When Billie Eilish released her 2019 debut When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, the singer was hailed as a Gen Z sensation. Two years on, Eilish has reached near-unimaginable heights of fame, scoring countless Grammys and number one hits – not to mention her image revamp earlier this year, which saw the singer ditch her slime green roots for a bombshell blonde.
Her sophomore effort Happier Than Ever is arguably the most anticipated album of the year and reflects on Eilish’s experience of fame and the surmounting pressures of stardom. Less playful than her debut, the album tries to present a more sophisticated side to the singer, showing off a wide range of styles in the album’s sprawling 16 tracks.
There’s the slinky bossa nova tones of “Billie Bossa Nova” and the softly sung choral interludes of “Goldwing”. On “Overheated”, Eilish experiments with chopped-up, glitchy beats, while “Oxytocin” is a rave-inflected banger about love rush. The closest we get to the ‘old’ Billie is on the track “NDA”, which is set to a jaunty “Bad Guy”-esque beat, as Eilish muses: “Had a pretty boy over but he couldn't stay/ On his way out, made him sign an NDA.” The pressures of fame, it seems, are inescapable.