Bad gal vibes from Billie

Bad gal vibes from Billie

Billie Eilish's haul of five awards at the 2020 Grammys is most deserving despite what the critics say.

Billie Eilish wrote her first single ‘Ocean Eyes’ when she was all of 14. Even in this debut work, her writing was nuanced. Her last year’s album ‘When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?’ feels like a sort of culmination of all that she began with ‘Ocean Eyes’.

The singer-songwriter’s haul of five awards at the 2020 Grammys is proof of her immense talent, tremendous ability to jump across genres and appeal to a wide audience. Billie is the youngest and the only female artiste to have won in all these categories at one go. Critics have been claiming that this is yet another biased award ceremony where the trophies have all been handed over to Whites. In the case of Billie at least, that feels like a terribly unfair accusation.

The American popstar has experimented with many genres — be it alternative pop, indie or even ambient and her sometimes tender, sometimes guttural voice lends itself to innovation and how! Remember her 2018 collaboration with Khalid for ‘Lovely’?  (Incidentally, this was also part of the 13 Reasons Why soundtrack.)

But, of course, her recent best work has to be ‘Bad Guy’. And no, we will not brook any argument against this opinion. The song is disturbing, claustrophobic, provoking and eerie all at the same time. Billie’s inspired whispers and the stutter effect at its peak moments give the song an edge like no other. Reviewers have called the number ‘anti-pop’ and one tends to agree wholeheartedly. It is anti-everything you expect — as the song goes — ‘I am only good at being bad...’ One might well add, yes lady, you are good at being bad. Too good, in fact.

Play By Ear will showcase a potential earworm every week for you, the discerning listener, who is on the hunt for some musical serendipity and is keen to explore genres beyond pop and Bollywood.

 

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