on the menu, gifted pop and praise of oral love in a sororal environment

on the menu, gifted pop and praise of oral love in a sororal environment
on the menu, gifted pop and praise of oral love in a sororal environment
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Billie Eilish DAVID SWANSON / AFP

Critical The 22-year-old pop star unveils, “Hit Me Hard and Soft”, a successful third album in which we find her intimate, powerful, elegiac and sexy voice, and her enchanting modulations.

By Fabrice Pliskin

Published on May 17, 2024 at 12:58 p.m.

As Albert Camus roughly said, releasing a bad record is adding to the misfortune of the world. In April, half plague, half heatwave, American pop star Taylor Swift ravaged and mourned the planet with her record “The Tortured Poets Department.” Carnage. At the beginning of May, British pop star Dua Lipa made us all radically pessimistic about the future of humankind with her album “Radical Optimism”. A massacre. In short, as in the Apocalypse, a rain of Anglo-Saxon frogs fell on humanity. Pop was dying, pop was dead.

But now hope and light seem to be reborn, because on May 17, Billie Eilish does what she pleases. In her new album, “Hit Me Hard and Soft”, listen, for example, to “Lunch”, chronicle of a naked feast where she praises oral love in a sororal environment: “I could eat this girl for lunch/She dances under my tongue/She tastes like the one who might be the one/And I can’t get enough”)she says to a playfully pop rock tune where some guitars sound ska and others “twangy”.

At 22, this is his third album. In March, she received the Oscar for best original song for the brilliant ballad “What Was I Made For”, taken from the soundtrack of the film Barbie. In “Hit Me Hard and Soft”, we find what makes the charm of this pop Greta Thunberg: first, her intimate, powerful, elegiac and sexy voice, her enchanting modulations (when will we have an AI duet with Frank Sinatra?), and this time, less mannerism in “murmurism”. There are also these passive-aggressive love songs like “L’Amour de ma vie” (in French in the text) where Eilish, between distress, compassion and vengeful sadism, throws you: “I wish you the best for the rest of your life (…) But I must admit, I lied to you [quand ] I told you: You were the love of my life.”

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Once again, we must also salute the production of Finneas O’Connell, the brother and co-author of Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell. So many pretty details, so many spicy discoveries buried deep in the mix. For example, in “Wildflower” or in “Chihiro”, with its muffled techno trance beat, these choruses, distant, muffled, which seem to come, not from the track, but from the neighbor upstairs (the one you are obsessed with). ). We also like the breadth of the Eilishian spectrum. We go from the most acoustic guitar to the most synthetic beat, from snowy reggae to vaguely Germanic dub techno sounds (“The Diner”, “Bittersuite) to “Birds of Weather”, a melody perhaps a little conventional, but devilishly lyrical. THANKS. Thanks to Billie Eilish for not adding to the misery of the world.

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