When Billie Eilish released her debut EP, dont smile at me, it was an instant hit. I loved it and couldn’t wait for her to release an entire album, but when she did it honestly took me a while to listen to WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP WHERE DO WE GO?. See, in my mind, I have different levels of liking an artist. Halsey and Taylor Swift (and likely Olivia Rodrigo soon too) are my favorites of all time, and I listen to any new releases from them immediately (a.k.a. staying up until midnight for song and album releases). But then there are artists like Billie Eilish and Girl in Red who I am a fan of, but I don’t follow them as intently as Taylor, Halsey, and Olivia. Because of this, I also took a couple of weeks to listen to Happier Than Ever. I will admit I first heard the title track on TikTok, and I loved the key change so much that I listened to nothing but that song for days. But then I listened to the whole album and I was reminded why I loved dont smile at me so much. Despite the difference in style between Billie’s debut and her most recent album, there is something in all of her music that I can’t explain. I didn’t love WWAFAWDWG? because that element, while present, wasn’t the same, but I’m glad it was brought back in Happier Than Ever.
For someone who loves music as much as I do, I actually find it very difficult to listen to brand new music. But when I do, and I find a song I like, I listen to it on repeat until I hate it. This is the experience I had with Happier Than Ever (the song), except months later I’m still not sick of it. The song starts with soft lyrics and ukulele, but halfway through the five minute song, the lyrics become more distinct and more instruments are added. This is my favorite part of the song, because the feeling of that key change is something I’ve never felt while listening to any other song. It’s the perfect song to blast in the car and even though it discusses something I’ve never experienced, it is strangely cathartic to scream/sing along to. My other favorite song on the album is Male Fantasy, which is directly after the title track and is the last song on the track list. Male Fantasy is a very different tone from Happier Than Ever, and is a little bit of a depressing topic but that is also something we need from music sometimes.
Click the image above to see Billie Eilish’s newest music video for Male Fantasy.