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The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

Billie Eilish tells listeners ‘HIT ME HARD AND SOFT’ with paradoxical new album

The official album cover for HIT ME HARD AND SOFT. Provided by Google.
The official album cover for ‘HIT ME HARD AND SOFT’. Provided by Google.

Not many artists title their albums with an invitation for violence, but with the release of her new album, HIT ME HARD AND SOFT, on Friday, May 17, singer-songwriter Billie Eilish proved once again that she is unlike any other artist.

This is the third studio album that the 22-year-old artist has dropped, following WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? in 2019 and Happier Than Ever in 2021. This summer, Eilish released “What Was I Made For?” for the Barbie movie, an immediate hit that skyrocketed her fame to new heights. According to the description on Eilish’s website, HIT ME HARD AND SOFT does what the title says, hitting the listener hard and soft with its genre-bending lyrics and music.

This description is undoubtedly accurate, with dramatic musical and vocal changes often within the same song. The lyrics in each track share messages that are very different from each other, with themes ranging from a homoerotic relationship in “LUNCH” to a deranged stalker’s innermost thoughts in “THE DINER”.

The official album cover for ‘WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?’. Provided by Google.
The official album cover for ‘Happier Than Ever’. Provided by Google.

Although Billie Eilish has technically been out as queer for a few months now, “LUNCH” fully reveals her identity to her entire fanbase. The second song on the tracklist is definitely the boldest, at least lyrically, on the album. With a catchy tempo, Eilish uses a lower, more sultry voice as she sings about wanting an unnamed woman as more than a friend. “I’ve said it all before, but I’ll say it again / I’m interested in more than just being your friend,” Eilish sings during the bridge. The chorus, however, is a bit more daring, with Eilish singing “I could eat that girl for lunch / Yeah, she dances on my tongue / Tastes like she might be the one.” “LUNCH” is very likely to get stuck in your head, especially with its memorable chorus. This was the first song on the album with a music video.

Whereas “LUNCH” is confident and upbeat, the seventh song on the tracklist has a much different tone. “L’AMOUR DE MA VIE” translates to “the love of my life” in French, which is often referred to as the language of love. Ironically, Eilish sings of the complete opposite of love, reminiscing about an emotionally draining past relationship. The artist’s almost nonchalant tone of voice is a vast contrast from the charged lyrics. “It isn’t a lot asking for an apology / For making me feel like it’d kill you if I tried to leave / You said you’d never fall in love again because of me / Then you moved on immediately,” Eilish sings. She mentions her “stomach upset almost all of the time”, later telling listeners that she realized after leaving that it was due to the relationship, showing the physical toll on her as well. At the end of the track, the music becomes more upbeat, tying into the changing vibes described earlier. This song is arguably the best on the album, with relatable lyrics and perfectly thought out background music.

The tracklist from “HIT ME HARD AND SOFT”. Provided by

The eighth song is titled “THE DINER”. The song is told from a stalker’s point of view, and has an ominous tone woven throughout. This isn’t the first time Eilish has sung about a creepily obsessed fan; similar themes can be heard in her songs “Getting Older” and “NDA” from Happier Than Ever. At first, the lyrics start out seemingly non-threatening, albeit still scary, with Eilish singing “I’m waitin’ on your block / But please don’t call the cops / They’ll make me stop / And I just wanna talk.” Later in the song, however, the lyrics become increasingly more threatening: “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,” the stalker warns. Eerily enough, Eilish includes a phone number in the song, which she sings faintly at the end. When called, the number– 310-807-3956– plays a recording of Eilish’s voice saying “Hello, hello? Wait, I can’t hear you… Hello, hello? Hold on, let me call you back.” This little Easter egg is very clever, showing off Eilish’s unique creativity.

The tenth and final track on HIT ME HARD AND SOFT is “BLUE”. This song is unique because it references each of the previous tracks in its lyrics, including “LUNCH” with “Thought you were made for me”; “L’AMOUR DE MA VIE” with “I told you a lie, desolée, mon amour”; and “THE DINER” with “I’m not what you need”. The track is also a combination of two of Eilish’s unreleased songs, “True Blue” and “Born Blue”.

The first half of the song comes from “True Blue”, where Eilish sings about a breakup that she wishes she could get over already; the word “blue” referencing the artist’s feelings of sadness. “I try to live in black and white but I’m so blue,” Eilish sings. Her lyrics reflect how Eilish wishes she could just see the facts of the scenario– or see the situation in black and white– but still has unresolved emotions that interfere.

The second half is from “Born Blue”, with Eilish singing about how her ex had a difficult childhood and she was not able to save them: “I don’t blame you / But I can’t change you / Don’t hate you / But we can’t save you,” Eilish sings. The song gets louder and quieter at different parts, creating an ebbing and flowing tide-like imagery, fitting with its blue theme. A stand out lyric in this song is during the second part, where Eilish sings “You were born bluer than a butterfly / Beautiful and so deprived of oxygen,” referring to how butterflies are “born” out of a cocoon, which can be imagined as an environment where it is hard to breathe. Humans often turn blue from a lack of oxygen, explaining why Eilish chose these lyrics. “BLUE” is a prime example of the paradoxical aspect of HIT ME HARD AND SOFT with the changing sounds throughout the song.

Other notable songs on the album include “THE GREATEST” and “BIRDS OF A FEATHER”.

The official album cover for ‘THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT’. Provided by Google.

HIT ME HARD AND SOFT is a near flawless addition to Eilish’s discography– and perhaps even her best album yet. The vulnerable lyricism is spectacular and the harmony between the music and the vocals is on point. Admittedly, the abrupt changes in a song can be a turn off to some listeners, especially because they are sometimes in harsh contrast to the rest of the track and its message. However, to some, this may be exactly what they are looking for.

Eilish’s storytelling and ability to play different roles throughout different songs is truly commendable, making HIT ME HARD AND SOFT another exceptional release. If you enjoyed this album, be sure to check out THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT by Taylor Swift for more in depth, poetic lyrics.



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About the Contributor
Aarshia Bhattacharyya
Aarshia Bhattacharyya, Staff Writer
Hi! My name is Aarshia Bhattacharyya, and I’m a freshman staff writer for the WA Ghostwriter! This is my first year on the Ghostwriter, and I’m so excited to be able to use my love for writing to contribute to the paper! I joined the newspaper because I love writing about stories I care about and am interested in. In my free time, I love baking, reading, writing, spending time with my friends, painting, and listening to music. Outside of school, I do dance and swim, two of my favorite sports! 

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