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Happier Than Ever – Billie Eilish

Sydney Davis October 29, 2021

By: Sydney Davis

Can an artist truly ever live up to their first album? Is there really a sophomore album curse? Should one change their style completely or just stay the same? These are all questions that probably ran through Billie’s Eilish’s mind when she was creating her most recent album Happier Than Ever. Eilish spent time from about April 2020 until February 2021 writing and recording the album, then releasing it on July 30, 2021. Following suit with many other artists during the pandemic, Eilish used this album as a self-reflection piece. I really think this is almost a norm for many albums released within the past year, and those upcoming. I personally enjoy this new flow of creativity and vulnerability.

First and foremost, let’s talk about the album artwork, sis switched up her look and went blonde on us. Also, if you look closely, you can see she has tears running down her cheeks. You may be thinking how is she “happier than ever” when she’s crying? And that’s the whole point, she’s not. Being a musician Eilish is continually in the spotlight, and she has this image that she must keep up all the time which does not always represent her true self. Many often forget that Eilish is only 19 right now and she has released two studio albums all while being catapulted into the spotlight. That is a lot to process at such a young age.

Speaking of age, the first song on the album is “Getting Older”. This song spoke to me deeply. It’s essentially about the growing pains she is experiencing. I think this song is relatable for many young adults right now. Specifically, some verses start with “I’m getting older” and she proceeds to talk about how she has more responsibilities, still trying to heal from past trauma and feeling alone. This was a both a good intro and summary for what the album covers.

Many fans may remember the spoken word piece “Not My Responsibility”, that was premiered during her Where Do We Go? World Tour in March 2020. It is a commentary against the objectification of a woman’s body. This is something Eilish knows all too well. a focal point of EIlish was that she wore baggy clothes, in hopes that her body would not be the topic of discussion. Once she turned 18, she started to explore different styles and began to address the issues surrounding the media around how she should dress. For example, she asks “Do you know me? Really know me?” to start off the piece. The spoken word offers many rhetorical questions to challenge the listener to think about why we have these perceptions of how we think someone should act, dress, or look like when we don’t even know them personally. The next song directly after this is “OverHeated” and it builds on this commentary and talks more about her personal feelings

I really love the titular track Happier Than Ever because it reminds me of a song from an 80s/90s coming of age movie. A few other special shoutouts are “my future” “GOLDWING”, “Lost Cause”, and “Halley’s Comet”, the production is impeccable for all of them. At some points in the album, I wish Eilish used her voice to its full capability because it can become hard to hear/understand, but this was not too often. Overall, I enjoyed the album. I don’t believe Eilish is suffering from the sophomore curse at all, and she’s ready to continue taking the world by storm.

Favorite Tracks: “GOLDWING” and “Halley’s Comet”

Rating: 8/10