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Album Review: Billie Eilish is happy and sad at the same time on her new album

In “Happier Than Ever” the singer-songwriter conveys a lot of melancholy. That should be to the taste of their fans.

Billie Eilish blows up an old shell. On 16 songs she takes a seat on the new album, but in “Happier Than Ever” she succeeds. In the song, which bears the same name as the new album, she sings almost whispering to a soft guitar. After a little more than half, the tempo becomes faster, her voice stronger: a musical liberation blow. That’s how it works. In the video, she screams out everything that weighs on her while singing in the rain. To catch your breath and last finale, it will be quiet again. And then: “Just leave me alone,” she roars into the dark night, the guitar screeches with her, and that’s how the best track of the record ends. Which doesn’t mean the other titles are bad.

In an ordinary adolescent life, parents, friends, perhaps teachers or coaches observe the coming of age. But not a worldwide audience – with upset fans, stalkers, paparazzi and Billie Eilish life experts. Now, this can be clearly heard on her second album and after the hit single “Bad Guy”, she seems to want to get a tank against all the external influences. Against everything that happens when you are so exposed to the public. The new record “Happier Than Ever” is therefore quite sad, sometimes even quite dark, but never too heavy. Piano, guitar and bossa nova underline the emotional boom of the 19-year-old.

No ordinary 19-year-old sounds like Eilish

The album can be heard like a 16-part therapy session that she wants to share. In the song “Getting Older” she deals with getting older. What she was once able to enjoy is said to have become pure work for her. She assumes that she will feel better again, she says in a whisper. No, that’s not what an ordinary 19-year-old sounds like. Increasingly, a generation that is at least ten years older than them is more concerned with these findings.

And this is what the original looks like: Billie Eilish: Happier Than Ever, released on the Universal label.

Photo: Universal

The Track “Billie Bossa Nova” is a telling title that meets all expectations and yet surprises on the record. Sentimental Brazilian guitar music in the style of Billie Eilish.

The pieces “Lost Cause”, “Not My Responsibility” or “Everybody Dies”, in which her delicate voice shines especially in the high altitudes, sound more like the 19-year-old.

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She makes use of the entire modular system of melancholic music design: “Goldwing” begins like choral singing in a church, before the American then passes into vocal singing, similar to “NDA” or “Overheated”. Although in these songs mainly a driving beat dominates such as different fast heartbeats. But you look for a piece like “Bad Guy” on the album in vain.

Their music remains approachable and vulnerable

Billie Eilish is overjoyed with her work. She wanted to try to create a timeless work, she said in a recent interview. She may have succeeded in this mainly because she has remained faithful to the Eilish sound for long stretches – electro-pop has only a test character. Their music remains approachable and vulnerable, but not depressed, sometimes even hopeful. That’s exactly how the album ends. Breathed song lines to quiet acoustic guitar, a constantly recurring pattern. A safe haven.

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Arjun Sethi
Passionate guitarist, gamer and writer. Lives for the perfect review, and scrapes texts until they are razor-sharp.


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