The calendar has officially just ticked over from New Billie Eilish Album Eve to New Billie Eilish Day, apparently, as Eilish’s sophomore album, Happier Than Ever, has just arrived on all the major music streaming services. Given that Eilish’s first album, 2019's When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? won a boatload of Grammys and went some-tuple platinum, Happier has been one of the most-anticipated albums of the year.
And now it’s here, clocking in at 16 tracks—including the long string of singles Eilish has been releasing since back in mid-2020, when she popped the sleepy “My Future” down on the internet’s heads to (successfully) start building interest for the album. Produced, like her first, by her brother Finneas, Happier Than Ever was breaking records even before it was released, having snagged Apple Music’s record for the most “pre-added” album in the service’s history.
As with her previous album, Happier Than Ever wanders organically from genre to genre, and in and out of topics of varying levels of heaviness. The spare opening track “Getting Older” dives into discussions of abuse—paired with Eilish’s breathy, soaring vocals, and the occasional abrupt stutter-step of the lyrics. “Things I once enjoyed,” she sings with a world-weariness that seems weirdly fitting at 19 years old, “Just keep me employed now.” Which then immediately gives way to the growling beginning of “I Didn’t Change My Number,” inducing a sort of tonal whiplash as it goes, before other tracks dip into techno or R&B.
Which: You don’t necessarily need us to describe the album, given that it’s out there on the internet right now, waiting for fans to dissect as readily as they flocked to When We Fall Asleep. Meanwhile, Eilish has said she intends to tour on Happier, starting in New Orleans in February of 2022. Fingers crossed for that, but for now, one of the biggest albums of 2021 is just a few clicks away.