Full disclosure: I have not been able to get into Billie Eilish’s music. It might just be me, but as music, it feels a bit too nondescript. I’m sure her persona as a teenaged girl in a yellow hoodie with a Kubrick stare is a breath of fresh air from all the pop stars who rely on sex appeal, and is no doubt both relatable and a massive inspiration to many teenagers, but when I listen to music, I want, first and foremost, to listen to music, and not think about the image she’s cultivating for herself. Maybe it’s that she’s developed a load of hype that I can’t really justify with her music. But, of course, that’s just One Anglophile’s Take on Billie Eilish. Odds are, other people on the site disagree with me, and that’s fine.
But I’m not here to talk about how underwhelmed I personally was by “Bad Guy.” I’m here to talk about this:
Last month, she was announced as the writer/singer for the next Bond theme, “No Time to Die.” Last week at the Oscars, she talked about it, saying: “It feels crazy to be a part of this in every way. To be able to score the theme song to a film that is part of such a legendary series is a huge honour. James Bond is the coolest film franchise ever to exist. I’m still in shock”. She confirmed that it was “Written and done”, and that writing one of their theme songs was “a life goal, to be sure.”
She implied that she was going to premiere the song at the ceremony. Instead, she (and her brother Finneas), did this:
And if she did more stuff like this, I might actually have been able to get into her music. But what of “No Time to Die”? Eh, it’s okay. It doesn’t sound much different from the last two Bond themes I covered, but the orchestral textures of John William do help elevate it, as does the guitar work from Johnny Marr, even if it is hard to hear. It’s no “Goldfinger,” and probably isn’t even much of a “Another Way to Die,” but it’s okay.