Billie Eilish – Happier than Ever
Billie Eilish shows off remarkable vocal prowess in Happier than Ever, exhibiting a newfound maturity in her voice. While she still maintains that same signature sound, her singing is steadier and stronger in parts, with more variety to her style. Her lyricism has also improved as she covers darker and deeper topics, as well as expressing vulnerable storytelling in her tracklist.
One of the record’s highlights is the opener Getting Older, which is soft and adorned with grainy strums. The singer breathes into the mic for effect as she talks about growing up, reflecting on her experience as a teenage artist transitioning into adulthood under the limelight: all eyes on her, awaiting every mistake she’s bound to make. While the song is quite personal, listeners can still find themselves in the lyrics.
Another very powerful offering is Your Power, an acoustic number with rough guitar squeaks that create a raw authenticity. The stripped-back melody contrasts with the slightly echoed harmonies underneath. This creates depth and texture, helping further the impact. Eilish ventures into the very sensitive but serious topic of power dynamics, especially between older men and younger women – girls even.
The name itself, Happier than Ever, sits in juxtaposition with the actual contents of the album, as does the title track, which delivers a smooth transition into heavy rock and an explosive change of pace. In general, the record has a lot of switch-ups within each singular song, moving between genres, instruments and vocal styles. For example, Goldwing is starts as a gospel piece, then explores the effects of corruption.
One can tell that Eilish is privy to expanding upon her arsenal of sound. In this venture, NDA dominates; a production-heavy track that explores the faults and pitfalls of fame. There are many layers and transitions added to her voice to create this very dark, almost noir, grunge composition. Still, songs like Oxytocin – which can only be described as some twisted version of Tayla Parx’s Fixerupper –– bridge this new album back to the artist’s familiar mainstream sound.
Photo: Kelia Anne MacCluskey
Happier than Ever is released on 31st July 2021. For further information or to order the album visit Billie Eilish’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Happier than Ever here: