Sunday, May 26, 2019

Billie Eilish's Music is Terrible

Having heard the music of Billie Eilish on  the radio and blaring on the speakers at  my favorite trendy breakfast restaurants (why do the places with the best brunch play the worst pop music?), I can conclude she is terrible. Not as a human being, but her music is awful. Her whisper-singing that people act like is some new crazy idea is ripped-off wholesale from artists such as Erykah Badu, her lyrics are empty and vapid like a 14 year-old who thinks they're super-deep, and the music in her songs just is drab and droning. I admire she is open about her struggles with mental illness and has sought-help when she's needed it (she encourages others with mental illness to do so as well), but her music is still just plain bad.

For one example of why Eilish music is equivalent to aural homicide, the song, "Bury a Friend," has people raving about its minimalist sound and how creative Eilish is for having it be from the point of view of the monster under her bed. I think it just sounds like a grinding mess of barley-there audio and empty lyrics vaguely motioning at some kind of, "Statement." I don't think I've hated a new pop star's music this much since Alessia Cara and her ditties such as, "Here," that induce bleeding from the ears as she whines about not enjoying being at a lame party. Leave the damn party then, Alessia, especially if that kid throwing up all over himself is making as big of a mess as you describe!
These are some of the choice, "Amazing lyrics," from, "Bury a Friend."
I am completely aware I have complained about today's popular music before and probably come off as an out-of-touch geezer who doesn't understand what, "The kids," are into these days. You can think that, but I think there are other new (and established) artists putting out new work who are incredible and deserve a lot more attention and fame than Eilish and her inexplicably beloved songs.


  1. I'm dumfounded as to what qualifies as good today. Growing up in the 70s-80s I was exposed to multitudes of real artists will actual talent. I'm almost offended at what is acceptable and sadly applauded today. Thank God for YouTube, downloaded music and old vinyl.

  2. This has got to be some of the worst garbage I have ever heard. This is what passes for music now? Absolutely horrible.

    1. Hi I am 16 years old. People my age typically are captured into songs like hers. But honestly I couldn't agree with you more.

    2. As one of "the kids" and part of her target demographic, do you know *why* your cohort likes her music? Is it the appeal of "life's messed up and so am I", is it the appeal of a Lady Gaga outlandishness coupled with a different sound, or is it just cuz of the inescapable marketing on youtube/tiktok/insta?

  3. It's not really the "music" that's popular today. It's all about the video. Go back and watch the "videos" of the really good stuff from the '70s, when the video was a supplement to the music. Those videos are pretty horrible. Back then, you had to have actual MUSICAL talent to have a following. The video age ruined the music business for people who love to listen. Think about how may "artists" would never have been allowed on the radio in the last several years, if not for hard-edged and/or sexed-up videos.

  4. I miss the 70s and I wasn't even alive back then. I'm a kid in this generation. I just don't understand why people like bad music, rap is awful, Eilish is just horrid. Now a days, people can't tell whether Jimi Hendrix played guitar or piano left handed.

  5. That is true today's music is terrible and I am forced to listen to it in the car, at the ice rink, and on tv

  6. Its true the music is trash

  7. Hi I'm Divanee. just an ordinary teenager. I respect the fact that Billie has worked tremendously hard to get where she is right now but honestly commenting, I have no admiration towards her music. To me it's demonic and makes me feel depressed. To me her choice of lyrics and sound makes me feel uncomfortable for some reason. Well I hope you all are well and safe. Thank you David for the news.

  8. I am a 60 year old man and grew up listening to the Beatles, Stones, Pink Floyd, David Bowie, The Who, Steely Dan, etc. I don't know what any of you are talking about. Her music is outstanding. She did win all those Grammy awards. Give her music a serious critical listen.

  9. It just hurts my ears to listen to her "singing"

  10. hello, fairly successful musician here. I will render an unbiased professional opinion on this topic.

    Billie Eilish is one of the latest artists. Of course it is a big thing at the moment. However, the same was said of Creed, Four Non Blondes, Donovan, Cherry Weiner, Smoky Robinson, Tchaikovsky, and any number of great artists that some people might be hard pressed to name these days.

    Music goes in phases - what's here today can often be gone tomorrow. Typically what is considered "well known" has high buzz in the moment.

    I have seen generational gaps appear. Having talked to many thousands of people, parents, fans, and students, there is a huge and growing number of the populace who cannot even name artists like Jimi Hendrix or Bob Dylan, or the Beatles. They simply do not know who they are.

    When I listen to Billie Eilish, I am hearing the same chromatic structures, 12 notes, and standard pop chord patterns that I have heard from the Stones to Joplin to Abba and Elton John to Sugarhill Gang to Nirvana and countless other artists. However, they have been packaged into a 'new' presentation, aimed the younger audiences, who still are excited about music. To them it is new and they are hearing it for the first time.

    Personally the music of Billie Eilish or any modern artist to me sounds good, it is recorded well, but it does not have the the same real weight and worth, that you get from say Dylan or Tchaikovsky's arrangements that are based on the language of blues and coming from the suffering of a large people, with decades in the making of history and emotion, and a musical evolution that stretches beyond even those years.

    I think Billie Eilish's arguments and perspectives might carry more weight if the bulk of her fans and the fans of modern music were to look in retrospect at the great artists that have come before. If these fans were to appreciate older music the way they do Billie Eilish's music I think they would realize that they have certainly missed a big picture if they can name a Billie Eilish song and not a Hendrix, Django, Bach, Rhoda Scott, Ella Fitzgerald, or Aretha piece.

    I do not think that if you put Billie Eilish in the 60s she would be successful, much the same if you popped Woody Guthrie in the present day, or featured him on the Voice, would he be successful? I really don't think so.

    You must understand that these days an artist's financial success can exist entirely separately from their musical success. Greta Van Fleet has been selling out stadiums and arenas while contributing very little in the way of an original sound or work, much the same way Led Zeppelin got blamed for ripping off songs.

    Taken into this context, it is likely Billie Eilish and her team can be seen more in a sense of being a "businesswoman" rather than an artist, at least in the sense of original and creative artists of yesteryear. The work has meaning, especially to the current generation, but it has not actually or musically broken new ground, lyrically or otherwise, I'm very sad to say. However, if she sticks with it, her work may mature, just as Michael Jackson or Tom Waits or any other artist's work does over time.

    Some of this you can blame on the human lifespan. It is short - and so the youth attention span in short. They speak where they might otherwise benefit from listening. Why would they look at artists of the past, much less appreciate them? So you have situations like with Billie Eilish where they are immensely popular. It remains to be seen if Billie will be forgotten the way the Beatles in some ways have.

    The summary of my perspective is this. Modern culture has evolved to forget about the past - that is their loss, it's everyone's loss. All fans everywhere should do the work to appreciate all artists equally - they would then know true worth, and make better judgment about what is real/deserving artists. I guarantee you if they did all that, it wouldn't just be only Billie Eilish in that realization and judgment.

  11. Pay a listen to Fiona Apple for a comparison of similar music with actual musical talent. Eilish obviously has talent in some regime, but consider the fact she made her album in her bedroom. Free Bird could not have happened that way.

  12. I don't agree with the position that music changes over time as justification for Eilish. Obviously, standards and tastes vary but you can see similarity between Beethoven and Led Zepplin. To claim it is the same twelve notes is a trivial point since this is a tautology in western music.

    What is unfortunate is that there is even a debate whether Eilish's music is good, because it's not music. That should be the discussion.

  13. Shes perfect for 2020! The talentless garbage that passes for music today is an embarrassment and a joke.