Billie Eilish’s New Album ‘Hit Me Hard and Soft’ Track by Track

Billie Eilish released her third studio album, Hit Me Hard and Soft, on May 17, following an announcement where she added all of her followers to her close friends list on Instagram. Now, the highly anticipated album has been out for a week, becoming her third No. 1 album, and we’ve explored and explained all ten tracks. Here, we’ve discussed their effectiveness, lyricism, and overall vibe.

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[RELATED: Ranking the Top 5 Songs by Billie Eilish]

Billie Eilish’s Hit Me Hard and Soft Explored Track by Track


The album opens up with the song “SKINNY,” a melancholic lament where Eilish employs her vocal prowess clearly and desperately. It’s a soft, lilting start, using reverb to amplify Eilish’s breathy voice. It’s a song that feels like being underwater, but one that also calls to mind “DeSelby Part 1” from Hozier’s recent album Unreal Unearth, which feels like being buried. There’s a sense of innate sadness in this song that comes out in the use of strings near the end.

Eilish starts the album out strong, setting an immediate tone that she keeps up with throughout the album. There’s emotion behind these vocals. This is the softness on Hit Me Hard and Soft, pulling listeners into the environment Billie Eilish has created.


Eilish is fully leaning into her sexuality in this song, a sexuality she had assumed everyone already knew about. She came out recently almost by accident in a Variety interview, mostly because she thought people had already guessed she is “for the girls.” This song is a sexy bop set against a backdrop of nervous softness. “LUNCH” is an exploration of being attracted to someone who you just want to devour, but also there’s a sweet innocence in the line I think she might be the one. It’s simple, but it’s also Eilish asserting her sexuality in a powerful yet tender way.


There are some beautifully haunting vocals on “CHIHIRO” that really make this song. The title is a reference to the main character of the Studio Ghibli film Spirited Away, which Eilish has cited as a major influence. Lyrically, this song hits at stepping away from a love, taking a break, but coming back and not recognizing the other person anymore.

There is also imagery of closed and open doors, which directly reflects the album cover. There’s a sense that the speaker is trying to get someone to open up about their relationship, to get serious about it. However, the person keeps that door closed. Overall, there are many references to Spirited Away, such as forgetting, losing your personality, and having your name stolen.

There are also direct references to the film in the line I was waiting in the garden—there is a scene where Chihiro sneaks out of the bathhouse to meet Haku, the dragon spirit, in the garden. There, he gives her the clothes that were taken from her and a card that helps her remember her name.


Essentially, this is a love song with some twists and turns. “BIRDS OF A FEATHER” is more of a bittersweet love song, as it employs darker imagery and themes than a typical love song. I want you to stay / Til I’m in the grave / Til I rot away, dead and buried / Til I’m in the casket you carry / If you go I’m going too, Eilish sings in the opening verse. Later, she accuses the subject of being full of s–t, and the song takes a turn.

There’s sense that the subject is trying to break things off for a stupid reason and the speaker is telling them so. I love you, don’t act so surprised, Eilish sings in the final line, and that’s where we get the feeling that the other person is unsure or nervous about the speaker’s intense love. They’re being dumb about it when it should just be natural, according to the speaker.


This song seemingly recounts the speaker’s experience comforting a friend after a breakup, then engaging in a romantic relationship with the person who the friend broke up with. It’s a bit of a double-cross situation, in a “don’t date your best friend’s ex” sort of way.

Eilish mentions the new partner, asking if they can see the ex when they look at her—And I wonder / Do you see her in the back of your mind in my eyes? There are also hints that the speaker’s relationship isn’t going well either. Valentine’s Day, cryin’ in the hotel / I know you didn’t mean to hurt me, so I kept it to myself.


Billie Eilish recently shared that she cried after performing this song for the first time. “I love that song so much. That song is really, really special to me. I literally performed it the other day and cried after,” she told BBC Radio 1, per a report from NME.

“THE GREATEST” is a highly evocative and emotional song that recounts moments of vulnerability disguised as over-confidence. It paints a picture of sacrifice for another person, waiting around for them to want you, and congratulating yourself for your patience when you should really be reevaluating how they treat you.

Eilish sings in the second verse, Doing what’s right / Without a reward / And we don’t have to fight / When it’s not worth fighting for, hinting that she’s done the self-reflection required to realize the situation isn’t going anywhere positive. The following verses hit on this revelation as well—I loved you / And I still do / Just wanted passion from you / Just wanted what I gave you, and final chorus, Man, am I the greatest / God, I hate it / All my love and patience / Unappreciated / You said your heart was jaded / You couldn’t even break it / I shouldn’t have to say it / You could have been the greatest.


French for “Love of My Life,” Eilish uses her title ironically in relation to the lyrics. She sings about a former love of her life, yet the details of the relationship are all negative. Every lyric is a gut punch, there is barely room to breathe during this song, which is what makes it so successful.

Thought I was depressed or losing my mind / My stomach upset almost all of the time / But after I left it was obvious why / Because for you / I was the love of your life / But you were not mine, Eilish sings in the chorus. She holds nothing back in this song, singing in the bridge, It’s not my fault, I did what I could / You made it so hard like I knew you would.


This song puts fame in perspective from the point of view of a stalker. There are obsessive themes throughout, which touch on real-life experiences Eilish has had with stalkers. The speaker expresses a sense of desperation at not having the object of their affection, breaking into their house and leaving a “calling card,” then getting in trouble with the police. Overall, this song shoves the dark side of fame in our faces, calling out stalkers and obsessed fans for being invasive.


“BITTERSUITE” is broken up into parts reminiscent of a classical suite. Part I focuses on the speaker’s distance from her body as she looks down on herself interacting with a love interest—You were in the foyer / I was on my knees / Outside of my body / Watching from above / I see the way you want me / I wanna be the one. There is a sense of contradictory emotions, both wanting and not wanting someone. Conflict is a big emotion in this song.

Part II continues that unobtainable expression of wanting using physical pleasure. Eilish sings, I don’t need to breathe when you look at me, all I see is green / And I think that we’re in between everything I’ve seen / In my dream, have it once a week, can’t land on my feet / Can’t sleep, have you underneath all of my beliefs / Keep it brief / I’ll be in the suite / Keep me off my feet.

There’s also a possibility that this song is linked to “L’AMOUR DE MA VIE,” as Eilish uses that phrase in the lyrics. L’amour de ma vie / Love so bittersweet / Open up the door for me / ‘Cause I’m still on my knees / I’m staying off my feet, she sings in the second verse. There are threads between Part I and II, as well as with “L’AMOUR DE MA VIE,” in ways that make it seem like a few of these songs are related to Eilish’s relationship with The Neighbourhood’s Jesse Rutherford.


The final track on the album, “BLUE” is interesting as it’s a reworked mashup of two of Eilish’s older songs, “True Blue” and “Born Blue.” The former was a song she and her brother Finneas O’Connell wrote when they were 14 and 18, respectively. The demo leaked in February 2022, and Eilish was moved to work on it again. The latter was a song that was supposed to feature on Happier Than Ever, but was cut.

“True Blue” features the same chorus, but reworks the verse into a reflection of the entire album—I thought we were the same / Birds of a feather, now I’m ashamed / I told you a lie, désolée, mon amour / I’m trying my best, don’t know what’s in store / Open up the door / In the back of my mind, I’m still overseas / A bird in a cage, thought you were made for me.

“Born Blue,” meanwhile, features a character who lived through an emotionally distant family, exploring their adult life. During the outro, Eilish says, But when can I hear the next one? which is fueling rumors that she’s releasing a second part to the album.

Overall, Billie Eilish’s Hit Me Hard and Soft is a Success

The verdict on Billie Eilish’s Hit Me Hard and Soft is that it’s evocative and enlightening while also being reserved in a good way. It’s well produced, the beats are crisp and clean, and her vocals and songwriting have matured. Clocking in at a short 43 minutes and 50 seconds, it’s a well-put-together capsule of Eilish’s current vibe. Not everything has to be a whopping 31 songs long, and Eilish proves with this album that sometimes less is more.

Featured Image by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images for ABA

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