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Billie Eilish - Hit Me Hard and Soft (Album Review)

Monday, 20 May 2024 Written by Will Marshall

Photo: William Drumm

In anticipation of her third album, Billie Eilish didn’t release any advance singles. It has proved to be a smart move on a couple of counts — not only did hype reach fever pitch as the release date edged ever closer, but ‘Hit Me Hard and Soft’ deserves to be consumed as a whole. This is Eilish’s strongest work to date, continuing her creative evolution while maintaining her grip on the whisper-pop dynamic that made her name.

In many ways, this is an examination of being under public scrutiny from such a young age. The opener, Skinny, is a tender reflection on body image, lit up by a lush string break. “People say I look happy just because I got skinny,” Eilish sings. “But the old me is still me and maybe the real me / And I think she’s pretty.”

The sapphic Lunch explores her queerness over propulsive drums and gently popping guitars, while Chihora throws beat and genre switches into the mix, its laconic bass giving way to pulsing, trancelike synths.

Even better, Eilish has expanded her vocal repertoire with moments where she’s practically belting alongside her quasi-ASMR approach.

If its front half is, at least musically, sunnier, the second LP’s second half lurks in less comfortable pastures. Lyrics from earlier — such as the “bird in a cage” that echoes from both ends of the album in Skinny and Blue — cycle back with new, darker musical undertones. At times ‘Hit Me Hard and Soft’ has the unsettling intimacy of an intrusive thought, bubbling away and occasionally breaking the surface.

It relies upon careful craftsmanship and an eye for detail, but also Eilish’s confidence in herself as an artist. ‘Hit Me Hard and Soft’ is bracingly vulnerable as she explores young adulthood and fame’s effects on her own life, with the gentleness of her delivery and understated production underscoring an album that’s actually her boldest and best yet. 

Billie Eilish Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Sun September 29 2024 - QUEBEC QC - Centre Videotron (Canada)
Tue October 01 2024 - TORONTO ON - Scotiabank Arena (Canada)
Wed October 02 2024 - TORONTO ON - Scotiabank Arena (Canada)
Fri October 04 2024 - BALTIMORE Maryland - CFG Bank Arena (USA)
Sat October 05 2024 - PHILADELPHIA Pennsylvania - Wells Fargo Center (USA)
Mon October 07 2024 - DETROIT Michigan - Little Caesars Arena (USA)
Wed October 09 2024 - NEWARK New Jersey - Prudential Center (USA)
Fri October 11 2024 - BOSTON Massachusetts - TD Garden (USA)
Sun October 13 2024 - PITTSBURGH Pennsylvania - PPG Paints Arena (USA)
Wed October 16 2024 - NEW YORK New York - Madison Square Garden (USA)
Thu October 17 2024 - NEW YORK New York - Madison Square Garden (USA)
Fri October 18 2024 - NEW YORK New York - Madison Square Garden (USA)
Sat November 02 2024 - ATLANTA Georgia - State Farm Arena (USA)
Sun November 03 2024 - ATLANTA Georgia - State Farm Arena (USA)
Wed November 06 2024 - NASHVILLE Tennessee - Bridgestone Arena (USA)
Fri November 08 2024 - CINCINNATI Ohio - Heritage Bank Center (USA)
Sun November 10 2024 - SAINT PAUL Minnesota - Xcel Energy Center (USA)
Mon November 11 2024 - SAINT PAUL Minnesota - Xcel Energy Center (USA)
Wed November 13 2024 - CHICAGO Illinois - United Center (USA)
Thu November 14 2024 - CHICAGO Illinois - United Center (USA)
Sat November 16 2024 - KANSAS CITY Missouri - T Mobile Center (USA)
Sun November 17 2024 - OMAHA Nebraska - CHI Health Center (USA)
Tue November 19 2024 - DENVER Colorado - Ball Arena (USA)
Wed November 20 2024 - DENVER Colorado - Ball Arena (USA)
Tue December 03 2024 - VANCOUVER BC - Rogers Arena (Canada)
Thu December 05 2024 - SEATTLE Washington - Climate Pledge Arena (USA)
Fri December 06 2024 - SEATTLE Washington - Climate Pledge Arena (USA)
Sun December 08 2024 - PORTLAND Oregon - Moda Center (USA)
Tue December 10 2024 - SAN JOSE California - SAP Center (USA)
Wed December 11 2024 - SAN JOSE California - SAP Center (USA)
Fri December 13 2024 - GLENDALE Arizona - Desert Diamond Arena (USA)
Sun December 15 2024 - INGLEWOOD California - Kia Forum (USA)
Mon December 16 2024 - INGLEWOOD California - Kia Forum (USA)
Tue December 17 2024 - INGLEWOOD California - Kia Forum (USA)

Tue February 18 2025 - BRISBANE Entertainment Centre
Wed February 19 2025 - BRISBANE Entertainment Centre
Fri February 21 2025 - BRISBANE Entertainment Centre
Sat February 22 2025 - BRISBANE Entertainment Centre
Mon February 24 2025 - SYDNEY Qudos Bank Arena
Tue February 25 2025 - SYDNEY Qudos Bank Arena
Thu February 27 2025 - SYDNEY Qudos Bank Arena
Fri February 28 2025 - SYDNEY Qudos Bank Arena
Tue March 04 2025 - MELBOURNE Rod Laver Arena
Wed March 05 2025 - MELBOURNE Rod Laver Arena
Fri March 07 2025 - MELBOURNE Rod Laver Arena
Sat March 08 2025 - MELBOURNE Rod Laver Arena

Wed April 23 2025 - STOCKHOLM Avicii Arena (Sweden)
Thu April 24 2025 - STOCKHOLM Avicii Arena (Sweden)
Sat April 26 2025 - OSLO Telenor Arena (Norway)
Mon April 28 2025 - COPENHAGEN Royal Arena (Denmark)
Tue April 29 2025 - COPENHAGEN Royal Arena (Denmark)
Fri May 02 2025 - HANNOVER ZAG Arena (Germany)
Sun May 04 2025 - AMSTERDAM Ziggo Dome (Netherlands)
Mon May 05 2025 - AMSTERDAM Ziggo Dome (Netherlands)
Wed May 07 2025 - AMSTERDAM Ziggo Dome (Netherlands)
Fri May 09 2025 - BERLIN Uber Arena (Germany)
Thu May 29 2025 - COLOGNE Lanxess Arena (Germany)
Fri May 30 2025 - COLOGNE Lanxess Arena (Germany)
Sun June 01 2025 - PRAGUE O2 Arena (Czech Republic)
Tue June 03 2025 - KRAKOW Tauron Arena (Poland)
Wed June 04 2025 - KRAKOW Tauron Arena (Poland)
Fri June 06 2025 - VIENNA Stadthalle (Austria)
Sun June 08 2025 - BOLOGNA Unipol Arena (Italy)
Tue June 10 2025 - PARIS Accor Arena (France)
Wed June 11 2025 - PARIS Accor Arena (France)
Sat June 14 2025 - BARCELONA Palau Sant Jordi (Spain)
Sun June 15 2025 - BARCELONA Palau Sant Jordi (Spain)

Mon July 07 2025 - GLASGOW OVO Hydro
Tue July 08 2025 - GLASGOW OVO Hydro
Thu July 10 2025 - LONDON O2 Arena
Fri July 11 2025 - LONDON O2 Arena
Sun July 13 2025 - LONDON O2 Arena
Mon July 14 2025 - LONDON O2 Arena
Wed July 16 2025 - LONDON O2 Arena
Thu July 17 2025 - LONDON O2 Arena
Sat July 19 2025 - MANCHESTER Co Op Live
Sun July 20 2025 - MANCHESTER Co Op Live
Tue July 22 2025 - MANCHESTER Co Op Live
Wed July 23 2025 - MANCHESTER Co Op Live
Sat July 26 2025 - DUBLIN 3Arena
Sun July 27 2025 - DUBLIN 3Arena

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