Billie Eilish made her official musical debut in 2019 with the incredible award-winning “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” Which won the singer-songwriter numerous Grammy statuettes, including the album of the year. Shortly thereafter, Eilish was hired to title the upcoming theme song “007 – No Time to Die” and established herself as one of the top performers in the contemporary music scene – which is why “Happier Than Ever” , his second compilation of originals, was one of the most anticipated of the year.
With no less than sixteen tracks, the album had been promoted since last year, with the release of “My Future”, a magnificent and unexpected track which maintained artistic ties with the previous production without putting aside research. originality – mostly misplaced for piano, subtlety of vocals and impeccable production thanks to the skillful hands of Finneas O’Connell. Swept up by a radical change of progression characteristic of Eilish’s career (as we saw, for example, in ‘you should see me in a crown’), the dramatic track made his passion for the world even more evident. creative writing and engaging blend. genres.
If there is something that lights up with the arrival of the new work, it is the tribute that the interpreter pays to each of the artists who have influenced her since her first artistic forays with deserving EPs. more recognition than them. Even leaning towards Brazilian references, we notice how Billie does not hesitate to do what she wants: in “Therefore I Am”, another promotional single released in 2020, she takes up the black pop of “bad guy”, who has been around the world. charts and earned him two Grammy statuettes (Song of the Year and Song of the Year), in a tale that borders on metaphysics without losing its sour side (“I’m not your friend or anything, damn it , you think that’s the guy. ”) The same trip-hop content extends to the delicious percussion of“ Lost Cause, ”another of the many highlights, which flirts with complex sensuality.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of “Happier Than Ever” is the inexcusable subtlety on which it rests: while Eilish’s beginnings were marred by shock, here she achieves the same goal by completely changing the perspective and the messages that she intends to deliver to fans. From the impeccable minimalist inflections to the dense metaphors that emerge from the verses, there is a sense of credibility that emanates from the position of the artist who makes us accept the diabolical invitation to this journey of self-discovery. “NDA” pulls off one of the best lyrics in years (“I brought a cute kid home, but he couldn’t stay; when he left, I made him sign a confidentiality agreement”) and explodes in electro-pop echo; on the other hand, “Your Power” exiles itself in a complementary opposite, delimited by guitar chords and a heart-rending message of caution.
There is a sense of hopelessness that permeates each of the tracks – not in a pejorative sense of the word, but in terms of intentionally cyclical aesthetic choices that engulf us in a reflective dead end. The poignant demarcation of obligatory maturation in “Getting Older” and the experimental trip-hop of “I Didn’t Change My Number” are songs that illustrate this. But the same cannot be said of “Billie Bossa Nova”, an honest construction that perfectly matches the singer’s vocal range, mixing past, present and future in one place. The title track also carries a masked and fabulous classicism, the enviable candor of which is only the icing on the cake of a dense paradox that can only be felt, not explained.
If Billie had already given us a coherent album two years ago, she finds herself here comfortable enough to migrate from trap to electronica to dark pop in the blink of an eye. “Oxytocin”, by far the best entry to the work, is a cryptic and narcotic journey, mimicking and synthesizing trance into something unique and rarely found on today’s mainstream scene. The evocative title hides nothing behind the poignant verses which denote a belated control of women’s freedom and that they do not hesitate to “pinch” a reprehensible traditionalism. “Not My Responsibility” already offers an intriguing futuristic setting, while it all culminates in an unexpected and controversial ballad called “Male Fantasy”.
There is no other word to describe “Happier Than Ever” other than fantastic. The driving force behind Eilish’s second album is the loosening of any shackles that might hinder her creative process – and a statement that she can do whatever she wants, no matter who her most ardent critics are. And while some viewed her as a fleeting thing, I can only say that she’s here to stay – and her moment in music has only just begun.
Rating per track:
1. Getting older – 4/5
2. I haven’t changed my number – 5/5
3. Billie Bossa Nova – 4/5
4.my future – 5/5
5. Oxytocin – 5/5
6. GOLDEN WING – 3/5
7. Lost Cause – 5/5
8. Halley’s Comet – 4/5
9. Not my responsibility – 4.5 / 5
10. Overheated – 4.5 / 5
11. Everyone dies – 5/5
12. Your power – 3.5 / 5
13. NDA – 4.5 / 5
14. So I am – 4/5
15. Happier than ever – 5/5
16. Male fantasy – 4/5
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