Happier Than Ever

Billie Eilish

Interscope, 2021


REVIEW BY: Max Kaplan


After setting the world aflame with her debut album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? Billie Eilish went three times platinum both in terms of record sales and hairdo. Happier Then Ever is Billie Eilish’s highly anticipated sophomore album and it has already proven itself to be as popular and controversial as the hype surrounding it.

Throughout the album, Eilish’s flare for deep emotional lyrics and timbres is abundant. The opening track, “Getting Older,” is a nostalgic dive into the emotions all young people have felt towards that very prospect at one time or another. Eilish’s light, breathy vocal style has been criticized before, but here and throughout it reflects the small intimacies of her life. The power of the lyrics is emphasized through the light touch of her elfish vocals. The influence of jazz is evident in her singing as she acrobatically hits melismas and difficult melodies. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The collaboration with brother Finneas Eilish makes for a powerful combination. If Billie’s vocals are considered light in any way, Finneas’ production and song-crafting easily fills the void, if one is even present. On “Didn’t Change My Number,” the beat takes on as much attention as Eilish herself. The dark, hip-hop-infused vibe entrances the listener, making for a heavy sound to counter Eilish’s singing. On “Oxytocin,” “NDA,” and “Therefore I Am,” this same shadowy and heavy tone that we have come to associate with Eilish is back in a big way.

The title track, “Happier Than Ever,” is seemingly a young persons’ anthem. This kind of sing-your-heart-out, blaringly I’m-happier-without-you ballad isn’t what you’d expect from Eilish’s previous songs. The heavy, guitar-laden track glamorously brings the album to a climax, with Eilish singing poignant lines like “you made me hate this city,” rhymed with “I’d never treat me this shitty.” It’s an honest representation of the unanswerable emotions everyone feels at times.

Happier Than Ever is full of the necessary gems and harrowing moments to make an album truly special. Given the test of time, the album will undoubtedly stand as a highlight in Eilish’s hopefully long and fruitful career. For lovers of things other than pop music, the album is still a must-listen.

Rating: A

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© 2021 Max Kaplan and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Interscope, and is used for informational purposes only.