Ever since she released her single “My Future” in July of 2020, (one year ago today, to be exact!) fans have been eagerly speculating about Billie Eilish’s sophomore album. Happier Than Ever is now here, and while it’s not exactly the same alt-pop vibe as her debut WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?, the album is full of the musical twists and style changes we’ve all come to love Billie for.
Ahead of the album’s release, Billie dropped not one, but five singles (six if you count her conversion of her Where Do We Go? World Tour interlude spoken word into the ninth track, “Not My Responsibility”), leaving us with ten songs to fall in love with (or cry too—Billie has us all emotional).
The album’s opener is almost like a letter to her fans, expressing her feelings about the past year and the growth she’s had over the course of the album. “Was too afraid to tell ya, but now, I think it’s time” Billie sings at the end of the song before the album moves on the next track. Clearly, the album opens on a heartbreaking note. “I had to take a break in the middle of writing that one, and I wanted to cry, because it was so revealing. And it’s just the truth,” Billie shared with Rolling Stone about the song.
If you’re a fan of Billie’s references and interesting sound samples, Happier Than Ever has those to offer too. “I Didn’t Change My Number” opens with a playful dog growl (could it be Billie’s dog Shark?), and “GOLDWING” starts with a hymn and a glitchy instrumental. The album isn’t as heavily soundscaped as her WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, but it doesn’t seem like Billie is letting go of her signature play with sound, dipping her toes into a variety of genres from Bossa Nova to inspiration from jazz icons like Frank Sinatra.
Vulnerable and quiet, loud and powerful, Happier Than Ever is a gorgeous look at where Billie is in her career and her life, and we’re so happy to enjoy it and see what comes next. What is your favorite song on Happier Than Ever?