Review: Billie Eilish – No Time To Die

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Vulnerable

While unmistakably Billie Eilish, the singers foray in the world of James Bond is moody, powerful and undeniably chilling.

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When the new James Bond singer is announced, there’s always a moment of hesitation and questioning. Where in past years the singers have always had an immediate presence among the varying demographics of Bond watchers, Billie Eilish seemed to be an artist who had too specific an audience (teenagers through to young adults) to look like the right call. However, this hasn’t stopped her making a genuinely phenomenal and haunting James Bond, merging her unmistakable sound with that of the usual stylings of previous Bond songs, creating not one of the best songs of her career, but one of the best Bond songs ever.

The song starts off remarkably simple, not instantly recognisable in the same way as previous Bond songs have been. With a simple piano melody and moody ambient sounds, it gently leads into Eilish’s vocals as she sings through the subtly haunting lyrics like, “that the blood you bleed is just the blood you owe”. As No Time To Die (set to be released on April 3rd) is set to be a deeply personal foray into the life of James Bond, Eilish uses her lyrics to explore the idea of betrayal and hidden secrets that seem ready to sit within the scope of the next film. “I’d fallen for a lie”, “another lesson yet to learn” and “fool me once, fool me twice” are all examples of these very themes and work in highlighting a more profound sense of vulnerability in the Daniel Craig’s final outing as James Bond. As she builds to the chorus, a fanfare sounds in the background which becomes the first hint of the iconic Bond sound that all previous songs have adhered to.

When the chorus begins, another modern iconic addition of the electric guitar finally solidifies the song as an unmistakable Bond song with the same flourished stylings that have gone on to define many of the series’ great theme songs. When the chorus begins building into a crescendo, the emotional rawness behind the lyrics and its simplicity help compliment each other and start to hound the reflective element that both film and song seem to take. It continues in this way, continuously layering elements of sound to create progress even when the music isn’t rising in volume, helping to create a sense of development that charts its way throughout the song until the refrain and outro. Vocally, Eilish gives the most impressive vocals of her career so far in the song’s refrain when she delivers the powerful ‘no time to die’ by itself, the final note lingering on until breaking into the melancholy conclusion of the outro. The outro ends the song in the same way it started, Eilish’s voice and the piano, before inverting the tradition of starting the song with its distinctive leitmotif by instead ending on it.

As the youngest artist to record a James Bond song, Billie Eilish proves once again how formidable she is in the world of music, creating a truly remarkable Bond theme song that will go undoubtedly go down in history.

Billie Eilish’s ‘No Time To Die’ is out now via Darkroom/Interscope Records.

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News Editor 20-21. A second-year English student with a passion for absolutely everything (but especially literature and drama) apart from his degree.

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