While 2020 has brought many struggles, it has also brought Bea Miller fans more music than ever before. After the release of her second studio album aurora in 2018, Miller made fans wait just over a year for the release of more music. This led to her songs “it’s not u it’s me” and popular hit single “feel something,” which went TikTok viral and accumulated over 155 million streams.
Throughout 2020, the 21-year-old singer has released five singles and EP’s, building up to her latest release, her EP elated!. It came three weeks after the release of her single “wisdom teeth,” which is included in the EP.
“Hallelujah” has an emphasis on the darker side of Miller’s thoughts. It focuses on her need for saving and the struggle to know how to work on herself. In the chorus she shares thoughts on what could be wrong with her “Maybe I’ve been smokin’ too much / Maybe I’ve been sleepin’ not enough / …Maybe I’ve been alone too much / Pretendin’ that I never needed love.” In an attempt to determine what she should do, she questions “Should I say (Hallelujah)?” hoping that’s the answer and what could save her like she says in the post-chorus “Maybe that’ll save me , yeah (Hallelujah).” A song that’s perfect for the times we’re in with the reference to living in hell, it’s easy to relate to without feeling like a completely sad song by including a good beat to bop your head along to. As my favorite song on the EP, I’m happy it came first because I think it gave a great glimpse into the rest of the album and Miller’s feelings.
The newest remix of “feel something,” one of her most successful songs to date, has a groovy and club beat mix vibe to it. While “FEEL SOMETHING DIFFERENT” with Aminé is fun and easy to listen to, the original has more intrigue because of the ability to feel the emotion more and because it doesn’t give off the impression of an upbeat pop chorus in the first verse. This new version seems to lack a change in song pace and rhythm throughout to give it more depth, which I believe was a lost opportunity. The original has these moments that stand out to keep it from plateauing, while this version stays quite similar throughout minus the rap. The lyrics do blend very nicely with the rest of the album, especially with “hallelujah” because of the desire to know what’s wrong with her and to feel and heal.
“Forever is a lie” is the third song on the EP. The constant guitar beat gives it something unique compared to a lot of her other music. The song touches on her father who wasn’t a part of her life and the bounds of relationships: “This whole thing started so that fathers could sell daughters like property / But I never had a father and I couldn’t be his daughter so lucky me.”
She also digs on our heteronormative society that promotes marriage as a sign of love and forever, “Marriage is a contract ’cause they know that it’s another liability.” As we can see from the title, Miller says “forever is a lie,” and in the chorus she points out that she can “love you for tonight.” Instead of being a sign of being unable to commit, it’s a way of showing not wanting to because forever is not real.
The fourth song of elated! is something we can all relate to, “making bad decisions.” It’s inevitable to make mistakes and do the wrong things sometimes. Miller speaks on her impulsive self and what it has made her do. In the pre-chorus, she shares the story of a time when she started seeing a friend as more and took them out of the friend zone: “So let me tell you ’bout the time I / Took my friend out the friend zone / ‘Cause I felt so sad sleepin’ alone / Then I put him right back, just like that / ‘Cause I missed bein’ by myself.” Her chorus focuses on her impulses by sharing that right when she gets bored, she changes things up. “Makin’ bad decisions based on temporary thoughts” ties all of it together and acts as the anchor of the song. The simple production benefits the song by enhancing Miller’s breathy and unique voice.
See the music video below.
Miller transitions the EP away from self-doubts, faults, and struggles with her love song “i never wanna die.” She has released very few love songs over the years, so this helps show a different side of her sound. While labeled a love song, it doesn’t have the typical love song vibe; it’s not a slow ballad or a super soft and pretty song. It still holds a beat and a lot of guitar, keeping the rock-like feeling alive from other parts of the EP. The rasp in Miller’s voice really shines in this song, especially during the chorus. The breathiness really comes out in the lyrics “You’re just so fuckin’ special / So I never wanna die, no / I never wanna die.” It makes it feel like the person she’s singing about took her breath away.
The next song “wisdom teeth” is the only single from the EP. Released on October 9 at midnight, it was her first single of 2020. It reflects on her childhood and the innocence and confidence she once had she once had. She shows the loss of confidence in the first and second verses. In the first she talks about the dance recital she was supposed to be in but wasn’t. The line “’Cause I spent the whole time starin’ at myself in the mirror” connects to another line in the second verse “And now underneath, it’s hard for me to look in the mirror.” The mentioning of the mirror shows the transition she went through during the 19 years that past since her recital. I love the play on the title “wisdom teeth” with the words she uses in the chorus with the lyrics “Why am I so stupid? Used to be so smart / When they pulled my teeth out, lost the wisest part.” The chorus builds on the wondering where the old her went and wanting her back, but not knowing how to bring her back.
See the music video below.
The final song on the EP is the perfect ending to bring everything back full circle. “Self crucify” is easily the most personal song on the album because it shares one of her lowest points of life, which happened back when she was 14. It acts as a song about betrayal and forgiveness as she speaks about one of her mothers who hurt her in the past, but she chose to forgive to sleep at night. In the first pre-chorus, she mentions the title “self crucify” for the first time and uses it in a manner that speaks on painful self-destruction: “What’s the point of, what’s the point of / Pretendin’ we’re alright? / It’s important, it’s important / To not self-crucify.” Filled with growth and self-reflection , listeners become a part of Miller’s evolution.
I believe elated! has a very strategic and beautiful design, which gives it a great flow and makes it easy to follow. As what I believe is one of her most vulnerable works of art to date, I think it gives a better glimpse into the artist behind the music. I personally love that I felt like I was with her in the moment and able to feel with her because of her ability to emote in her songs. The EP took me through Miller’s journey of discovery and understanding, and I was happy to be a part of it.
Listen to elated! below.
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