Perspective | Billie Eilish earned that Oscar

Perspective | Billie Eilish earned that Oscar

Waylaid in the psychic muck of a songwriting slump, Billie Eilish got an auspicious homework assignment from Hollywood last year, and instead of handing in something pink and sufficient, she ended up establishing a direct line of communication with God.

That might be the easiest way to understand “What Was I Made For?,” the existential piano ballad that just took the Oscar for best original song at Sunday night’s Academy Awards in Los Angeles. Eilish’s task was to write a tune for Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie,” and with the help of her brother-collaborator Finneas, she sang from the perspective of a plastic doll with disarming sentience and supreme grace, creating something that sounded like a lullaby but felt more like a prayer. Having already delivered a conspicuously breathy performance of the song earlier in the ceremony, Eilish sounded half-breathless while accepting her prize: “I’m so grateful for this song, and this movie, and the way that it made me feel.”

Even in the context of an intellectual property comedy that’s been galactically applauded for being better than it needed to be, “What Was I Made For?” is doubly better than it needed to be. It’s a plea to the universe that we’ve all cried out in our loneliest hours — What is life and why am I in it? — with Eilish posing the song’s titular question in an ASMR whisper that breezes through the chasm between annihilation and hope. “Think I forgot how to be happy,” she sings, gently nudging herself out of the abyss. “Something I’m not, but something I can be, something I wait for.”

This is clearly the top-tier work of an overachiever who, now, unfortunately, runs the risk of being overprized. This is Eilish’s second Oscar in this category, her jazzy James Bond theme “No Time to Die” having won the trophy in 2022. Over at the Grammys, Eilish swept the top four categories in 2020, and “What Was I Made For?” won the Grammy for song of the year just last month. The 22-year-old has said in interviews that being asked to write about Barbie released her from the paralyzing pressure of writing lyrics about herself — which, in a serendipitous mental somersault, allowed her to do exactly that. So who is she now? Certainly more than a homework-doer or a trophy collector. The answer is something we’ll wait for.

Source link

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Translate »
Scroll to Top
Donald Trump Could Be Bitcoin’s Biggest Price Booster: Experts USWNT’s Olympic Final Standard Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting Highlights What to see in New York City galleries in May Delhi • Bomb threat • National Capital Region • School