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Pitchfork Gave Billie Eilish's Hit Me Hard And Soft A 6.8 Rating


RAMROD
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RAMROD
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This is the least we’ve known about Billie Eilishgoing into an album. For years, the star’s journey was documented in yearly Vanity Fair interviews and candid documentaries; even Carpool Karaokevisited Eilish’s childhood home, where she still lived until recently. That seeming lack of boundaries between the pop star and her audience is increasingly standard for megastars, but Eilish’s intimate music made her a particularly strong candidate for parasociality. Her 2021 album, Happier Than Ever, was largely a response to public scrutiny, more reserved and mature than her 2019 debut, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? In the ensuing years, Eilish kept a low profile, surfacing every now and then to soundtrack a Pixar film or win an Oscar before retreating to work on the next record.

Thematically, HMHAS focuses mostly on falling out of love with a narcissist (as documented on “Blue”) and falling in love with a woman for the first time. Opener “Skinny” teases another record about the perils of fame, in the vein of Happier Than Ever, and it’s hard not to blame her: When Eilish casually confirmed her bisexuality in a larger Variety profile, that’s all the press wanted to talk about. When it’s addressed on the album, it’s on her own terms, as if the years of insensitive “queerbaiting” accusations never happened. It’s hard to stand out in the age of Spotify-sanctioned sapphic playlists, but “Lunch” is delightful for its matter-of-fact sexuality and the record’s best line deliveries: “I bought you something rare/And I left it under… Claire.” Though the syncopated piano and guitar riffs recall the most generic of 2010s alt-pop, Eilish maintains her irreverence with double entendres and zilch-entendres (“I just want to get her off,” she mumbles). The “Last Christmas” chord progression of “Birds of a Feather” feels engineered to soundtrack wistful coming-of-age stories, and sure enough, you’ll find it in the trailer for the wistful coming-of-age Netflix show Heartstopper. Both these songs are uniquely effervescent departures in her catalogue, but they never sound like a pop star playing catchup to pop radio—just the earnest enthusiasm of someone falling in love.
 

Other times Billie and Finneas might as well have switched on a large neon sign that says “this is a masterpiece.” Sometimes that big ambition works: The moody “Chihiro” revisits the uptempo sound of early single “Bellyache” but swaps the acoustic guitars for big, expensive synths, making up for the lack of real chorus with density. Several multi-part suites feel like they’re just retreading familiar territory. Despite a career-best belt from Eilish, “The Greatest” can’t escape the shadow of “Happier Than Ever”; “Bittersuite” devolves from its deep-sea dub intro into “Billie Bossa Nova 2” before timidly segueing to the closer. The nadir is “L’Amour de Ma Vie,” a relatively standard breakup ballad with a second half marred by chintzy synths and production that tries for negative space and comes up empty: After years of reinventing bedroom pop for stadiums, Billie and Finneas finally made something that sounds thrown together in someone’s bedroom.

Every song on this big album has some detail worth hearing, but the insistence on multipart epics and ballads kills the momentum. When “Wildflower” and “The Greatest” crescendo back to back, it gets aggravating. The much-hyped live instrumentation is more window dressing than it is integral to the artistry, and Jon Castelli’s brightly saturated mix leaves the extraneous elements to fight for space in the more crowded sections. All these enhancements cancel each other out until HMHAS is just another good record from Billie and Finneas—certainly tasteful, and arresting sometimes, but all the session musicians in the world can’t make it a masterpiece.

 

https://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/billie-eilish-hit-me-hard-and-soft/

Edited by RAMROD
(ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ✧*:・゚ with birds I share this lonely view (*´艸`*) ♡♡♡
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  • RAMROD changed the title to Pitchfork Gave Billie Eilish's Hit Me Hard And Soft A 6.8 Rating
Dennis

Kinda harsh but a bit overrated, her two other albums were better imo

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ChicaSkas

Still better than Tortured Billionaires Dept. 

 

(I know, I know, I know!!)

Do YOU own the 4' by 6' Perfect Illusion promo Poster? Will pay you for it. Pic: http://i.imgur.com/UWuzumk
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GregJA
Just now, ChicaSkas said:

Still better than Tortured Billionaires Dept. 

 

(I know, I know, I know!!)

Music Video Falling GIF by Taylor Swift
 

Spoiler

I agree :yennefer:

 

Mr. No Award Winner 2020
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SimonBaetens

I sort of agree… Though 6,8 seems too low. But I do feel like every song has great elements but none have really stuck with me yet as pieces of music, let alone as a whole album. But I appreciate Billie for experimenting, even on the level of fame she is at.

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malzejar

Pitchfork is cooking the pop girlies alive with 6s

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Agunimon
Posted (edited)

After listening more, I do think Happier Than Ever is better but this album is still better than a 6.8. There are some production and composition choices that seem like this is a continuation to Happier Than Ever. I'm working on making a playlist combining them both.

Edited by Agunimon
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doraemon

they gave TTPD 6.6, who cares.

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King of the Fall
Posted (edited)

I really like this album but I think that some of these criticisms are valid

Hit Me Hard and Soft is definitely being overrated by some people but no way in hell is it a 6.8, that is too low

Edited by King of the Fall
We talk about it all night long, we define our moral ground, but when I crawl into your arms, everything comes tumbling down
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littlepotter

They are so fucking insufferable my god. like everything they said could apply to any album and it's so easy to discard something good as 'it's trying too hard to be good' like what even is music criticism at this point

chaeri pls
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StressedOut
Posted (edited)

Kinda harsh, but I get the argument that she's retreading through sounds she's done. (Which isnt necessarily bad) I thought it was as good as HTE and lyrics were good too

Edited by StressedOut
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Starmie25

Fantano also scored it a light 7, same as Chromatica by Lady Gaga.

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