Billie Eilish’s Bond theme checks all the boxes

Four stars

Billie Eilish’s meteoric ascent to success continues with the release of ‘No Time To Die’, the Bond theme for the upcoming film of the same name. There are undoubtedly unspoken musical codes and conventions for a James Bond theme, but the track does a good job in blending the elements we’ve come to expect from one, while also adding stylistic elements that suit Billie’s music.

From the very beginning there are musical features that are synonymous with Bond themes: quiet piano lines, dark chord progressions, and soft horns in the background. However ‘No Time To Die’ is noticeably more stripped back than most Bond themes, complementing Billie’s softer and subtler vocal performance. Speaking of her performance, while Billie does mostly stay within her usual range, her vocals are more pronounced, and at some points she is able to showcase parts of her voice and range that we don’t usually hear from her solo work.

The grand horns and orchestral flourishes in the first chorus are of course also things we expect, but the soft drumbeat that follows leading into the next verse provides for a great transition, and allows for different parts of the song to have a distinct style and flavour. Overall, ‘No Time To Die’ checks all the boxes we expect from a Bond theme but does it in a way that plays to Billie’s strengths, letting her expand her range and highlight her exceptional vocals.

Image: crommelincklars via Wikimedia Commons