Billie Eilish ‘Happier Than Ever’ Album Review: She Doesn’t Miss
19-year-old Billie Eilish may have just one-upped her first album WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? today with the release of her hotly-anticipated Happier Than Ever.
The artist gets deep, dark and heavy throughout most of the album and it is easy to forget that she is still just a teenager. If you’ve ever been heartbroken, her song “Happier Than Ever” will bring back all those memories. The music video, which was released today shows Billie in a beige and dusty pink-colored room talking on a corded telephone.
Although Eilish’s outfit is cool — an oversized black graphic tee and bright red pants — it clashes too much with the scene. As the song progresses, water begins to leak from the ceiling and the lights start to flicker. As she decides to leave the room to investigate, water rushes in as she opens the door. The once bright scene is now immersed in darkness, as Billie frantically swims to the roof of the home she was in.
It gets really emotional as the rain pours over Billie, who sings of a toxic past love who talked smack about her on the internet; this was someone she shut out her own friends and family for, and she seems to regret that too.
She sings on the rooftop, “So don’t waste the time I don’t have. And don’t try to make me feel bad, I could talk about every time that you showed up on time, but I’d have an empty line ’cause you never did.”
Watch the video for “Happier Than Ever” below:
Check out the review for the rest of the songs on the album:
Right off the bat, the opening line, “I’m getting older, I think I’m aging well. I wish someone had told me I’d be doing this by myself” baffles me: keep in mind, this is coming from a 19-year-old. Billie has earned my respect not only because she is a young adult who has been through some heavy s—, but by the way she can sing so beautifully about such morbid topics. Being the first song, it sets the tone for the rest of the album of what to expect and we love a mention of “happier than ever” in the lyrics, too. 7/10
“I Didn’t Change My Number”
An instant iconic quote from the song, “I didn’t change my number, I only changed who I reply to” is such a boss move, especially for a teenager. “I Didn’t Change My Number” has more vengeful energy than “Getting Older,” where Billie is almost reveling in the fact that she’s pissing off the romantic partner she is singing about. 7/10
“Billie Bossa Nova”
We don’t get too much of a sultry, sexy side of Eilish, but with “Billie Bossa Nova” it’s almost awkward that she worked on the song with her brother Finneas. “Makes me want to take a picture, make a movie with you that we’d have to hide,” she croons. The song is sensual and cheeky, already giving us yet another side to Billie on Happier Than Ever. 8/10
One of her songs released prior to the album, “my future” is a more lighthearted, relaxed vibe than the first three songs off Happier Than Ever. The song starts off very slow and sad at first, but unexpectedly gets more upbeat and inspiring as Billie sings about being in love with her future self and the plans she has for her. 6/10
This song gives us the dangerous bad girl Billie we loved from “Bad Guy.” From wanting to do “bad things to you,” to making you “yell,” Billie hits us with another song that has her opening up to a more risqué side of her, and we love the confidence behind it. “Oxytocin” is one of my favorites off the album, as you can’t help but to be infected by the beat and Billie’s sultry voice. 9/10
If “Oxytocin” is hell, then “GOLDWING” is heaven. The intro to the song is hymnal with lyrics such as, “With yearning heart on thee we gaze, o gold wing’d messenger of mighty gods.” As the beat of the song picks up, the gold-winged messenger that she sang of is a target that is to be torn apart. The metaphor here seems to be of an artist being plucked apart by the industry, who is just using them for the money. 8.5/10
“Lost Cause” was also released prior to the album, and was the music video where people accused Eilish of queerbaiting because apparently, her social media promotion had folks saying they were done with her and her music because they consider her “problematic.” The video is just a bunch of girls having fun, and those who read too much into it just wanted a reason to hate on Eilish. If anything, the video is empowering and yes, it is a shady diss to the type of guy who doesn’t have a job or too much going on. 5/10
“Halley’s Comet” brings us back down to despair after a few higher energy songs. Not in a bad way, though. A piano steadily plays while Billie brings us to tears, describing a love that she wishes she didn’t feel. The majority of the song, she says that she has lost days and weeks of sleep because of falling in love. 5/10
“Not My Responsibility”
“Not My Responsibility” feels more like a spoken word piece, as Eilish addresses how the world sees her. The lyrics speak for itself:
“So while I feel your stares, your disapproval or your sigh of relief
If I lived by them, I’d never be able to move.
Would you like me to be smaller, weaker, softer, taller?
Would you like me to be quiet?
Do my shoulders provoke you? Does my chest?
Am I my stomach? My hips?
The body I was born with.
Is it not what you wanted?
If I wear what is comfortable, I am not a woman. If I shed the layers, I’m a slut.
Though you’ve never seen my body, you still judge it”
I love that Billie included spoken word on the album to speak about a topic that all women face — being perceived solely on our looks and judged based on that. 9/10
The song starts off noting how the paparazzi is relentless in their pursuit of getting a photo of her, but as it goes on she calls out the body-shamers, saying that she isn’t plastic and would never go under the knife to please the public. Following “Not My Responsibility” in addressing how her body became an obsession with the press, “Overheated” is an additional “F You” to folks who make her body their business. Featuring lyrics, “And everybody said it was a letdown / I was only built like everybody else now /But I didn’t get a surgery to help out /’Cause I’m not about to redesign myself now, am I? / (Am I?) Am I? / All these other inanimate b—-es, it’s none of my business / But don’t you get sick of posin’ for pictures / With that plastic body?” 7.5/10
Billie explores the idea of death in “Everybody Dies,” taking another dark turn on the album. Morbid as it is, Eilish alludes to the possibility of reincarnation, her child-like view of the world and wonders about when she will be faced with her own death. It’s not often that you hear a pop singer, especially one at her age, openly sing about a topic that we all must face one day. 6/10
One of the best songs on the album, if not the best. You can’t help but be left with a huge impact after hearing the song especially with the lyrics, “I thought that I was special / You made me feel /Like it was my fault, you were the devil /Lost your appeal / Does it keep you in control? / For you to keep her in a cage? / And you swear you didn’t know / You said you thought she was your age / How dare you? / And how could you? / Will you only feel bad if it turns out / That they kill your contract? / Would you?”
We previously reported that Eilish said her song can be applied to anyone, “You might think, ‘It’s because she’s in the music industry’ – no, dude. It’s everywhere,” Eilish said. “I don’t know one girl or woman who hasn’t had a weird experience, or a really bad experience. And men, too – young boys are taken advantage of constantly.” 9.5/10
Eilish’s first “You couldn’t save me but you can’t let me go / I can crave you, but you don’t need to know” in the song sets the tone for the despair she feels. In the official music video, which she directed, cars zoom by close to the singer as she belts that line. When she sings the line again, Eilish drops to her hands and knees on the dark, empty road with an agonized expression. 8.5/10
“Therefore I Am”
The shopping mall music video for “Therefore I Am” was released last November, and was our first taste of Happier Than Ever. It’s a fun, cheeky song that I still don’t find myself skipping when it comes on. “I really couldn’t care less and you can give them my best.” 8/10
The last track of the album discusses the loneliness felt after a break-up with Eilish singing, “But I loved you then, and I love you now and I don’t know how. Guess it’s hard to know when nobody else comes around. If I’m getting over you, or just pretending to be alright, convince myself I hate you.” Another relatable song for those who have had a hard time getting over a failed relationship, a constant theme in Happier Than Ever is the trials and tribulations of loves lost and gained. 8/10