When it was announced that Billie Eilish would record the theme for the newest version of “James Bond 007,” many skeptics raised their brows, questioning the young artist’s ability to match the previous, highly successful theme songs, including Alicia Keys’s “Another Way to Die,” Adele’s “Skyfall” or Sam Smith’s “Writing’s on the Wall.” While she’s built her fame on empty space and electronic sounds, her new single “No Time To Die” proves that she and her brother Finneas are a versatile duo capable of a complete switch-up to the softer side.
The song contains many of the elements we’ve seen in previous Bond themes — stark piano, sharp orchestration, lyrics about a person’s unwillingness to die — but “No Time To Die” transcends past Bond themes by incorporating Eilish’s distinct qualities, while simultaneously pushing her limits. The tune opens with Eilish’s well known mix of muttering and quivering, but as the song reaches its climax, she manages to crescendo into a strong tone we’ve never seen her attempt before.
With its preservation of tradition and subtle push into a new realm, “No Time To Die” invites a new generation into the Bond Legacy. Billie Eilish has produced a confident addition to the Bond tradition and has proved that she can step outside of her comfort zone, paving the way for other young artists to preserve and rework older music traditions.