Billie Eilish Bond Theme 'One of the Best in Decades'

'No Time to Die' was released at midnight
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2020 6:07 AM CST
Updated Feb 14, 2020 7:02 AM CST

At 18, Billie Eilish is the youngest singer ever to record a James Bond theme song—and critics say her haunting new theme tune has captured the spirit of a spy series that was old long before she was born. The American singer released "No Time to Die" at midnight Thursday and will perform it live for the first time at the Brit Awards next week. The movie, Daniel Craig's last outing as the superspy, is due out in April. Some reactions:

  • Eilish wrote and produced the song with brother Finneas O'Connell, and the duo "retain their dark, off-kilter style throughout the song, while incorporating several of the film series' musical touchstones—swelling strings, discordant brass, and, best of all, it finishes with the distinctive minor 9th chord that closes out Monty Norman's original Bond theme," writes Mark Savage at the BBC.

  • This is "one of the better Bond songs of the last 25 or 30 years, coming in ahead of a lot of entries that seemed promising and didn’t really work," including "underwhelming efforts from Chris Cornell and the team of Jack White and Alicia Keys, worthy artists that tried to contemporize the idea of what a Bond theme should be, at their mortal peril," writes Chris Willman at Variety. Recent efforts from Adele and Sam Smith were an improvement, he writes, but Eilish does a better job of "both acknowledging the John Barry musical tradition and sticking with something is very much hers and hers alone."
  • Alexis Petridis at the Guardian calls "No Time to Die" a "confident, appealing addition to the Bond theme canon." With lyrics like "I should have known I’d leave alone—it just goes to show that the blood you bleed is just the blood you own," the song "smartly refracts the Daniel Craig depiction of Bond—dark, solitary, and tormented beneath the cool exterior—through Eilish’s signature brand of teen angst," he writes.
(Read more Billie Eilish stories.)

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