When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
“Attention, 2020 Grammys: The future still isn’t quite done being female,” said Chris Willman in Variety. With her full-length debut, 17-year-old pop phenom Billie Eilish has delivered a record “that should be a shoo-in for an album-of-the-year nomination.” The homeschooled Los Angeles teen, who has scored billions of streams with the singles she and her brother have been writing, recording, and releasing since 2016, styles herself as a goth but contains multitudes: “She’s funny, depressed, wicked, a wallflower, aggro, sweetly vulnerable, and kind of ridiculously crafty, too.” Her album has moments of rebellion, of empathy, of brattiness, of wisdom—and no matter the mood, “she can’t stop sounding beautiful.” A typical track “uses just a handful of parts, nearly all of them electronic: a bass line, a beat, only enough keyboard notes to sketch a harmony,” said Jon Pareles in The New York Times. Often, Eilish “sings barely above a whisper,” but she isn’t faking intimacy. Beyond proving her musical savvy, she’s “tough enough to show some heart.” ■