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Billie Eilish — When I Was Older
Album: Music Inspired by the film Roma
Avg rating:
6.5

Your rating:
Total ratings: 2908









Released: 2019
Length: 4:24
Plays (last 30 days): 1
When I was older
I was a sailor
On an open sea
But now I'm underwater
And my skin is paler
Than it should ever be

I'm on my back again
Dreaming of a time and place
Where you and I remain the best of friends
Even after all this ends
Can we pretend?
I'm on my, I'm on my back again
It seems more and more
Like all we ever do is see
How far it bends
Before it breaks in half and then
We bend it back again

Guess I got caught in the middle of it
Yes I've been taught, got a little of it
In my blood, in my blood
Memories burn like a forest fire
Heavy rain turns any funeral pyre to mud
In the flood

When I was older
I was a sailor
On an open sea
But now I'm underwater
And my skin is paler
Than it should ever be

I'm watching movies back to back
In black and white, I never
Seen anybody do it like I do it any better
Then going over you, I'm overdue for no endeavors
Nobody lonely like I'm lonely and I don't know whether
You'd really like it in the limelight
You'd sympathize with all the bad guys
I'm still a victim in my own right
But I'm the villain in my own eyes

When I was older
I was a sailor
On an open sea
Comments (186)add comment
Billie is just dynamite.
Fantastic.
So well said:
Highlowsel wrote:

Agreed.  At the very least it will be interesting to see how she (and her brother by the way) develops.  Will she soar, or flame out?  Only the future knows.  I can point to any number of artist who have done both.

But I'll give snaps to RP for doing what it takes to stay relevant and current.  Us old farts can be a bit critical when it comes to music we think grates of "what are those young pup's THINKING!?!" but hey...music...it goes on forever regardless don't it? 

To each (generation) there comes their time....so while I can appreciate (some of) it I'll have to give way to the acknowledgment that this is their time, not mine.  

It doesn't mean I can't enjoy it, too, though.  ;-)  It is in my nature to be a musical omnivore....it's all good so long as the right sauce is applied.  And for now this chica has it....

Highlow
American Net'Zen


Song is good but I don't like auto-pitching/vocoder either.
Everytime this song comes up I notch the volume one tick up. 
Being older is afact tome, actually. So it's not my kind of sound as well, but the young ones love it.
Any generation got it's own.
I really like this one - it has something special.  
Muttered bore.
 On_The_Beach wrote:
I was so much older then
I'm younger than that now


"My back pages"  The Byrds!!
I was so much older then
I'm younger than that now
Is there a dog barking in there?
How come I think it's ok for Laurie Anderson to do this but when I hear Billie Eillish do it I get annoyed.  Have I finally reached peak old-man-curmudgendom?
 ziggytrix wrote:


Well Homer Dudley of Bell Labs invented the Vocoder, but his usage was just to transmit voice over a phone line as data. If you ever use any modern IT device, cell phone, internet, whatever, you should be super grateful for his work.

Likely not the first to use it for musical effect, but quite probably the first to popularize it would be Kraftwerk. You're certainly not the first to want to tar and feather them, but it puts you squarely in the "has zero appreciation for electronic music" camp, which I guess is your prerogative, but there's quite a good bit of that played here, so I suggest you work out the skip and PSD buttons for your own happiness' sake.


This was a great post,  very interesting, right up until you felt the need to belittle/scold someone.
Not sure why Bill insists on playing her. Such weak material.
Her best song. the first one I heard from her and was impressed. Everything after didn't live up to this for me.
Laurie Anderson used a vocoder an million years ago. Check it out.
I watched David Letterman's Netflix talk show, "My Next Guest Needs No Introduction" when he interviewed Billie Eilish and brother Finneas O'Connell.

A major part of the interview was regarding the song production process they use.  It was quite interesting.
 skiboy53 wrote:

Auto-tune at it's worst.



Use of the apostrophe at its worst. 
 
 planet_lizard wrote:

I love this. It's 90s Massive Attack right?



Sure buddy, let's go with that, but you're off by almost 3 decades, lol ;)
I love this. It's 90s Massive Attack right?
Magnifique
Tough not to move to this one.....
Like those effects in this song. This is very good and well done. Like this singer
Something new, original and refreshing. Gets a solid 8 from me and could climb further if it proves to be a fine wine.
I love this hitthank you RP 
 silby wrote:
No - Frampton's talk box was definitely not an auto-tune technology...

Huh.  Reading some RP comments, you'd think that *any* voice-altering tech was auto-tune.
 dwhayslett wrote:

Seriously - remember when Peter Frampton used auto-tune, right in front of a live audience?   Same thing.


No - Frampton's talk box was definitely not an auto-tune technology...
Love it.

Vocoding/Autotune (whichever - I don't really care) and all.

Have to say - there are a lot of old curmudgeons on here (of all ages)
 skiboy53 wrote:

Auto-tune at it's worst.


Seriously - remember when Peter Frampton used auto-tune, right in front of a live audience?   Same thing.
Wow bookends Sinatra begats  Eilish... only on RP! Thanks you. 
I like this a lot and I'm not young. First time hearing it on my over ear BT headphones and it's even better.
I . . . I don't get it? I don't know.
Auto-tune at it's worst.
I wonder if Laurie Anderson was an influence.
 jukes1 wrote:

I find myself liking this a lot more than I did when I originally heard it. Sign of some good music.

5 → 7



Me too. I'm surprised but also pleased to give it a 7.
Not to my ears scoobie-doo!
GREAT VOICE!
Whiny, over produced muck - devoid of any emotional involvement. 
I find myself liking this a lot more than I did when I originally heard it. Sign of some good music.

5 → 7
Peak Billie.  The new album didn't achieve much...
I thought this was Imogen at first...


The cake is still a lie.
this has the half life of a Happy Meal
 ziggytrix wrote:


Well Homer Dudley of Bell Labs invented the Vocoder, but his usage was just to transmit voice over a phone line as data. If you ever use any modern IT device, cell phone, internet, whatever, you should be super grateful for his work.

Likely not the first to use it for musical effect, but quite probably the first to popularize it would be Kraftwerk. You're certainly not the first to want to tar and feather them, but it puts you squarely in the "has zero appreciation for electronic music" camp, which I guess is your prerogative, but there's quite a good bit of that played here, so I suggest you work out the skip and PSD buttons for your own happiness' sake.

Thank you for that, I was just thinking how well this follows up Younger Brother!
 aspicer wrote:

Newly acquiring a real appreciation for Eilish's talent. I ended up listening to a whole album (that my daughter played) and was super impressed.







yes, old guys   listening to good music brought by their kids. We learn every day.
 Alastair wrote:

I think Bill should play this twice a day just to annoy all the old boys in their Deep Purple  t-shirts 



I actually do have a Deep Purple t-shirt and I LOVE this.  
Interesting stuff. I think I'd actually enjoy it but the rapid modulation of the sound volume at some points in the song are like fingernails on the blackboard to me.
 Alastair wrote:

I think Bill should play this twice a day just to annoy all the old boys in their Deep Purple  t-shirts 



Whoa, whoa, whoa... not so fast. This old guy (and his Deep Purple shirt) enjoy this tune!
 spacemanspiff wrote:

Im not sure what to think of her music. There is something I like about it but the autotune drives me a little nuts. I dont think she has a great voice... Its not powerful anyway. She is a bit like a train wreck, you want to ingore her but you just can't look away.



Too bad you feel that way. I think she's using the vocoder as an atmospheric touch, not a crutch to help her voice. Many people confuse the vocoder as 'auto-tune'. Couldn't be further from the truth. If you sing out of key thru a vocoder...it'll also be out of tune. It merely modulates the single tone of a voice. If you want to add some culture to your observations before spitting ignorance...try listening to some of her other works.
 todbothom wrote:


The comparison is absurd. A guitar is an instrument wholly separate from the human body. It can and should be manipulated to play it properly as an artist. The human voice is integral to the body and should not be considered a person's voice if changed in any way by any piece of equipment.  It's an idiotic comparison.

In your humble opinion, no doubt. The voice is an instrument just like any other. The fact that it originates within rather than outside of the body has no bearing on what an artist chooses to use to amplify/modify their instrument.

 Hippostar wrote:
The cake is a lie.  Smile Billie.

Portal.  Wonderfully clever.  It's about time they ported this to VR...

Im not sure what to think of her music. There is something I like about it but the autotune drives me a little nuts. I dont think she has a great voice... Its not powerful anyway. She is a bit like a train wreck, you want to ingore her but you just can't look away.
 ziakut wrote:

To those who criticize this music...a varied outlook of what is art/music is required to be able to appreciate all in the vast library of music on RP. While some music may appeal to others more than some artists. Saying it's crap and then recommending something else in it's place is just plain ignorant.



Quite agree... I come to RP so I can hear the eclectic mix we all know and love... and I am glad that Bill is not resting on his laurels and bringing new artist into the fold... I think Billie Eilish fits right in with the Nick Drakes, Michael Penns, and Billy Idols of the world that make RP.
 kazoo wrote:

I find it interesting how much some folks hate modified voices. My guess is that many of them really appreciate a well modified electric guitar or synthesizer sound. 



The comparison is absurd. A guitar is an instrument wholly separate from the human body. It can and should be manipulated to play it properly as an artist. The human voice is integral to the body and should not be considered a person's voice if changed in any way by any piece of equipment.  It's an idiotic comparison.
To those who criticize this music...a varied outlook of what is art/music is required to be able to appreciate all in the vast library of music on RP. While some music may appeal to others more than some artists. Saying it's crap and then recommending something else in it's place is just plain ignorant.
Billie is one of those excellent artists who has been cursed with commercial success. How dare she appeal to general public whilst still maintaining artistic integrity. 
Normally I don't like this sort of modify voice but with Billy is good. She's a very good artist
I know I'm an old fart, but I am a true lover of all kinds of music.  I just do not understand the adoration for her and her message.  It's damn near unintelligible.  I feel the same about Bon Iver's music.

Are they just sonic experiences?

Help me Mister Wizard!
 crap
X L Ant production. song just ok.
7 -> 8
I find it interesting how much some folks hate modified voices. My guess is that many of them really appreciate a well modified electric guitar or synthesizer sound. 
 stevesaw wrote:


I'm on the fence about Billie Eilish, but I wouldn't even know there was a fence without Bill.

There is something to be said about benevolent dictatorships.
 

My thoughts too.
 KevinM wrote:
All of her stuff is crap and does not belong on RP
 

I'm on the fence about Billie Eilish, but I wouldn't even know there was a fence without Bill.

There is something to be said about benevolent dictatorships.
The cake is a lie.  Smile Billie.
All of her stuff is crap and does not belong on RP (IMHO). There‘s some great new (ignored) Doves tracks in the library that deserve airtime in place of this garbage
 ace-marc wrote:
Velvet Underground has 6 songs on RP.
This joke also has 6 songs on RP.
Great station but could be better.
 
Billie's the new Velvet, but with drum track sent from the Death Star, and vocals dutifully processed through Auto-Tune. We all going to the Space Station, my friend, so we can learn how to live on Mars, and wait 4 minutes and 7 seconds for a response to a question to our lovers on WhatsApp. Imagine the cool music that will eventually spawn, my friend. One way to avoid BE.
At first I thought it was Air . My younger daughter lesson Billie and I like it to sometimes 
Contrived affected BS.  
Velvet Underground has 6 songs on RP.
This joke also has 6 songs on RP.
Great station but could be better.
 Luki wrote:
YUCK!!! Sorry.
 
How about playing some Weird Al? 
Just as absurd.
a bit bland
 NeuroJoe wrote:
One of the reasons I listen to RP so very very much is songs like this that have a bimodal ratings distribution. They are almost always interesting and innovative. 

Props just for using bimodal in a comment!
Autotune, shmautotune.  Blah blah blah. Love this song.
the best
 Edweirdo wrote:


I can't abide Kraftwerk, but I adore Tonto's Expanding Head Band.
 

And perhaps Laurie Anderson ?
:-)
Bisous de Paris, France
 ziggytrix wrote:
Likely not the first to use it for musical effect, but quite probably the first to popularize it would be Kraftwerk. You're certainly not the first to want to tar and feather them, but it puts you squarely in the "has zero appreciation for electronic music" camp
 

I can't abide Kraftwerk, but I adore Tonto's Expanding Head Band.
Ok Ok Ok .. now I get why this is sooooo gooood!
One of the reasons I listen to RP so very very much is songs like this that have a bimodal ratings distribution. They are almost always interesting and innovative. 
 Alastair wrote:
I think Bill should play this twice a day just to annoy all the old boys in their Deep Purple  t-shirts 
 
I totally agree, and ironically I would love to own a Deep Purple t-shirt.  I couldn't believe my eyes and ears as Billie Eilish racked up the Grammy awards on her first trip to the dance - in my prejudiced mind, she hadn't toiled long enough to earn all those accolades. 
BUT, thanks to RP, I am getting to like Eilish's music more and more, and also increasingly respecting her musical talent.   And this is from a geezer who will start collecting his old age pension this year.  Go figure! 
This song gives me ASMR tingles.
 DaidyBoy wrote:
I've no idea how to rate this, but it's fascinating stuff.
 
I just bumped it from 7 to 9,
this song hypnotizes me
 A smart and successful young artist.  But this barely qualifies as music.  Changing the channel. 
YUCK!!! Sorry.
Reminds a bit of Imogen Heap's music ...
I'm hypnotized.
I despise autotune.   ... And I really like this.

It is being used as a textural dressing on a good voice, not a substitute for it.
Billie's style is a snooze.  Spare me.
 BillG wrote:


A bit of clarification:

autotune = digital processing used to force a vocal to match a given scale, ie: to fix a sloppy or untalented performance 

vocoder = digital processing where the pitch of a vocal sample is altered for artistic effect

What's used here is a vocoder effect. 
 

Altering a vocal sample for artistic effect is one use of a vocoder.

More clarification, per Wikipedia:
A "vocoder" is a device or process that "encodes" voice data, as opposed to simple digitization.  This allows for better compression, synthesis, etc.  This is important for telecommunication, esp. over limited bandwidth links.

Remember in earlier days of cell phones when the other person's voice would sound pretty good, but when you got music on hold it sounded terrible?  That was the vocoder, knowing well how to encode voice "data", but stumbling on the music data.
Great voice. great tune. ...I like it!
Startling, haunting.  The audio enhancements are very effective.  I always enjoy this tune, all the more so right now wearing headphones in an altered state
Those insisting on technique rather than  the results of  artistic endeavor  may be  relegated to  irrelevancy. 
This young lady is fantastic. I'm not too far away from 50 and with two young daughters I get subjected to a lot of aural horrors but whenever anything of Billie Eilish enters their playlist it stands out as music with substance and a genuine intention. It makes me reflect on the the works of Pink Floyd shortly after Sids departure. Deep stuff that still resonates with truth and originality nearly 50yrs later. 
I didn't see the film "Roma" so I guess I'm missing something {#Ask}
Pretty remarkable achievement for an 18-year old — I surely couldn’t have pulled off something like she has done.
I think Bill should play this twice a day just to annoy all the old boys in their Deep Purple  t-shirts 
 Luki wrote:
Yuck!
 
and Terrible as well.
I expect she will only go as far as her brother, her producer takes her.
Interesting. Different, which is what we want on RP. Organ sound is....Oh Superman!
mediocrity drooling all over itself
Not sure what to make of this.  I don't rate the vocal part much, but that bass line is great.
4 -> 5 for now, may go up again on the next listen!
Heard this song yesterday, which I really like (9).

NYT published this article today.  Whod a think?

How Billie Eilish Rode Teenage Weirdness to Stardom https://nyti.ms/38IxwSH
sounds like something a brother and sister put together in their bedroom on a synth so their friends can stare at their shoes...
I like Greta Van Sustern better..
Reminds me of Imogen Heap in a good way. 
The Emperor's new pop star.
This one always gets turned up - not really found an affinity with any of her other stuff but this is a killer.
 Freund wrote:
I hate autotune.
 
But it's not autotune. Scroll down ...

Talented girl. Talented brother. It makes a refreshing change to a lot of the 21st century dross.
Very talented young lady
I hate autotune.
If you are interested in great artists who use machines to treat their vocals then please check out the extraoridinary Jacob Collier here.  And once you've heard that, listen to the rest of his stuff, including his lectures and talks on musicl and harmonic theory.  The man's a force of nature.
Yuck!
Dark stuff.
 BillG wrote:


A bit of clarification:

autotune = digital processing used to force a vocal to match a given scale, ie: to fix a sloppy or untalented performance 

vocoder = digital processing where the pitch of a vocal sample is altered for artistic effect

What's used here is a vocoder effect. 
 

T.Y. ✌️
 DaidyBoy wrote:
I've no idea how to rate this, but it's fascinating stuff.
 

I feel the same way.
 quercus wrote:
I'll listen to this when I'm dead.
 
hahaha :)
I'll listen to this when I'm dead.
My positive comment: I like that her name is 'Pirate'.
If you watched the movie, this song fit the mood.  Not my favorite Eilish song, but was certainly worthy of it's place in the movie.

From Wikipedia

Eilish stated in an interview with Billboard:

"When we were composing the song, we wanted to write from within the narrative of the movie and scenes that struck is the most from it. Having access to sounds used in the film proved to be invaluable to help us convey this." Then, she further explained that the sounds present in the movie make a connection with the sounds present in the song. "Lines like 'memories burn like a forest fire' are accompanied by trees burning [...] The chorus, has the ocean sounds overplayed by it. We were also able to take sounds like the student protest shouts and Borras barking and then turn them into rhythmic percussive elements [...] Nothing about this song would exist without the film, which is exactly what we love about it."[2]

BillG wrote:

A bit of clarification:

autotune = digital processing used to force a vocal to match a given scale, ie: to fix a sloppy or untalented performance

vocoder = digital processing where the pitch of a vocal sample is altered for artistic effect

What's used here is a vocoder effect.  

timmus wrote:
Oh man, the autotune, I just can't do this.
 
BillG's already dismissed your dismissal