HIT ME HARD AND SOFT by Billie Eilish // Album Review

Listening to HIT ME HARD AND SOFT for the first time truly felt like witnessing the birth of a modern classic. No matter how many times I listen to this record, I am still so blown away by it. This album as a whole is so unique, it's impossible to put it into one category or genre, which is recurring throughout all of Billie and Finneas' work. To put them in one box musically would be doing a disservice to the incredible range of influences and masterfully crafted sound they have worked to create all these years. I shared a similar sentiment in my review of Billie's debut album, but it rings even more true now. 

As always, this album written, recorded and produced solely by Billie and her older brother Finneas. They are just unstoppable together; I feel so lucky to be able to experience the genius of their music in real-time. This album pulls inspiration from parts of her previous work in some aspects, especially her first album, but at the same time it is so singular in her discography. 

The album's title, HIT ME HARD AND SOFT, perfectly depicts the contrast of hard hitting, intense emotions with soft and gentle musings. That dichotomy is a big part of what makes this music as captivating as it is. "I thought it was such a perfect encapsulation of what this album does," Billie told Rolling Stone. It's an impossible request: You can't be hit hard and soft. You can't do anything hard and soft at the same time. I'm a pretty extremist person, and I really like when things are really intense physically, but I also love when things are very tender and sweet. I want two things at once. So I thought that was a really good way to describe me, and I love that it's not possible." The idea for the title was also likely drawn from a FabFilter Twin synth preset called "Hit me Soft, Hit me Hard", which Finneas has been known to use in his productions. That cool little detail adds so much more depth to the story behind the title. 

Billie didn't release any singles for the album prior to it's release, which really was the perfect decision on her part to put it all out at once. I knew nothing going in and was so mesmerized by all of the twists and turns it took throughout. It flows so beautifully as a full body of work, the switch ups and transitions throughout make it such an intriguing first listen. A few of them sort of have hidden songs within the song, which often come at very unexpected times, but end up adding more depth to the storylines of each. I was truly so in awe from beginning to end, as a listener I never knew what was about to happen next. These ten tracks are concise and devoid of any filler. 

Every single song on this album really is so perfect and focused in the narrative it is crafting. That is perhaps the biggest difference between this album and her previous release in 2021, Happier Than Ever.  Although I adore that album and there are many songs on it that are among her best ever, it was much longer, and moments felt like they were throwing everything at the wall to see what stuck. It was trying to be a lot of different things at once while not really focusing on building upon the strongest parts of it. "As much as Happier Than Ever was coming from this place of like, 'We're so good, this sounds so good...' it was also, at least for me, like not knowing at all who I was..." Billie said in an interview with Zane Lowe for Apple Music. "What's interesting is that HIT ME HARD AND SOFT is almost the reverse of that...I'm comfortable in who I am now, I feel like I know who I am now." HIT ME HARD AND SOFT in comparison feels like a return to form for Billie, almost like an elevated version of her debut WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? in a lot of ways. "I think this album is the most 'me' thing that I've ever made and I think that it's so purely me and not any sort of character," she continued in her interview with Apple Music. 

Their mission to dig deeper and uncover new ground really radiates through this entire album. "We were brutal the whole year we were making this, about like drilling deeper into the essence of 'who are you as a person?'" Finneas told Apple Music. Billie continued, "...and what was really different was that we kind of went against our comfort zone." She also added that this is the first time she felt she was being truly honest with herself in this music, which is really saying something considering how inherently personal the rest of her music up to this point already was. I do understand what she means though, that newfound sense of self, along with her personal growth and maturity really does translate through into every song. 

It is so evident while listening to this that she was holding absolutely nothing back this time, she really went all in with every song. I always knew she had this in her, but Billie pushes her vocals to new heights at so many points in this album and sounds absolutely incredible. She continuously proves those who doubt her capabilities as a vocalist or try to put her in one box as an artist wrong time and time again. These ten songs feature some of her best and strongest vocal performances yet, with some of the most gorgeous songwriting of her career thus far too. Their wide range of varied influences shines through in Finneas' production, which is also among the most insanely amazing work he has ever done up to this point too. I can't even begin to express how much I love it. The album as a whole feels so immersive, like you as the listener are transported to a new world while listening to it. It is so atmospheric, haunting, and truly transcending throughout. They just keep raising the bar for themselves, I can only imagine where they are going to go from here. 

Upon the album's release, Finneas wrote a caption on Instagram that I think beautifully puts into words how special this album was for them while making it, which is a feeling that shines through in every song. "This album is my favorite thing I've ever been a part of making and there were so many times during the making of it that I thought we'd never finish it or had no idea what we were doing I lost count," he wrote. "Just goes to show- when you're in it, you might just have to try to keep swimming- you can only really see the ocean once you're on the shore". 

The album opens up with a gorgeous song called "SKINNY". In many ways it reminds me of the all-time career highlight, "What Was I Made For?" which she wrote for the Barbie soundtrack last year. Not only was it the perfect fit for that film, but I also always knew that would be the song to bridge the gap between Happier Than Ever and whatever was eventually going to come next. It is likely that they were written in close succession as the lyrical parallels of the two are very evident. The two songs together really feel representative of the headspace she was in at that time in her life.

Billie opens up about her struggles internally with her own self-image, as well as the way she is perceived externally as a public figure. This is a topic she has written about many times on songs like "idontwannabeyouanymore" and "Overheated", which also largely focuses on the stresses of societal pressures and beauty standards women are expected to achieve. "People say I look happy just because I got skinny, but the old me is still me and maybe the real me and I think she's pretty," she sings in the first verse. Billie also opens up about feeling commodified and objectified in the context of her fame, as well as being heavily picked apart online for every aspect of her life. "Am I acting my age now? Am I already on the way out? When I step off the stage, I'm a bird in a cage, I'm a dog in a dog pound," she sings. In all of those ways, "SKINNY" also feels connected to the opening song off her sophomore album called "Getting Older", but now with even more insight. She was 18 or 19 years old when she wrote that song and about 22 years old when she wrote "SKINNY". Comparing those two songs just shows how much growth and change happens in a short period of time at that point in your life. She has such a special way of being able vocalize the thoughts and struggles every young woman has at some point in their lives, but doesn't know how to put into words for herself. I have always admired the honest perspective she shares in her music in that regard.

The creation of this song ended up really shaping the rest of HIT ME HARD AND SOFT, as it was the first song she and Finneas were able to write in full. They had bits and pieces of songs that would eventually be really pivotal moments on the album, like the chorus of "LUNCH" and the bridge of "CHIHIRO", but still didn't know what direction to take the album in at that point. "We had been writing these fragments of stuff and I felt...subject-wise I am not being let into what you're actually feeling. I think that there are real guards up. Often times in your life I think you are going through the thing that you're gonna write about later. That was for sure happening to Billie at that point in time," Finneas recalled in their interview with Apple Music. "I remember us having this argument of like, 'say how you feel and let's write a song about whatever you're scared about feeling". 

It then transitions into the second track, "Lunch", which is the first of many twists in the album. Billie opens up about exploring her sexuality and queer identity for the first time in this subtly explicit, yet understated track. "I could eat that girl for lunch", she sings, "tastes like she might be the one". I love that she really went all in with a song like this because it is so wild, fun, and has such an infectious hook. The production is also really funky and matches the tongue-in-cheek lyricism too. To be able to make a song that is as heart-wrenching and emotional as "SKINNY" is, to then transition immediately into such a funny and playful song like "LUNCH" is one of the best examples of this dynamic Billie has been able to balance so well in her music from the very beginning. "I think if you can be funny, you can be so much more serious. I think if you are always this serious, it starts to lose meaning and stop impacting you." Finneas told Apple Music. That mix of the two reminds me so much of their approach to Billie's first album. Zane Lowe said in his interview with them for Apple Music that "LUNCH" is like "'bad guy' grew up and got money", which really is the perfect way to put it. "One of the things I'm so happy about in retrospect when I listen to WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP is all this humor we were trying to hit," Finneas added. 

This album as a whole really does feel like an extension of the foundation they built with Billie's debut album, but now even more elevated and refined than before. The growth between then and now is so evident, with her confidence is shining through more than ever. Overall, it just sounds so quintessentially Billie to me. As a listener, you can really get a sense of who she really is underneath any kind of "character" she may have been trying to play into at points in her career. Her real personality shines through in every single song and it's beautiful to hear. 

Also, much like Billie's debut, there are several moments during HIT ME HARD AND SOFT that sound so transcending and almost ethereal when listening to it. The third track, "CHIHIRO" comes to mind right away when I think of the greatest moments of the album. Listening to this for the first time felt truly life changing in a lot of ways, it was just to incredible to hear. Her repeatedly asking, "Open up the door, can you open up the door? I know you said before you can't cope with anymore," in particular feels very representative of the overall visual aesthetic of the album. This song sounds the way the album cover looks, if that makes sense. 

It is about the back and forth of a complex relationship, showcasing a lot of confusion and turmoil she is going through at that time. That is one of the overarching themes of much of this album. "CHIHIRO" is also loosely inspired by the main character of the 2001 film Spirited Away, but also blended into Billie's personal life. She has also mentioned multiple times in the past that much of the artistic direction of WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP was also very inspired by Spirited Away and the rest of the work by Miyazaki. As described in an article on boredpanda, the film is about a girl who "learned to face her fears by developing a heightened understanding and appreciation of life," - which is also largely what much of HIT ME HARD AND SOFT is about too. Billie does a really great job at blending the two points of inspiration into the song, with each lyric being able to be interpreted in many different ways. Lyrics like, "But there's a part of me that recognizes you, do you feel it too?" and "Saw your seat at the counter when I looked away, saw you turn around, but it wasn't your face," feel very representative of that. This song is among the biggest highlights of the album for me, from her stunning vocals to the way the intensity of the music keeps building and building until the end - it is truly one of the most incredible songs I think I've ever heard in my life. 

"BIRDS OF A FEATHER" in contrast showcases a much softer side of Billie as an artist, with it being one of the sweetest songs she has ever written. It is such a stand-out in her discography thus far and unlike anything else she has ever made before. I think this may be the first ever genuinely happy love song she's released which I love hearing from her. It is truly just such a joy to listen to and makes me so happy every time I hear it. In a lot of ways, it reminds me of Finneas' solo music, which often has this same romanticized and wistful energy to it. Usually there isn't a lot of crossover between the music he makes with Billie and the music he releases as a solo artist, but I love to hear a little bit of that energy come through on this album now too. "BIRDS OF A FEATHER" is one of the key moments where the "soft" of HIT ME HARD AND SOFT comes through in the music, especially with lines like "Can't change the weather, might not be forever, but if it's forever, it's even better" and "I don't think I could love you more". "I knew you in another life, you had that same look in your eyes, I love you, don't act so surprised," is also among my very favorite lyrics of the entire album. 

Her vocals are absolutely incredible on "BIRDS OF A FEATHER", I am continuously so blown away by her as an artist and this is another song that is among her greatest yet. In Billie and Finneas' interview with Apple Music, they talked about the way this was the first song Billie ever recorded parts of fully by herself, recalling the way she tried to push her vocals to go higher and higher as it builds to the end. "I've always recorded alone and there are some things that I'm just not brave enough to do in front of someone else," Finneas said. "I think that really shines on this album - a person, even without their collaborator in the room, doing the bravest thing ever". There are a lot of moments during this album that are just so incredibly stunning, it really takes your breath away just listening to it. Since the very first time I ever heard Billie's voice so many years ago, I have been continuously blown away by her talents. She is one of my favorite vocalists of all time and I have really loved hearing her refine that skill with each new release.

The mid-point of the album slows down a bit, but brings some of Billie's best and most vulnerable tracks of her entire discography. "WILDFLOWER" is among the most hard hitting of the entire album, in which she doesn't hold back at all in voicing her deepest insecurities and doubts in terms of the relationship she was in at the time. An aspect of Billie's music that I always loved is the way that her writing isn't overly specific to the point the listener is no longer able to relate the meaning of it to their own lives, but still does hold a lot of personal meaning for Billie in her own life. "WILDFLOWER" in particular can be interpreted in many different ways, as it is depicting a lot of complex feelings and thoughts that you just can't seem to get out of your head, no matter how many times someone tells you otherwise. "I came up with the line, 'I see her in the back of my mind all the time'...as soon as I felt it," Billie told Apple Music. "What was so important about the song is that it was a feeling that I was experiencing that I think I was alone in. I think the person that the song is to, and the person that I'm also talking about, I don't know if they had been experiencing any of those feelings at all. But I couldn't stop thinking about it."

Throughout this song Billie is singing about this mental battle she was having with herself during this relationship, where she felt bad for breaking "girl-code" by dating her friend's ex-boyfriend and is really holding herself accountable for doing that. She always had her in the back of her mind and felt bad for betraying their friendship in that way, repeatedly asking "Did I cross the line?". I won't go too into detail about who specifically inspired a lot of these songs, but the wildflower title is a subtle, yet genius reference to the people involved. Billie continued in her Apple Music interview by saying, "It really helped me realize what I was feeling and what I was going through and being like, 'Oh, maybe this is actually affecting me more than I thought'".  

"You say no one knows you so well, but every time you touch me, I just wonder how she felt," Billie sings in the final verse, "Valentine's Day, cryin’ in the hotel, I know you didn’t mean to hurt me, so I kept it to myself". She echoes that same sentiment in the following song, "THE GREATEST", as well. This song overall has been kind of a slow burn for me, I definitely grew to love a lot the more I listened to it. Billie calls it the "heart of the album" and represents a major turning point in the record. "Billie went from living life to understanding it in that moment", Finneas told Apple Music. Billie expanded on that thought by saying, "It's really hard to see what's going on until after, I think this was the first day really where I was able to be honest. I was scared, to be honest, before that. It's really hard to feel hurt by someone that you love so much and who is a person you'd almost die for. A person you have no ill will to. It's a tough thing."

She details their relationship breaking down now that the rose-colored glasses are off, and she can see it all now for what it really is. Billie sings of the way she loved him and yearned to be with him for so long, just to be left disappointed and annoyed for him to never reciprocate any of those feelings back to her. "All my love and patience, all my admiration, all the times I waited for you to want me naked, made it all look painless, man, am I the greatest," she sings in the chorus. "THE GREATEST" has a major switch up at the end of the song, very reminiscent of that legendary moment from "Happier Than Ever". All of the pent-up emotions and anger finally comes through as she almost screams the words, "I loved you and I still do, just wanted passion from you, just wanted what I gave you, I waited and waited", That high note when she sings "I waited and waited," is breathtaking, she sounds so incredible. It must have been so cathartic to finally let everything out that she seems to have been holding in for a long time. 

Billie then fully closes the chapter on this relationship in the following song titled "L'AMOUR DE MA VIE", which is French for "the love of my life". It is so different than the rest of this album sonically, but the jazzy elements do feel reminiscent of a lot of her past work though. Vocally, she is also singing in a lower register, which sounds so beautiful and fresh for her. I view "WILDFLOWER", "THE GREATEST" and "L'AMOUR DE MA VIE" as a trilogy within the album's storyline, showcasing the rise and fall of this emotionally turbulent relationship, which eventually reaches a resolution by the end of track seven. "I wish you the best for the rest of your life, felt sorry for you when I looked in your eyes," she sings in the opening verse. "But I need to confess, I told you a lie, I said you were the love of my life". It is so brutally honest, but she is also really justified for all of it at the same time, as she proves throughout the first part of this album. I also love her delivery of the lyric, "You said you'd never fall in love again because of me, then you moved on immediately", plus her laugh at the end of it makes it even funnier. 

It then takes another really shocking transition away from the simple jazz ballad, and into a wildly upbeat and electronic synth pop song. The two contrasting sides of this song somehow work really well together, going from a sweet and delicate delivery, with a hint of sarcasm, into a scathing autotuned roast of this person, no longer holding anything back. Again, these unexpected transitions can be so jarring, but also very captivating to listen to, especially the first time you hear it. She is now being much more direct and abrasive in telling him how she really feels about him in the wake of their breakup. This part of the song is also about Billie and her ex's ex-girlfriend, who was previously the focus of "WILDFLOWER". Now they have all officially moved on and reconciled their friendship, declaring that he was "so mediocre" and "we're so glad it's over now". The lore goes so deep with it, I really love that this storyline ended this way, Now that he lost both of them, Billie says, "It's such a pity, we're both so pretty". She also released an extended version of the "OVER NOW" part of the song soon after the album's release. She goes even harder on him with additional lines like, "too self-obsessed to save me" and "you're looking older lately, dating another baby". 

"THE DINER" is one of my absolute favorites on the entire album, it is so weird and different than every other song in a really fun way. "It was a very unperfected song and it didn't really change much from where it started," Billie told Apple Music. Lyrically it is very unhinged and kind of unsettling to listen to in the way it is written from the perspective of a stalker writing her a letter while sitting at a diner. "I saw you on the screens, I know we're meant to be, you're starrin' in my dreams, in magazines, you're lookin' right at me," she sings in the first verse. She really embodies this character as she crafts this really deranged and unsettling storyline, which I can only assume is at least somewhat based on her own experiences with stalkers herself, as she has mentioned before in songs like "Getting Older" and "NDA". "I memorized your number, now I call you when I please, I tried to end it all, but now I'm back up on my feet, I saw you in the car with someone else and couldn't sleep, if somethin' happens to him, you can bet that it was me," she sings in the final lines of the song, just before she recites a phone number over and over. The production of "THE DINER" is so interesting and hard to even describe. It's kind of like their version of a Gorillaz song, but mixed with cliché spooky haunted house or almost circus-like sound effects. It's very weird and shouldn't work as well as it does, but it's truly great and a really cool moment on the record. 

Billie and Finneas took a similar approach with quite a few songs from this album, putting it out pretty much exactly how they made it the first day, regardless how out of left field and unconventional their ideas may have been. "BITTERSUITE" in particular was a song Billie and Finneas said they made without thinking anyone was ever going to hear it, just messing around with different ideas to see what they liked. "...We kind of had this realization that the coolest, the bravest, thing we could do is just put it out exactly how we made it and not try to make it better so that people like it...We are allowed to just make it how we want to, just make it how we want to make it, and put it out," Billie said in an interview with triple j. "It has nothing to do with what people are going to want. It's about 'Do we enjoy this?' and 'Do we like this?'" "BITTERSUITE" is a play on all of the bittersweet feelings she was going through at the time, split into three distinctly different parts. It takes the listener on an entire journey for nearly five minutes, opening with Billie in sort of a dreamlike state as she is recalling a feeling of being "outside of my body". 

She continues to long for this unattainable love, one that she tries to repress her feelings for and hold herself back from, but still desperately wishes she could give in to. "But I gotta be careful, gotta watch what I say, God, I hope it all goes away, 'cause I can't fall in love with you no matter how bad I want to," she sings in the first part. In a lot of ways, this song also feels very connected to "CHIHRO" and parallels many of the same themes and recurring motifs from that song. The most notable connection is the "open up the door" line that comes up again, which was also present throughout a few other songs too. Similar to what I mentioned with "CHIHIRO", "BITTERSUITE" to me sounds like the way the album cover looks as well. Parts of the production make it sound almost like you're drowning while listening to it, as the sound starts to get washed out during the transitions between the first and second part. I love how evocative the image on the album cover is, it can really be interpreted in so many different ways.

"You seem so paranoid, I'm looking at thе boys, I've never filled the void out of spite," she sings in the second part. I love how so many of these lyrics have multiple meanings and layers to each, every song can be interpreted in so many different ways every time you listen to them. Billie continues to have the same out-of-body dreams into the second part, which is a concept that has played a major role in her music ever since she wrote the majority of WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? based on her vivid lucid dreams.  "In my dream, have it once a week, can't land on my feet," she sings, "can't sleep, have you underneath all of my beliefs". The vibe of this part reminds me of her song "Billie Bossa Nova", but somehow even better. 

It's so amazing that each part of the song is so different from the last, but still all makes sense together under one title. They are able to pull off these transitions so well. The third part of this song is a sprawling electronic beat, one that contrasts the second part completely, but feels like a natural continuation of the first part instead. If you listen closely, she is actually saying inaudible words underneath the track, which was intentionally included to "...supposed to feel disorienting and confusing, and like, almost the way that words sound when you're really tired, or really disoriented, or somewhere that you’re not supposed to be, kind of," Billie wrote in a Q&A on Twitter. "Or even like your thoughts, or like the way that the audio is in dreams..." The instrumentation is so insane at the end of "BITTERSUITE", it feels so intense and transcendent, which also perfectly builds into the melody of the final song on the album called "BLUE" in the last 30 seconds.

"BLUE" is such an incredible way to end the album, a true masterpiece from beginning to end. Once again, this song is split into two parts, the first part of "BLUE" mirrors the final song from her debut album called "goodbye". Both sound like the song that would play while the credits are rolling on their respective albums. It features at least one line from every single song of HIT ME HARD AND SOFT, re-taking the listener through the whole story being told again.  Some of the references are more obvious than others, like call-backs to "open up the door", "birds of a feather", and "thought you were made for me". It is a genius way to end an album like this and so cleverly mashed up. The story behind this song is also so interesting and spans over the course of many years to get to the final version that we have today. 

The chorus of the first part features lyrics from a song called "true blue", which Billie and Finneas wrote sometime around 2016. They performed it live three times at some of her earliest shows and eventually the demo leaked in 2022. "I try to live in black and white but I'm so blue", Billie sings in the chorus, "I'd like to mean it when I say I'm over you, but that's still not true". "We really wanted to rewrite everything but the chorus," Billie told Zane Lowe in an interview with Apple Music. "We made that song when I was like 14, 'ocean eyes' had just come out, Finneas was like 18...we just wanted to rewrite for lots of reasons." She continued, "There was one day where we sat here and we rewrote those lyrics for like six hours straight and we wrote many verses and many versions of each verse. It was so tedious and hard and we did not take a break...and we eventually finished it." 

Although they intended to put it out at the time, they felt "true blue" aged out of the music they wanted to be making at the time. "Years and years went by... and then we were working on the second album and all the songs that were in that one, plus a song called 'Born Blue', which is a completely different thing from 'true blue' and wasn't even in the thought of it. That was a song that was written about a very specific thing...that was going to be on Happier Than Ever and we just could never really crack it," Billie continued in her Apple Music interview. That song was also then put on the backburner and forgotten about for the time being until "true blue" ended up leaking a couple of years ago and forced Billie to revisit that song for the first time in years. Finneas said they "resurrected" both "true blue" and "Born Blue" when it clicked in their minds that they should combine these two completely separate songs that were written at very different times of their life. It is such a special way to tie all three of these albums together, taking pieces from each to create something brand new from.

The "Born Blue" part of the song, which completes the album, is very heavy and emotional to listen to. The switch from the mid-tempo opening to this really harrowing and emotive ballad feels so natural, especially with the gorgeous string arrangement that connects the two. That is also the same arrangement that ends the first song on the album called "SKINNY", which also works as the melody for "THE GREATEST". It is a beautiful way to start and end this album while also bringing a sense of closure for the journey they take the listener on throughout. "Born Blue" is very striking lyrically, a lot of the lines really stuck with me since I first heard them. They are as gorgeously written as they are heartbreaking. It is lyrically quite ambiguous and being "born blue" has a lot of different meanings throughout this song. The first verse alludes to it being about a baby being born with a lack of oxygen, "You were born bluer than a butterfly, beautiful and so deprived of oxygen," she sings in the chilling first verse. "Colder than your father's eyes, he never learned to sympathize with anyone". 

The title also implies being born blue blooded, or being born into wealth and/or fame, when she sings, "Born blameless, grew up famous too, just a baby born blue now". It paints this vivid portrait of someone that is a victim of their circumstances and haunted by the trauma they've endured in their lives. Billie relates to that sentiment in her own way too throughout the song, although their experiences are different. "But they could say the same 'bout me, I sleep 'bout three hours each night, means only twenty-one a week now," she sings in the bridge. It is such a beautifully crafted song, one that has so much emotional depth to it, but is also so haunting at the same time. I was left so speechless after I finished listening to this album for the first time, I knew I would never be the same after hearing it! 

After "BLUE" is finished, there's a quick little send-off from Billie at the end asking the question, "But when can I hear the next one?" - which has been the source of a lot of speculation surrounding this possibly being the first part of a two-part installment. There has been a lot of rumors of a potential double album floating around online, the "ilomilo" theory is especially really compelling. For now none of the theories have any legs to them, but to me it does seem Billie is possibly teasing another sister project to be coming sooner than later. Ending the album with such a blatant question like that obviously will raise some eyebrows, so I'm looking forward to hearing what may or may not come of it in the future. Of course, I would love to see her release another project soon, but for now HIT ME HARD AND SOFT is more than enough and everything I could have ever hoped it would be. 

While this album is concise in terms of the way it is just ten songs, it also feels like such a complete and fulfilling experience to listen to it as a whole. It actually feels like a lot more songs because of the way it has multiple two-part tracks that switch midway throughout. A lot of artists really don't make albums like this anymore, either they shape the work off of one or two songs that they know will result in a viral moment, or the opposite problem of not being able to whittle down the track list at all and ends up being way too bloated. Either way, it often ends up feeling like a lot of it is mostly filler or being released just because they can. On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, an album like HIT ME HARD AND SOFT feels so intentional, like it's an experience to listen to it and be engulfed in this musical universe they meticulously crafted. It is so rare to find a body of work that is this captivating and feels so complete, it is very clear that absolutely no detail was overlooked within this music. HIT ME HARD AND SOFT defies trends and expectations, creating a truly timeless piece of art that I know will be looked back on for years to come as one of the best from this era in music. 

The release of HIT ME HARD AND SOFT feels like this is the moment where Billie is embracing her fully realized potential as an artist, songwriter, and vocalist. I absolutely love everything about this album and am still so in awe of each song no matter how many times I listen to them. The bar just keeps getting higher and higher for Billie as she continuously outdoes herself. This is absolutely my favorite album of the year and a testament to the creative genius of Billie and Finneas together.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of HIT ME HARD AND SOFT by Billie Eilish*, I would really appreciate if you would do so through my affiliate link here*, which I may earn a commission from. I have the album on both vinyl* and CD* and they both sound beyond incredible! I love that they have made a lot of effort to make the physical releases environmentally friendly too, which is great to see an artist as massive as Billie to be making that a priority. Shop more Billie Eilish music here*. 

Check out my review of Billie's debut album WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? and her sophomore album Happier Than Ever. They are some of my favorite album reviews I have ever written, I have loved doing these deep dives into her music over the years. I am also going to be seeing her live on the HIT ME HARD AND SOFT Tour in October, which I will absolutely be writing all about later this year too.  I can only imagine how incredible this music will be translated in a live setting, it's going to be unreal! I hope you'll come back soon to check out my full experience! I have written extensively about all of Billie's music in the past, which are all linked here and below.

Thanks for reading! I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below! 

-Melissa ♡

Photo credit: Billie Eilish, William Drumm, Darkroom Records, Interscope Records

Related Posts:

WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? by Billie Eilish // 5 Year Anniversary Album Review


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