“bad guy” is the second track off of young pop genius Billie Eilish’s highly anticpated debut album: “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?”. Written by both Eilish and her brother Finneas O’Connell (also known as FINNEAS), the song is catchy, dark and enticing all at the same time.
As with a lot of Eilish’s songs (such as “bury a friend”), they often tell a story, and “bad guy” is no different. The song has an upbeat tempo with a heavy bass and kick-drum components, making it Eilish’s most upbeat track to date. The tracks is Eilish stating how she is the bad guy in this relationship, not her lover, while also poking fun and questioning her lover’s tough nature and image. “So you’re a tough guy? / Like it really rough guy? / Chest always so puffed guy”, Eilish questions in the chorus, leading us to believe her lover is the one we should be afraid of. However, she follows the chorus up with: “I’m that bad type / Make your mama sad type / Make your girlfriend made type / Might seduce your dad type / I’m the bad guy”, revealing that in fact, she is the one to be afraid of. Eilish also challenges her lover and plays games with him, telling him that “I like it when you take control / Even if you know that you don’t”. Billie also states that her mother normally likes to sing her songs along with her, however she cannot with this one, as she believes her mother will “pity the men” she knows. The bridge of the track has a completely different beat and sound to the rest of the track, turning into a darker more intimate beat with eeiry tones. “I like when you get mad / I guess I’m pretty glad that you’re alone / You said she’s scared of me? / I mean, I don’t see what she sees / But maybe it’s ‘cause I’m wearing your cologne”, Billie states in the bridge, revealing the extent of her “bad guy” character.
The music video was released the same day as the album, the 29th March 2019. Directed by Dave Meyers, it begins with Billie Eilish breaking through a yellow backdrop and taking her Invisalign retainers out and handing them over to a man dressed like a security guard, while the opening song of the album ““!!!!!!!” plays (the track is simply Eilish removing her retainer and laughing about it to her brother). In the video, Eilish is seen pouring milk into a man’s mouth, using him as a bowl of cereal, as well as cycling on kid’s toy bicycles with men around her. She also dances in the same room as the opening scene. At the bridge of the track, Eilish is sitting cross legged on a topless man who is doing push-ups. The room is a sinister dark red, and Eilish gives off an extremely villain-like character. As of April 2019, the video has almost 60 million views and over 2.7 million likes. Billie Eilish has previously stated that she creatively directs and creates concepts for her music videos.
Release Date: 29th March 2019
Songwriter/s: Billie O’Connell, Finneas O’Connell
Producer/s: Finneas O’Connell
Label/s: Darkroom, Interscope
Music Video Release Date: 29th March 2019
Music Video Director: Dave Meyers
Chart Rankings: The track reached #1 in the charts in Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, New Zealand, Norway, and Slovakia. It also made it into the Finnish charts, UK charts and France. “bad guy” is Eilish’s highest charting single in the US to date, ranking #7. The track is also #1 on the UK Spotify Charts.