Billie Eilish's debut album plays out opposite to the way most do, spiralling downward instead of up.

It's the kind of album that starts off at a party with blistering swagger, then stumbles home late at night to fall into bed, cold and alone, thinking too hard about things it said and people it lost before finally falling into darkness.

It is, as a concept album, stunning.

Right from the intro, it's singularly Billie Eilish as she pulls the braces from her mouth with loud slurps and announces with a laugh: "I've taken out my Invisalign and this is the album!"


She's still a kid but she's growing up and she's got something to say - and she's not going to shroud any of it in pretence. Here it is, spit and all.

Sometimes, her stories are deep and beautifully raw with emotion, like on When the Party's Over, Listen Before I Go and I Love You.

Other times, her stories are just stories 17-year-olds tell, like Strange Obsession, her ode to The Office.

Sometimes, it's a mixture of the two, as on Xanny, where she talks about not drinking or doing drugs while her friends do, singing: "I'm in their second-hand smoke / Still just drinking canned coke". But then she adds: "I can't afford to love someone / Who isn't dying by mistake in Silver Lake", a reference to a friends slowly "killing themselves" with substances.

She tackles her demons in Bury A Friend, takes on global warming in All The Good Girls Go To Hell, laments unrequited love in Wish You Were Gay, and on I Love You, tells a story of a unique kind of heartache far beyond her years.

Billie Eilish, much like Lorde, who paved the way for her, is one of the storytellers of her generation. At times she is relatable and playful and deceptively simplistic in her lyricism, at others she is more poetic and insightful than artists twice her age.

And it's not just lyricism, her incredible vocals go a long way toward bringing her stories to life.

Her breathy mid-range portrays longing and regret, while her pinpoint falsetto wrings at your heart in a way that makes your shoulders shrug up as if she's physically touching you.


Elsewhere, her gritty lower register kicks in over bass-heavy tracks for sneering vocals about being more bad than the bad-boy, taking control and kicking ass.

And through it all, she plays with pop, hip-hop and the classical choral style in which she was trained, with enviable clarity, control and confidence.

When We All Fall Asleep Where Do We Go is a stunning debut that leaves no question of Eilish's talent, singularity or importance. The only question is left is just what will she do next?

Billie Eilish - When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

Artist: Billie Eilish
Album: When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
Label: Universal
Verdict: A stunning, emotional and badass debut