Billie Eilish’s 2nd Album Happier Than Ever a ‘Defiant’

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Billie Eilish’s second album ‘Happier Than Ever’ has been praised by critics for its undaunted interpretation of life as a teenage pop idol.

This album is a follow-up to her debut album in 2019 – When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

It throws light on the mental pressure that accompanies fame, along with heavy issues faced by young women such as sexual coercion.

The critics have said the album is “defiant” despite its “muted” tone.

The Guardian’s Alexis Petridis gave the “universally great” album four stars. He said that – 

 “On perhaps the most anticipated album of 2021, Eilish uses subdued yet powerful song writing to consider how fame has seeped into every corner of her life.

“Listening to a pop star complaining about being a pop star is usually enervating. It says something about Eilish’s skill as a song writer that, in her hands, the topic feels genuinely affecting.”

He wrote this in his interview because, despite her stratospheric success, Eilish continues to express her fears with relatable intimacy as pop’s anti-hero.

 

Billie Eilish shared the album artwork in a lengthy Instagram post, and said she –

 “Grew so much in the process of making this album and experienced so much self realisation and self reflection”.

Thinking about the music, it consists of Billie’s trademark whispered vocal tones. 

Although the album was produced in lockdown with her brother and collaborator Finneas – it contains “lots of clever production touches”.

Despite being “less obviously ear-grabbing and immediate than its predecessor… the fact that it’s a lower-key album than her debut shouldn’t distract from Happier Than Ever’s quality”, Petridis concludes.

 

Similarly, The Telegraph’s Neil McCormick gave a four-star review to the album. He stated that the record contains “surprising musical twists and glittering barbs of lyrical empowerment”.

He said “shimmering harmonies” combine to take the listener on an “emotional journey” that ultimately casts “optimistic light on a long dark night of Billie’s tortured soul”.

However, the passive tone has divided some critics, and fans, underwhelmed by the lack of bombastic, radio-friendly singles.

 

On the other hand, NME’s EI Hunt gave it a five-star review. He wrote: 

“Happier Than Ever fully establishes Billie Eilish as one of her generation’s most significant pop artists – and, better still, does so without repeating a single trick from the debut that turned her life upside down.”

But The Line of Best Fit’s review saw writer Matthew Kent lament a lack of daring. He gave the album a six out of ten.

“The tempo never quite reaches fever pitch; instead Eilish is content with the tranquillity of tried and tested methods”, he said.

The Times’ Will Hodgkinson also said “there are no collaborations, no Elton Johns popping up for guest spots, just Billie and Finneas making one subdued, minimal song after another”.

“Given how easily Eilish could have been blown off course by now, that alone is an achievement.”

 

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