With “Hit Me Hard and Soft”, Billie Eilish in the firmament of American pop

For her highly anticipated third album, Billie Eilish has taken on music’s eternal obsession, love. After two first opuses already praised by critics, the American singer further consolidates her status as a genius of American pop. With the release this Friday, May 17 of Hit Me Hard and Soft, “Prodigiously talented Eilish struggles with her first great love and all that comes with it”summary The Daily Telegraphenthusiastic like all the Anglo-Saxon critics.

This disc, “which somehow amounts to an artistic coming-of-age, should carve out a nice place among the greatest breakup albums of all time”, raves the British newspaper. At 22, the American delivers a “portrait of the person she is today and the person she could become”.

Like no other

Finding himself again, after such a dazzling and early rise to fame, is the artist’s declared ambition, recalls the British specialized site NMEwhich salutes an opus “unquestionably more brilliant in terms of sound and safer in terms of interpretation” than the previous ones, but always tinged with the same vaporous spleen.

Hit Me Hard and Soft is like no other. It is the portrait of a singular talent who enters adulthood and discovers his queer identity, experiencing the intense emotions and cataclysm caused (sometimes) by the pursuit of a passion or by the fact of to fall in love. In trying to write an album for herself, she’s done something that will resonate more powerfully than anything she’s ever done.”specifies the site.

With lyrics exploring “self-confidence and introspection”, Hit Me Hard and Soft shines through “his relentlessness. Even if, for the first time, his album only contains ten tracks, they are in the same experimental and playful lineage as his previous works.”

For Tea Guardian, Billie Eilish demonstrates that she is “still the great exception of American pop”with early pieces “pure, with an atmosphere more sunny than twilight, thanks to the accompaniment of softly strummed acoustic guitar or fingerpicking”.

The love autopsy

Skinny thus opens the album with “the muffled sound of an electric guitar supporting a text which addresses very Billie Eilish subjects: bitter reproaches about a failed relationship, body dysmorphia, depression and the pressure linked to access to celebrity at the level world, barely out of adolescence”.

Then quickly, the artist explores the passions of love, like the piece Lunch, very carnal and explicit. She talks about her desires, “for the first time in particular since she became more open about her queer identity: ‘I could eat that girl for lunch / Yeah, she dances on my tongue / Tastes like she might be the one’ (“I could taste this girl for lunch / Yeah, she dances on my tongue / Her taste tells me she could be the one”).

Over the course of the album’s forty-four minutes, she “gives an autopsy report of the ups and downs of an obsessive but shaky relationship that included phases of lust, adoration, possessiveness, infidelity, jealousy, heartbreak, liberation, regret and better self-knowledge bitterly won”supports the Telegraph. The piece Blue thus evokes the excitement that accompanies a romantic breakup.

Subtle and enigmatic

As on her two previous opuses, the production is entirely designed by her and her brother Finneas O’Connell, and “operates in subtlety and hidden details: the singers’ voices and muffled sound effects are buried so deep in the mix that they are only perceptible when wearing headphones or earphones. It’s a bit like the auditory equivalent of something seen out of the corner of the eye. greet the Guardian.

And the artist never ceases to surprise, when she “suddenly changes focus halfway through. The temperature drops, the atmosphere becomes more confusing, the songs become longer and deliberately take on a more episodic character”.

It then breathes an enigmatic atmosphere and “fascinating: what initially seemed quite simple then takes a deeper and more obscure turn”, raise it Guardian. Because the end titles echo those from the past. “Bizarre lines and images from previous songs keep reappearing in the second half of the album, as if the later songs provide a commentary or update on the facts previously described.”

Hit Me Hard and Soft exceeds expectations Telegraph. The daily newspaper urges music lovers to savor this disc, a “a refinement of the works already created by Eilish and O’Connell, which blends the intimacy of analog sound with skillfully woven electro, Eilish’s soft vocals at the center of a sensual miasma of her own expertly managed choruses. Magnificent”.

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