughout. 


I see this track as a reflection of what we have seen from Billie, not only in her music but also in the opinions and assumptions about her, swirling around the internet


Growing up so young in the public eye and faced with an insane amount of fame, she talks about the damage it has taken on her mental health, but how in her maturity she can look back on this time and learn. 


“But the old me is still me and maybe the real me, and I think she's pretty”, speaks to this sentiment. 


The song acts as a goodbye to the other “eras of Eilish”’, stepping into a more realistic and truthful version of herself. 



“LUNCH” is a clear standout track. We first got a glimpse of the song back in April, after the singer did a surprise DJ set at Coachella. 


It’s clear from the get go, this is something we haven’t heard from Eilish before.


You feel as if you are punched in the face with its strong bass and drum line.


The track acts as a taster for what’s to come on the album, slowly easing listeners into a new genre. 


Lyrically, it showcases the singer exploring her sexuality outwardly remarking how “I could eat that girl for lunch, yeah she dances on my tongue, tastes like she might be the one”. 



Groovy, sexy, and catchy.


“CHIHIRO” is a more stripped-back electro-beat arrangement compared to others, which lands perfectly after “LUNCH”. 


“Open up the door, can you open up the door? I know you said before you can’t cope with anymore” has been stuck in my head and won't leave! 


It's definitely due to the track's repetitive lyric structure, and remarkably catchy synth. 



The track “BIRDS OF A FEATHER” took me a couple of listens to really get into, but I think it has become one of my favourites.


It’s very much an outward love song with lyrics like “I’ll love you ‘till the day that I die” and “I don’t think I could love you more”. 


“Birds of a feather, we should stick together” a line from the song, has now even become a trend on Tik Tok, with people taking to social media to post about their significant other, their best friends and even their pets. 



We then divert from the mainly upbeat song flow of the album, and are presented with the beautiful track of “WILDFLOWER”.


Its simplicity of guitars and harmonies makes Eilish’s voice sound angelic. It acts as a breather within the album, which is needed to break up the intensity.


The song is truly beautiful in all elements, with only the sound of Billie’s voice putting the song to a close. 



“THE GREATEST” sent shivers up my spine with its bridge resembling the emotive build-up of “Happier Than Ever”, a track off her second album. 


The soft sweetness evoked by Finneas’ rhythmic guitar playing has become a recurring feature of Billie’s albums. 


By having the track in the middle of the record, it mirror’s the struggle of feeling stuck, frustrated, and at an emotional peak. 


They turn to a more rock and roll outro to hit home, combining with Billie’s lyricism to showcase her disappointment with a past relationship and how she was treated. 



Disguising itself as a bossa nova-type track, “L'AMOUR DE MA VIE '' features a toe-tapping snappy bass, reverbed guitar track, and tinny snare. 


“But I need to confess, I told you a lie. I said you, you were the love of my life”, is a hard-hitting lyric repeated throughout. A hard blow to whoever this may be written about.

Halfway through the track listeners are sprung with a complete genre switch, taking us straight to the dance floor. 


MY JAW WAS ON THE FLOOR. 


The strong autotune, and insane beat enhances the subtle anger and makes me want to dance every time. I can see this track going hard in the club. 



I can only describe “THE DINER” as if “Bad Guy” had a cooler older sister.


The track has the deepest and hardest drum beats/bass in the entire album. There also is the sickest alien sounding synth part, which bounces back and forth between Billie’s lyrics. 

The song finishes with Eilish whispering a phone number, which when trying to call unfortunately is not connected in Australia. 


Trust me I tried several times.

 

If you want to feel as if you're existing deep within the ocean, “BITTERSUITE” is definitely the track for you.


Production wise it's insane. Overloading your senses with its opening notes, the feeling as if there's a buzzing noise living in your brain.  


I imagine this is what Billie is hearing when she is falling through the door on the album cover. Through its composition it musically feels as if you are slowly floating to the boat of the ocean.


And once you have reached the bottom of the ocean, you are hit with the opening chords of a song every hardcore Billie stand should know. “BLUE” 



“BLUE” was my most anticipated song on “HIT ME HARD AND SOFT”. 


The lyrics are reused from songs featured in the album, which really speaks to Eilish’s ability to make her works interconnected and hold over time. 


“BLUE” links back to the track “goodbye” from her debut album “When We All Fall Asleep Where Do We Go”.


It uses the same concept of incorporating lyrics we have heard within the album into one final song.


A summary of the work one might say. 


The line “I try to live in black and white, but I’m so blue” is a lyric I know myself and others are so grateful we finally get to hear. 


It's truly a roller coaster ride of emotions and captures the entire mood of the album in one song.


The perfect track to bring the album to a close. 



Combining a range of genres Eilish has explored throughout her discography, enhances her work to the next level. Having been a fan of hers since the early days this is truly an album any fan can get behind, no matter what their favourite album might be.


Though I love Eilish in her endeavour to explore a new genre, I do feel it overshadows the “softer” tracks of the album, which are greatly equal in comparison. 


I ALSO WANT MORE! An album of only ten tracks seems way too small compared to her past albums. I want to sit down for a good hour and get lost in a hearty pop album. 


It is to be noted however the shortest track on the album is “LUNCH “at 2:59, with every other song sitting between 3 and 5 minutes, unlike most pop tracks nowadays. 


But is this the future of pop music? Shorter digestible albums and the reliance of snippets of a song to go viral, in order to gain success. 



Whether you are a Billie fan old or new, this album truly has something for everyone.

It is a goodbye and farewell to the Billie we all once knew, and hello to a more authentic version of Eilish. 


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