The Handbook
The Handbook

Much to my editor’s disgust and yours too I’m sure, I can ashamedly say I’ve never watched a Bond movie and had little intention of jumping on the longwinded 24-part movie bandwagon until now.

As the clock striked midnight on Thursday 13th, the new Bond theme dropped, revealing Generation Z hotshot Billie Eilish is at the heart of it all. From Adele’s Skyfall to Duran Duran’s A View to a Kill, Bond theme songs are just as important to audiences as who has the luxury of playing Mr Bond himself, so when news spread last month that Billie Eilish was spearheading the theme, it’s fair to say there was mixed emotions.

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If you haven’t heard of Billie, you’d be forgiven. This American singer-songwriter might just be 18 years of age, but she’s making history by being the youngest singer to ever record a theme song for the iconic movie franchise.

Bond theme songs are defined by their moody undertones, bellowing choruses and brooding orchestral notes. This track for Daniel Craig’s latest Bond escapade, titled ‘No Time To Die’ certainly delivers all three key elements with an added freshness.

I’ll be honest, having listened to her pop centric album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? on repeat for weeks on end following its release in March last year, No Time To Die doesn’t quite live up to her edgy, statement invoking melodies us younger gen have grown to love. 

That’s certainly not to say Billie’s distinguished husky tones don’t shine through in their own right. Billie and co-writing older brother Finneas O’Connells’ track captures Monty Norman’s iconic theme, with its haunting violins and melancholic guitar twangs. Rather than thrusted against her electronic pop tracks, her raspy voice comes to the focus thanks to her close-mic recording and helps add her own fragile spin on the record. She does what she does best and lets her vulnerability propel to centre stage, and this personal approach immediately transports you into the spy agent’s apparent betrayal plot.

Bond’s poignant betrayal is hinted at in the lyrics too, as Billie bellows “That I’d fallen for a lie / You were never on my side / Fool me once, fool me twice / Are you death or paradise?” We immediately envision deception and deceit, and begin wondering if Bond really is the heroic character generation after generation have come to admire so dearly.

The track features iconic guitarist Johnny Marr (from the Smiths!) and legendary composer Hans Zimmer and also possibly the biggest belt we have yet to hear from the usually softly sung Eilish.

No Time To Die comes to cinemas Friday 3rd April, and you know what, I might actually watch this one.

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