Billie Eilish Drops Album ‘HIT ME HARD AND SOFT’ – Is it a Hit or Miss?

“Eilish’s Best Album Yet,” proclaims Rolling Stone Magazine. “Billie Eilish Keeps Up Her Winning Streak With the Surprising and Intimate ‘HIT ME HARD AND SOFT,” praised Variety. “Eilish specialties bundled in a perfect package,” declared USA Today. Well, if you haven’t heard, our emo-pop princess has returned with her third studio album, HIT ME HARD AND SOFT, on 17 May. Hear one, hear all: Billie Eilish is back! 

Critics are making massive claims, filled with praise for her first album since Happier Than Ever in 2021. But we always like to test things out for ourselves. Welcome to yet another tell-all review where we give you our (brutal) honesty about the album! Today, we get into the rollercoaster of a journey that Billie Eilish’s HIT ME HARD AND SOFT was for me when I listened to it in the depths of the night, when the clock struck 2am and my emotions, perception, and ability to form opinions were immensely heightened. 

It’s been said that the album “journeys through a vast and expansive audio landscape, immersing listeners through a full spectrum of emotions. A truly cinematic, diverse, and cohesive body of work, that Eilish considers a ‘family of songs’, ideally intended to be listened to from beginning to end.” 

Let’s test it out, shall we? I listened to it from start to finish, hyper-analysed the stories Billie and FINNEAS, her brother and collaborator, have created for us in song, and teased in the craziest ways. The marketing ahead of the release was nothing short of iconic.

Today, we dive deep into the album, track by track. The album promises to “HIT ME HARD AND SOFT”, doesn’t it? So, allow me to share with you whether each track was a hit or a miss! This will be fun. 


The album starts with SKINNY, a song that delves into body image and dealing with the superstardom and worldwide fame that has made Billie Eilish a beloved name on everyone’s lips. Musically, this song is most reminiscent of her usual sound – a confessional ballad infused with touches of Alternative/Indie that you’d listen to during your most emotional hour. But there’s growth, and it seems like a glimpse into this turn in her ever-evolving artistry, which just sets the stage for high expectations for what else there is to hear.

Her vocals take the spotlight on this track. She starts with the iconic hushed voice that is true to her. Still, she elevates it by going into chest voice when she sings the chorus, emotionally belting “cry”, as if she truly were letting out a cry, in pain from all the horrible experiences she’s had being a public figure under scrutiny as if she were under a microscope. And that bridge is magnificent, too. Starting with a song like this gears up the listener to connect with her on a deeply personal level.

Lyrically, the song tugs at your heart, especially with the masterful hunger-related motifs scattered throughout. But what completely floored me was the end. Throughout the song, you hear the gentle accompaniment of the string quartet, which then gets its time to shine at the end. And, oh, did it shine. This Bridgerton-worthy instrumentation feels so grand and deeply emotional as if I’m being welcomed into a ballroom of tears, and I expect this album to be nothing less (let’s see how right I am!). I could listen to this on repeat, I kid you not. 

But then, things get bad. The ear-melting string quartet fades out to the upbeat instrumental of the next song, which I absolutely hated. It complements the listening experience well when you listen to the album in order, but if I add this song to my mental breakdown playlist, it’d completely kill the vibe because of how jarring the ending is. Imagine hearing that mid-breakdown! I didn’t like that.

Verdict: Hit! I loath the ending, but everything else was perfect and actually something I’d add to my playlist. Praying, hoping, and wishing that she releases an edited version of this like she did with Happier Than Ever.


As mentioned, the next song, LUNCH, is a sudden twist from its predecessor in the album with its more playful approach. It contrasts with the heavy themes of the opening track and feels more pop-esque. As she sings about being infatuated with a girl, she makes a worldwide premier about being bisexual in this track, which she debuted at Coachella 2024, when she took over the Do LaB stage with a surprise “Billie & Friends” party and on a Rolling Stone interview that came out shortly after.

“That song was actually part of what helped me become who I am, to be real. I wrote some of it before even doing anything with a girl and then wrote the rest after. I’ve been in love with girls for my whole life, but I just didn’t understand — until, last year, I realised I wanted my face in a vagina,” she revealed in the Rolling Stone interview.

The song is littered with references and euphemisms for lesbian sex, which Billie boldly owns. She brings back her constrained ever-so-hushed vocals for the song, as if she’s silently, almost secretively, confessing her lust and infatuation, singing “She’s the headlights, I’m the deer”, which perfectly encompasses everything she’s probably feeling – blinded by her new muse, caught off-guard by this connection. 

The production is both noisy and genius. Billie never lets you rest! Just when you think you’re getting comfortable with the track’s sound, she hits you with an unexpected (rather noisy) EDM-inspired bass and little gasps distorted to mimic the beat of the song until the end. This definitely makes this an awkward one to listen to with the family around, but it’s such a clever production, and it’s earned my approval.

Verdict: Unfortunately, a miss for me, personally. But it’s the hit of the album, as cemented by the play count on Spotify, where this song has the highest plays in the album. It’s a tad too noisy for me, with the interjections of the EDM-style bass at the end that threw me off. But the rest of the song is addictive and sounds like Billie’s past music that the world fell head over heels for.



after hearing a sneak peek in the zane lowe interview… we finally have more 🤩🤩 #billie #billieeilish #hmhas #billieeilishedits #billieeilishfan

♬ original sound – 1824

“Wait, is that-” Yes, it is the character in Ghibli’s Spirited Away, a 2001 Japanese animated fantasy film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki! I never watched the movie (what an imposter, I know!), but it’s no secret that Billie loves his filmography and has sought inspiration from his work, which has shaped her own artistry. The lyrics are heavily influenced by the scenes in that movie, so if you’ve watched it, check out the lyrics and explore the world of Chihiro through Billie’s eyes.

My first word of advice would be to listen to this with headphones on for the ultimate listening experience because the production of this song is insane – from the backing vocals to the sound effects. That build-up from 2:02 to 2:20 with that little beat drop, then again at the end, drips with euphoria. Just listening to it transcends me to another dimension, making me want to close my eyes and imagine flashing lights as I do the rotation-version of headbangs (please tell me you know what I mean!) that get more aggressive as the beat progressively gets louder.

Need I say more?

Verdict: Hit! Unquestionably one of my favourites on the album. I wouldn’t dare do it a disservice by saying it’s perfect for a mere club. Absolutely not. This is for a more intimate, trance-like, rock-out experience where the embarrassing dance moves and headbangs come out. Save it for a post-mental breakdown, “let it all out” sort of moment!


Oh, BIRDS OF A FEATHER is as pop as pop would get on this album. It sounds like a far cry from the emo hits our princess nails every single time. Gone are the whispered vocals that Billie’s greatest songs are made of. This one feels like something you’d hear in a coming-of-age film when two souls you’ve been earnestly rooting for finally unite!

This song spotlights a love so mesmerising and precious that it lasts forever, even crossing the bridge of death into the white light where time means nothing. The saying is “birds of a feather flock together”, which means that people with similar personalities, characters, and interests stick together. But Billie takes that proverb to another level, insisting that this romantic bond between them is what keeps them together. It’s perfect for a wedding party, really! It’s a song that celebrates love and the union of souls likened to the birds of a feather. It’s lovely.

This song, once again, is a vocal masterpiece showcasing Billie’s massive improvements. She wows you with the belting and stunning harmonies that just make your ears so happy. This track is the splash of sunlight of the album with the upbeat instrumentation, giving us a peek into Billie’s bliss, which looks and sounds gorgeous on her. I’d love to hear more of this from her.

Verdict: Hit, hit, hit! This did hit me hard and soft, from the vocals to the cheerful instrumental that just makes you so happy! I’d love to witness this in concert as Billie showcases her vocal prowess while everyone jumps up and down, singing with her with the biggest smiles on their faces!


Wildflower: any flower that grows without having been planted by people – Cambridge Dictionary. Billie takes on the metaphor of a wildflower in this song, where she tells the story of comforting a girl after a difficult breakup. Only to then have a romantic relationship with the person that she broke up with. Girl code, hello?

You see, this song is a little juicy. The title itself could allude to Devon Carlson, the ex-girlfriend of Billie’s ex-boyfriend, Jesse Rutherford. She has a brand called Wildflower Cases. Devon was Jesse’s girlfriend of seven years before Billie, and the two girls had been friends even before Billie and Jesse got together sometime in September or October 2022. Oh, and here’s a fun little detail. Guess when the news of Billie and Jesse’s break-up was officially announced? On 17 May 2023. And, oh, when did Billie release this album? On 17 May 2024! Did your jaw drop?

Coincidence or not, this song is likely about Billie getting together with her friend’s ex (Devon’s ex, Jesse Rutherford), the very friend whom she comforted after the break-up with the man she later started dating about a year or so later. She details in this song the guilt that must have been eating her alive, which might have been a reason for the breakup that the world has no reason for (not like we need one, anyway; it’s their personal lives). 

Lyrically, the song tells an intriguing story when you know the backstory. Vocally, Billie ate yet again with her hidden vocals (use headphones again for this one!) and with her amazing belting contrasting against her whispered vocals. But musically, though, it was pretty unexciting and a little boring. I felt that knowing the story behind the song allowed me to enjoy it more and appreciate the emotion better, but it’s still not up there. 

Verdict: Miss. It’s not a bad song, and I’d listen to it if it came along. But it’s not one I’d crave, that I’d go out of my way to search and listen to or add to my playlist (maybe for some background noise, but that’s it).


Right off the get-go, we know that our emo-pop princess is back with another sad girl anthem as she dives into the complexities of love, sacrifice, and unreciprocated affection. The lyrics convey a profound sense of selflessness and willingness to endure personal hardships for the sake of love. She sings in pain about the sacrifices made in the name of love.

Over a pizzicato string quartet, Billie starts off with her hushed vocals. It felt familiar and very much like the usual style of Billie’s past music. It was comfortable, almost predictable, maybe even boring. But the second half of the song redeemed itself with the crescendo of the instrumental and Billie’s soul-stirring vocals. It’s a little reminiscent of Billie’s previous hit, Happier Than Ever, in that way.

As she belts, “Man, am I the greatest?” my goosebumps raised. That moment is filled with so much pent-up emotion as she finally sees everything she’s been through and recognises her value and worth in a moment of self-affirmation. And then that final chorus returns to her unmistakable whispered vocals, where she sounds pained, soulful as if she’s crying about it. She looks back at it and regrets it all, mourning the missed potential of the relationship and the lost opportunity for greatness together. Everything about this song is so poetic.

Verdict: Hit, for sure. It’s very thoughtfully produced and composed, where every detail points to the message that Billie and FINNEAS convey through the lyrics, and Billie brings it to life with her vocals. I just know this would be a phenomenal karaoke song.


Ah, the French language. The language of love! Seeing a song title in French means we’re either going to get a lovely song that celebrates love or a soul-wrenching one that mourns it. After all, what more can we expect from a title that translates to ‘love of my life’? However, ladies and gents, this is a confusing one.

This song starts with a slow, contemporary ballad. It sounds calm, almost a little jazzy. It sounds like something you might hear in the ‘80s, an aesthetic I know Billie would rock, too. She sings (a little nonchalantly, if I might add) about a past relationship where she told her partner they were the love of her life, only to confess that it was a lie. In her defence, if you listen to the lyrics, the relationship sounded like an emotional chaos, a mess that couldn’t have ended well. And this song seems to express the various stages of grief and loss. 

But then, things take a turn. Billie employs a trick not unknown to her: she does a 180-degree turn of the song midway through. Ending the first part with muffled electronic effects and distortion of her vocals to almost mimic a child, as if taunting and mocking this ex, it transitions into a pumping EDM beat and Billie’s extremely auto-tuned euphoric vocals that sound like the beginning of a sick dance party from the ‘80s. I can’t stop moving every time I listen to it.

I loved the second half of the song way more than the first half. It sounded like a whole new song! And that’s exactly the problem. This 5-minute-33-second song feels like it’s two songs hashed together, and it felt jarring to hear that complete switch in the middle of it. Some of us might enjoy it, but I rather prefer this song be split into two, but maybe employing the trick of running the instrumental of the next track in the album at the end of the previous (like what she did with SKINNY and LUNCH). 

Verdict: Miss. It’s honestly because of that transformation mid-song. It’s a cool trick, and I know many of us might love it, but to me, it doesn’t make the song suited for casual listening anymore. Once again, hoping for the edited version like Billie did for Happier Than Ever!


Surely the eeriest song on the album, just as it was intended to be. This track sheds light on the frightening side of the kind of crazy, unimaginable fame Billie has garnered from a young age. Just like NDA on Happier Than Ever, Billie sings about stalkers consumed with erotomania (a form of delusional disorder in which an individual believes that another person, usually of higher status, is in love with him) and her horrific experiences with them.

In this song, Billie steps into the shoes of the stalkers who have haunted her, outlining their predatory actions and the delusional fantasies in their heads. As you listen to the song, pay attention to the lyrics so you, too, can grasp this terrifying side of fame that Billie battles on the daily. 

The star of the song is the production – from the voice effects to the instrumental. It’s all so eerie and anxiety-inducing as if mimicking these creeps that circle her and her life to no end. If I close my eyes and listen to the song, I can imagine this playing in a movie where a stalker peers over a bush, watching in awe the humongous mansion of the celebrity crush he’s obsessed with. The whispers and the sudden stop at the end sound like that moment when the celebrity has found the stalker. Or maybe the stalker finds them first. What happens then?

One thing that I realised, and what ruined the song for me, was the background instrumental. Listen to it, and tell me it doesn’t sound like the Kahoot! instrumental that plays when you have to make your guess as quickly as possible! Doesn’t it sound so similar? I guess you could say it plays the part in the song, invoking that sense of urgency and anxiety, just like in the game. But it could also trigger your fight or flight response! Nonetheless, it’s got such a sick beat, and it’s so danceable!



♬ original sound – sammy

At the end of the song, you also hear Billie reciting a phone number: “3956 310-807-3956”. Well, you see, this number is found on Billie’s website, and if you were to call that number, you’d hear an automated recording of her saying, “Hello? Wait, I can’t hear you… Hello? Hold on, let me call you back.”. I wouldn’t recommend this to those in Singapore unless you’d like a hefty phone bill to greet you next month. But when you save this contact on WhatsApp, you can apparently also fill in a questionnaire to receive messages from Billie. Such a cool detail!

Verdict: Miss. Again, it’s a genius song with incredible production and an important message to be heard. But that Kahoot! instrumental truly did me in! 


I love the title. It’s such a clever play of words with the replacement of ‘sweet’ in ‘bittersuite’ with a homophone (two words that sound the same), ‘suite’. From what I can tell, this song tells the story of Billie, who seems to be left bitter in a hotel suite alone with no more pleasure or sweetness. It sounds like a furtive love affair in a hotel suite gone wrong, personified by the instrumentation.

The first minute and 25 seconds of the song had me convinced this might be my favourite on the album. It started with a shocking electronic pulse, which sounded like a breath of fresh air on the album. And Billie, obviously, delivered with her vocals and incredible incorporation of emotion. But, of course, things took a turn. This nearly five-minute song had a banging start, only for it to have a very creepy transition into a slower, more chill tune, which was pretty disappointing if you ask me.

In an album meant to be experimental and experiential, Billie had the chance to give us something fresh with what she had going on in the first part of the song. But instead, it went back to a sound that we’ve heard many times before on her discography. Turning it around halfway was a missed opportunity. 

But, as if that one change weren’t enough, the instrumentals switch yet again from the light and flowy bossa-nova back to the electronic sound we hear at the start. The darker colour of this part also conveys the switch from a dreamy romance to a more primal sexual infatuation. This happens over a verse that Billie speaks instead of sings, and the lyrics reinforce that switch. 

Oh, but the ending of the song was the best thing I’d heard on the whole album. I kid you not, hearing it made me jump, my heart started pounding, and I couldn’t wait for the next song to start playing. Ladies and gentlemen, as BITTERSUITE ends, it plays the instrumental of a snippet of the song True Blue, an unreleased track by Billie Eilish. Till now. 

She’s played the song in concerts but has never released it. It’s even had its heyday on TikTok, making it a sensation you’ll most certainly recognise. Playing it like this was a power move! Every time I hear this song, I listen to the first minute and 25 seconds, then skip to the last part just to hear that goosebump-raising, heart-rate-raising moment when True Blue starts. Well played, Billie. She did save the best for last. 

Verdict: Miss. That switch was underwhelming, making a song that could’ve been my favourite easily one of the least exciting ones on the album. With the excitement I got from the snippet of True Blue, the second half of the song became very forgettable. 


IT’S FINALLY OUT! Apologies for that burst of enthusiasm there. True Blue is really that girl. She’s never been released in a studio version. Still, she has the whole world hooked to its iconic lyrics (featured on billboards around the world ahead of its release, which was how the world knew the queen was returning), with the melody engraved into the recesses of their minds. Making this the final track of the album feels like a reward, and it’s just such a great move.

But this song isn’t just a remanufactured version of True Blue. It’s a reworked version of two unreleased songs. One of them is, obviously, True Blue, while the other is Born Blue, which was going to be featured on Billie’s 2021 album, Happier Than Ever, but she “just couldn’t figure it out”. Well, she’s figured it out! Merging the two unreleased songs to Billie was sort of like mixing the two older versions of her, with a little pizzazz of the current her, and becoming a whole new version, making the theme of the album blue so much more special.

This is the only song in which the switch from one song to another didn’t annoy me. Sure, I would’ve loved a longer version of True Blue, but the meaning behind reworking this track and the more seamless transition had me. In fact, it worked out just the way I’m sure she wanted it to. 



♬ BLUE – Billie Eilish

I don’t know if it’s because I know it’s the final track of the album, and I feel so stirred hearing True Blue again that the vocals in the rest of the song just feel so gut-wrenching. Her voice hits your heart in the best way possible like you’re hearing her sing fresh out of a cry where she unleashed a downpour of tears, and hearing her makes you want to cry, too. She put her whole soul into this one.

And I just love the addition of the string quartet at the end. It makes the poignant ambience a gazillion times more heart-rending. It’s similar to the grand intro, courtesy of a string quartet as well, that we heard in the first track, SKINNY. It feels like an emotional farewell.

And then the song ends with a shocking little plot twist in the form of a question all of us have on our minds at the end of the album, but Billie beat us to it: “But when can I hear the next one?”. She knows. She knows! This could either be a hint to something more or a tongue-in-cheek, exasperated comment Billie is making to mimic how fans would immediately ask their favourite artists for something new at the end of a new release. Which is it? Only time (and our dearest Billie Eilish) will tell. 

Verdict: Need you ask? A hit! No explanation needed.

Ending Thoughts

Remember, this album is said to be a journey “through a vast and expansive audio landscape, immersing listeners through a full spectrum of emotions. A truly cinematic, diverse, and cohesive body of work, that Eilish considers a ‘family of songs’, ideally intended to be listened to from beginning to end.”. Was it really all that? Let’s check the boxes.

It most certainly was a vast and expansive audio landscape. Throughout the review, you’ve seen me raving about the mind-blowing production of the effects, the vocals, the hidden vocals, the instrumental, and everything in between! And I definitely did experience a full spectrum of emotions. We felt love, anger, shame, fear, and sadness with Billie as we journeyed through this roller-coaster of an album. And, yes, it was cinematic and diverse, but I don’t know how I feel about it being cohesive. And that brings me to my final thoughts on the album.

I enjoyed this so much. I now have a newfound appreciation for Billie’s magnificent vocals and her and FINNEAS’s undeniable talent. They created this album from scratch and made it the cinematic experience they promised it’d be.

But I did not like how, on at least three songs, the complete vibe, feel, and genre of the song would switch midway through. It’s very disorientating, and because of how the two vibes of the same song are complete opposites, you’re likely to prefer one to the other, which just makes for a confusing song and listening experience. I loved the effort to be experimental, but it just made songs I’d potentially love become something I wouldn’t even add to my playlist. It’s a shame, really. 

I know everything about the album is very intentional, including the fact that there are meant to be ten tracks. But suppose the midway switcheroos were split into their own individual tracks, even if it means they’re shorter. In that case, we’d have more songs (since that might matter a lot to some listeners) and it would be a less bewildering listening experience. Nonetheless, I cannot deny that I’m walking away with some amazing new songs added to my playlist. 

And now, for the grand tally, we had five hits and five misses. To me, that’s actually a good thing. This means that this album caters to different tastes and different genre fanatics. After all, Billie has a ginormous fanbase, each with their own style of music they gravitate towards. An even split down the middle means that there’s something for everyone! And, of course, the album is called HIT ME HARD AND SOFT. It certainly did as it said it would. 

Oh, Billie, this album just proves the queen you are. You’re returning to where you belong – the charts, the lips of the world who can’t stop listening to your gift and can’t stop saying your name, and the hearts of all your fans around the world. Welcome home.

Billie Eilish – HIT ME HARD AND SOFT 

Billie Eilish HIT ME HARD AND SOFT: Album Visual

Check out HIT ME HARD AND SOFT right now on Spotify and Apple Music! And stay tuned to Billie Eilish’s official website, Instagram and TikTok pages for more after that plot twist she hit us with at the end of BLUE! Also, stay tuned to Billie Eilish Home, a TikTok page managed by her team, for all the newest updates. 

Visuals courtesy of William Drumm.

Baani Kaur

Aspiring to achieve great heights like every human in the world, but till then, enjoy the most dramatic and sarcastic person you will ever read from.

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