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The Victor Voice

The Student News Site of Victor Senior High School

The Victor Voice

The Student News Site of Victor Senior High School

The Victor Voice

Hit Me Hard and Soft: The Future of Pop

Hit+Me+Hard+and+Soft+album+cover+via+Billies+Instagram
Hit Me Hard and Soft album cover via Billie’s Instagram

On May 17th, 9 Grammy award-winning artist, Billie Eilish released her third studio album, Hit Me Hard And Soft.

Billie announced this new album over a month ago, on April 8th, with 10 new tracks entitled:

Via Billie’s Instagram
  1. Skinny
  2. Lunch
  3. Chihiro
  4. Birds Of A Feather
  5. Wildflower
  6. The Greatest
  7. L’Amour De Ma Vie
  8. The Diner
  9. Bittersuite
  10. Blue

The 22-year-old started out just five years ago with the release of her first album, When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, which received five Grammys including a sweep of all four of the major categories. Just two years later, Eilish and her collaborator/brother, Finneas, received plenty of additional Grammy nominations for her second album, Happier Than Ever. Since then, Eilish has become the youngest person ever to win two Oscars, including tracks on both the No Time to Die and Barbie soundtracks. Rarely has someone earned so much praise so early in her career, so all eyes are on Eilish’s third studio album, Hit Me Hard and Soft.

In Billie’s Instagram post released on April 8th, announcing this new album, she stated that she wasn’t going to release any singles before the official album release on May 17th. Instead, she wants her fans to “experience the album all at once.” 

As of writing this, I have listened to the entire album multiple times, making sure to listen to all the lyrics carefully. I love every track on the album but my favorites are, Skinny, Lunch, Chihiro, Wildflower, The Greatest, and, Blue.

“Skinny” is described as a sister song to “What Was I Made For?” The lyrics for “Skinny” are much more devastating than Billie’s Barbie single as she describes the misconceptions that losing weight signifies happiness. Coming from someone who is a massive fan of “What Was I Made For,” so much so that my first tattoo is lyrics from Barbie’s hit song, hearing that such a delicate song has a sister song that is even more devastating in its subject matter, has made me feel incredibly connected to it. When listening to the song “Skinny,” Eilish takes the themes included in “What Was I Made For” and expands on them questioning her image, fame, and place in society. For me, her exploration of these themes has never felt so personable to me. I adore this song.

“Lunch” music video via Billie’s Youtube

The second track on the album, “Lunch,” is about being queer, and exploring your identity, and sexuality. In this song, Billie talks openly about these topics. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Billie said writing “Lunch” helped her understand her queer identity better. Now that this song is out, I can confidently say that “Lunch” lives up to the hype. For me, it’s not the most groundbreaking pop song I’ve ever heard, but it’s infused with Billie’s clever lyricism, an incredibly catchy bassline, and fun production from her brother, Finneas.

The title of the third track, “Chihiro,” is a reference to a character from the Oscar-winning film Spirited Away, which focuses on a girl, Chihiro, who learns to appreciate herself and life after facing her fears. Much like the character, Chihiro, Billie also expresses herself as the protagonist of a story who, although constantly dealing with pressures from society, has managed to face these fears to learn the value of acceptance. Later in the song, Billie changes it up a bit and follows the sounds that I associate with a DJ club sound, filled with pulsating and bursts of heavy synths and beats.

Billie’s fifth song, “Wildflower,” to me, refers to the literal definition of a wildflower, a flower that grows in nature where it naturally would never be found. Billie expresses this song as her conflicted mindset dealing with a close friend’s breakup. Billie highlights how, after initially comforting this person, she went on to date her friend’s ex-boyfriend. This leads Billie into an awful mental spiral.

“The Greatest” is a powerful and relatable exploration of the complexities of love and the pain of unreciprocated feelings. It shows the strength and resilience of someone even when they are faced with heartbreak and disappointment. The song’s raw emotion and honest lyrics have resonated with me in a way no other song of Billie’s has ever had. It’s connected with my love and loss experiences, making it a standout in the album for me.

Via Billie’s Instagram

Some of the lyrics in Billie’s new song, “Blue” are actually the lyrics of a previously unreleased song Billie would sometimes tease at her concerts, called “True Blue.” After remembering Billie posted a picture in 2021 on Instagram captioned: “Born Blue,” fans now realize that was a tease of a song that was originally meant for her sophomore album, Happier Than Ever. However, it was scrapped and seems to be now merged with “True Blue” for “Blue” on Hit Me Hard and Soft. Around the two-minute mark, “Blue” switches into a very different-sounding song, going from an upbeat anthem to a heartfelt, soothing ballad about someone “born bluer than a butterfly.”

Overall, it’s so satisfying to see Billie’s growth over her albums. In Hit Me Hard and Soft you can hear the darker sounds of When We All Fall Asleep Where Do We Go?, but the structural freedom of Happier Than Ever as well. Her vocals continue to get better and better, in the way that they are produced and treated, and also just in her sheer ability! Throughout this album, you can also tell that she really cares about her body of work as a whole in the way that it’s sequenced and even the little references to the other tracks buried in the lyrics as easter eggs. I’m glad she chose not to release any singles because listening to the whole album front to back is how it was intended to be consumed. I know Billie will continue to grow as an artist, but for now let her hit us hard and soft.

Via Billie’s Instagram

 

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About the Contributor
Sarah Burdick-Biernbaum
Sarah Burdick-Biernbaum, Senior Staff Writer
Sarah Burdick-Biernbaum is a senior at Victor Senior High. She is a second year journalist who writes about current media, fashion, and is an anchor. She enjoys playing ukulele, piano, and singing. She is a part of Wellness Club and Yearbook.

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