she’s done it again. without doing the same thing all over again.
the good news: billie eilish’s second album is every bit as incredible as its grammy-magnet predecessor.
it’s brilliant and ballsy and brutal. monumental and magnificent. deep and dark and dynamic and dramatic.
the better news: it isn’t just some carbon copy of when we all fall asleep, where do we go?
happier than ever — that title is at least partly ironic, in case you weren’t sure — stands on its own. it’s a different beast. more of a sequel than a followup.
the music — once again by brother finneas — is the most obvious difference.
it’s slower and softer and subtler. quieter and more introspective.
less glitchy. less groovy. less noisy and aggressive.
there are a lot of ballads. hell, one track is a bossa nova.
but if the music is tamer, lyrically it’s a monster.
it’s all about trying to navigate and survive the shitty, brutal gauntlet of celebrity.
it’s a life of paparazzi and stalkers.
fans and haters.
misogynists and bodyshamers.
isolation and alienation.
lost friends and doomed lovers.
ndas and secutiry guards.
interviews and social media.
pressure and trauma.
eilish tackles them all in her creaky, croaky croon.
but not in some ‘i’m a poor little rich superstar’ way.
instead, she calls bullshit on the whole lot of it. and on herself now and then.
she does it all with dark humour. unflinching honestly. precocious wisdom. and an utter lack of fucks to give.
read the lyrics to the spoken-word centrepiece not my responsibility. that will tell you everything you need to know.
and there’s plenty more where that came from.
by the end of these 16 indelibly powerful songs, eilish has not only beaten the sophomore slump into the ground — she’s proven her initial success was no fluke.
she’s made it clear she’s here to stay. that she has plenty to say.
truth be told, she says more here than some artists say in their entire career.
and christ, she’s still only 19 years old. she’s just getting started.
speaking of getting started: she’d better start clearing some space at home for more grammys.
because that’s something else she’s going to be doing again real soon.
THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Continuing the tradition on from her Grammy-winning, record-breaking debut album When We All Fall Alseep, Where Do We Go?, Happier Than Ever features no outside songwriters or producers, and was written by 19-year-old Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas, who produced the album in Los Angeles.
Eilish has fast become one of the biggest stars to emerge since the release of her debut single Ocean Eyes, and continues to shatter the ceiling of music with her genre-defying sound. Fast forward from her humble breakout in 2015, Billie’s album When We All Fall Alseep, Where Do We Go debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in the U.S as well as 17 additional countries around the world upon release, and was the most streamed album of 2019. When We All Fall Alseep, Where Do We Go was written, produced and recorded entirely by Eilish and Finneas in their childhood home of Los Angeles. Eilish went on to make history as the youngest artist to receive nominations and win in all the major categories, at the 62nd Grammy Awards, receiving an award for Best New Artist, Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album. Eilish is also the youngest artist to write and record an official James Bond theme song, No Time To Die. She was nominated for four additional awards at the 63rd Grammy Awards in 2021, and took home both Record of the Year for Everything I Wanted, and Best Song Written For Visual Media for No Time To Die.”