When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? is the long-awaited debut album from Billie Eilish. The record is a bass heavy, gothic, electropop number arriving two years after the release of her EP Don’t Smile At Me.
While the melancholy that characterised her earlier works persists in this album, songs “bad guy”, “bury a friend” and “you should see me in a crown” present a quiet, taunting aggression. Eilish is bold and self-assured, her murmuring voice is sweet but threatening, playing over heavy distorted beats.
The album’s polished production is broken up by inserts of Eilish’s personality. The 14 sec prelude “!!!!!!!” consists of slurping sounds followed by Eilish proclaiming “I have taken out my Invisalign and this is the album” and then cackling. The languid singing of “all the good girls go to hell” ends with a raw recording of her laughing and declaring “I cannot do this snowflake” and “my strange addiction” is interspersed with sound bites from the US edition of The Office. These interjections stop the record from tipping over into pretentiousness.
While a fantastic debut overall, the sombre triple hit of “listen before I go”, “i love you” and “goodbye” which closes the album screws up the pacing a little and altogether feels like too heavy a nod to her past work.
7.5/10: I just think of the pic with her booger hanging out