The themes for the James Bond movies have held incredible cultural significance since the iconic first film. There is an immense weight put on the theme to perfectly encapsulate not only the energy of Bond as a character, but to also foreshadow the direction of the upcoming film. This being said, there is always heated debate as to who deserves to bring the current trials and triumphs of Bond to life. Historically, the themes and the artists that create them have been incredibly well-matched, from Shirley Bassey’s “Diamonds are Forever” to Adele’s “Skyfall.” This year, however, the theme fell short.
It’s no secret that Billie Eilish’s recent and aggressive claim to fame was bound to land her a spot among icons. Eilish, though incredibly talented, wasn’t quite ready for something as magnanimous as a Bond theme. The theme, “No Time to Die,” radiated Bond energy but in a way that was far too subdued to truly capture the essence of the character and the world in which he lives. The lyrics were also incredibly elementary, and the rhymes seemed very basic and predictable. There’s often beauty in simplicity, particularly lyrically, however, those in “No Time to Die” proved to diminish the intensity of 007.
The song reaches a climax just before the end, with Eilish finally belting and using her voice to its fullest potential. That is the only point in the song that leaves the audience begging for more, her voice powerfully beckoning all the emotion and intensity she seems to be holding back throughout the rest of the song. To be able to create such a moment during the last seconds is an incredible feat, yet it should have been done throughout the entire song.
“No Time to Die” felt very predictable, which is the last thing wanted from a Bond theme. There were elements of the song that felt like a carbon copy of those that had come before. There was nothing about it that really propelled the Bond franchise or Eilish forward. At best, “No Time to Die” was lackluster and pleading for more.