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Andrew’s Judgmental Album Reviews: Billie Eilish – Happier Than Ever (2021)

Taking the JAR out of the 90s cupboard to an artist that wasn’t even born in the 90s! Billie Eilish’s new album Happier Than Ever is up for judgment!

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Taking the JAR out of the 90s cupboard to an artist that wasn’t even born in the 90s! Billie Eilish’s new album Happier Than Ever is up for judgment!

Massive deviation in the timeline! Wait, wrong gimmick, wrong article. Either way, Billie Eilish’s newest album seems to be getting some interesting buzz. To be fair, I didn’t know who she was until I saw her on Hot Ones in 2019. Then I went back and heard Ocean Eyes and Bellyache, and I had to admit the girl (she was like 17 at the time she did the Hot Ones episode, hence why I say girl) had talent. Not just one of those factory produced pop stars that we get so many of.

Now her first studio album, especially Bad Guy, was a pop smash hit; so Billie was made. The thing that brings the ruckus when it comes to this album though, is it’s a giant tonal shift. Granted, the world is in a much different position now as opposed to a few years ago. So let’s take a look at the new album Happier Than Ever.

  • Artist: Billie Eilish
  • Album: Happier Than Ever (2021)
  • Record Label: Darkroom – Interscope

We kick off with a very somber and muted Getting Older which sounds like a song off of Bo Burnham’s Inside. I really think the line of “Things I once enjoyed, just keep me employed” is a very relatable line for many people. I also really appreciate the juxtaposition between the title of the album and the entire feeling of this first song. It’s like being in on a very sarcastic joke. I Didn’t Change My Number raises the tempo a little using keyboard effects and a drumbeat that keeps the song bouncing. It definitely gets across the mocking nature of the break up song.

Okay I appreciate the words used, Billie Bossa Nova, has a nice jazz club swing to it. Plus I just like someone other than the Ninja Turtles using Bossa Nova. The song though does have a very sexy rhythm with lyrics that compliment that about a fast passionate meeting/night, something sudden but worthwhile. These first three songs tie together with a little bit of the overall lyrical tone staying tempered, but the emotions are a little scattered. My Future really sounds like a Disney song. Musically it’s very stripped down and sparse, Billie layers her vocals with her brother Finneas and there’s only a very light strum early on before the drumbeat and picks up the tempo. The lyrics seem to be moving on from someone, because she’s in love with her future, so it’s really clever on wording about focusing on herself.

Oxytocin is clever because I was pretty sure most of Billie’s generation just likes to refer to things as “Dopamine”. Oxytocin seems to be a song about using someone just for personal pleasure. The lyrics urge them that they should run away, but she needs them for the oxytocin. Interesting, especially since this is one of those songs that get a faster club beat. I had to double check I was listening to the same album, Goldwing, starts out…like a Roman Catholic hymn. After the hymn fades out like a fever dream, we get a pretty nice electro beat but lyrically the song still dances around Gold-Winged Angels, sacred things staying away from darkness. So this almost feels like a warning from Billie to others to not get involved in a dark industry if you still have your purity.

Lost Cause goes back to the ex-partner lyrics. A small occasional drum kick and a funky but light bassline keep the song bopping along. But song does just enough to help the story of the lyrics along, probably getting across how much of a lost cause the relationship was and even reminiscing on it isn’t much. Halley’s Comet is beautiful. It’s such a quiet love song, where Billie sounds exasperated. Almost like the previous snarky songs have been trying to fight against admitting she’s fallen in love. It’s got almost a stripped down like Beach Boys ballad vibe (mostly the guitar tone). But it’s really sweet about a long distance relationship where she’s falling in love, but the line of “Halley’s Comet comes around more than I do” is cute, sad, but it also really gets across how much she’s falling for this person. Simple yet smart song.

Not My Responsibility is more of a spoken interlude, reminds me of something Prince would do. Talking about people judging her appearance, her music, her figure without knowing anything. The last few lines “Is my value based only on your perception? Or is your opinion of me Not my responsibility?” is a very nice way to tell haters to…get bent, shall we say. OverHeated keeps that stripped down, almost electro sound of the album going. Lyrically it takes the stance of her reaction to when people wanted to know what her figure looked like when she wore all the baggy clothes, and then thought she was just part of the trend. Punctuating the verses getting across that she looks like she does naturally and she’s not plastic, is a nice jab at the industry and perceptions of beauty; without being overtly nasty.

Everybody Dies is not Lance Archer’s new theme song. Or well…if it was…it would be more like Lance Archer in Dreamland. It’s a dreamy jazz number just reflecting on death, seemingly missing someone in particular and waxing poetic about when it might be her time. Nothing profound, just really nice sounding. Your Power lyrically exposes a concept that a lot of people can relate to, especially young women; when it comes to someone exploiting them by using their power or manipulation tactics. Who knows if it’s directed at anything in particular, but putting it into words might help people avoid or get out of a similar situation.

NDA has more of a pop single house beat and continues to stay in most of the vein of break ups and getting older. I do like how she brings a few of the other lyrics from previous songs into this, but I really appreciate the concept of making someone sign an NDA after a breakup. The concept of the song just amuses me. Therefore I Am has a fun enough beat, but the lyrics just dismiss this person who’s basically just clout chasing. The song paints a picture of someone who name drops and acts like they’re cool just to elevate themselves, but Billie’s prospective is not knowing who the hell this person is. This was a funny little song, which I think the album needed to not just be a giant ball of depression.

Now we get to the title track Happier Than Ever, and it’s simple acoustic strumming that reminds me almost of I’m a Lonely Little Petunia, with the way the guitar is strumming and interspersed through the verses. The second verse actually hits in like Barenaked Ladies, where it has an Indie Rock vibe and then explodes into this choral belt for most of the rest of the song. A ton of different and very cool elements change the song from somber, to fed up and it’s really awesome. Also the title isn’t so much ironic, as it is, she’s happier than ever, when she’s away from who she’s sick of. So it’s just a tonal thing.

Male Fantasy is an interesting song. Personally I can’t tell if she’s speaking to a person or the concept itself, but I suppose it helps to put into light how women think regarding this. Seemingly frustrated over it, but still starving themselves or doing things to satisfy the “male gaze”. Lines about getting over you, or just pretending or trying to convince themselves they hate you; that could be at a person, society, concepts, it definitely leaves a lot to think about. Plus it ties in nicely with a few of the other songs, so I really think this is the perfect song to end the album on.

So this is not a quirky album with trap beats and club bangers, but it’s very intelligent. From what I’ve covered across a few genres, a lot of the musical tones out of the pandemic are dark, or sad, but Billie basically recorded a diary. The bare and raw aspect to a lot of the songs, the lyrics, and the subjects are a little more poignant with how she just laid it all out there.

Do I think some of the more uptempo songs were the record company needing singles? Yes. So that hurts the overall fluidity of the album, pop industry influence aside; there is more than enough merit in the real songs to give this album some support. Smart, heartfelt, vulnerable and witty. Not something you’ll clean the house to, but if you need some cathartic commiseration music…it doesn’t get much better than this!

 

Final Judgment: 8.25/10


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Chairshot Radio: Musical Chairs S2 Finale- Van Halen & Hall And Oates [100422]

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Chairshot Radio: Musical Chairs S2 Finale- Van Halen & Hall And Oates [100422]

For the Season 2 Finale of Musical Chairs, the guys discuss two of their all-time favorite acts. First up, Dave tackles Van Halen. For over 30 years, Van Halen dominated the music scene. Led by one of the greatest guitarists of all-time in Eddie Van Halen, the band pumped out multi-platinum record after multi-platinum record, enduring controversy, break-ups, and reunions along the way. The guys take a deep dive into their history here on the Season 2 Finale. Then, Patrick finally gets to talk about Daryl Hall & John Oates. Similar to Van Halen, Hall & Oates have been around since the 70’s,  are still going strong, and have produced a dizzying amount of huge hits and chart topping tracks. Unlike Van Halen though, the duo have avoided controversy and have endured as one of the top musical acts of their genre. Covering Hall & Oates is the perfect way to bring Season 2 of Musical Chairs to a close so tune in and enjoy!

Today’s hosts: Dave Ungar (@AttitudeAgg) and Patrick O’Dowd (@WrestlngRealist)

  • The Season 2 Finale of Musical Chairs focuses in on Van Halen & Hall and Oates.

About Chairshot Radio

The rebirth of Chairshot Radio will see a rotating cast of hosts delivering you a new show EVERY day. Sports, Entertainment and Sports Entertainment is the umbrella under which we seek to invade your earballs. So sit back, relax and LET US IN…

For the latest, greatest and up to datest in everything pro wrestling, sports and entertainment head to TheChairshot.com and remember to ALWAYS #UseYourHead.

About the Chairshot Radio Network

Created in 2017, the Chairshot Radio Network presents you with the best in wrestling and wrestling crossover podcasts, including POD is WAR, Women’s Wrestling Talk, Chairshot Radio daily editions, The #Miranda Show, Badlands’ Wrestling Mount Rushmores, The Outsider’s Edge, DWI Podcast, Bandwagon Nerds, the Greg DeMarco Show, 3 Man Weave, Five Rounds, Turnbuckle Talk, The Reaction and more! You can find these great shows each week at theChairshot.com and through our distribution partners, including podcasting’s most popular platforms.

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Bandwagon Nerds

Bandwagon Nerds #151: On A Scale From Mole Man To Dr. Doom

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Bandwagon Nerds #151: On A Scale From Mole Man To Dr. Doom

This week, Patrick Dave and PC begin the Bandwagon’s review of the final season of Locke and Key on Netflix.  Plus, the Bandwagon reacts to Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman breaking the internet.  The Nerds share their excitement on this and tons of other news around the Nerdosphere!

  • @WrestlngRealist
  • @AttitudeAgg
  • @itsReyCash
  • @PCTunney
  • @ViolentAesop
  • @therealcplatt
  • @ChairshotMedia

About Bandwagon Nerds

Join Patrick O’Dowd, David Ungar, PC Tunney and Rey Cash as they keep everyone up on all things nerd, and maybe add some new nerds along the way. It’s the Bandwagon Nerds Podcast!

About the Chairshot Radio Network

Created in 2017, the Chairshot Radio Network presents you with the best in wrestling and wrestling crossover podcasts, including POD is WAR, Women’s Wrestling Talk, The #Miranda Show, Badlands’ Wrestling Mount Rushmores, The Outsider’s Edge, DWI Podcast, Bandwagon Nerds, the Greg DeMarco Show, 3 Man Weave, Five Rounds, Turnbuckle Talk, Suwama’s Station, The Reaction and more! You can find these great shows each week at theChairshot.com and through our distribution partners, including podcasting’s most popular platforms.


The Chairshot Radio Network
Your home for the hardest hitting podcasts and radio shows!

All Shows On Demand

Listen on your favorite platform!

iTunes  |  iHeart Radio  |  Google Play  |  Spotify
Listen, like, subscribe, and share!


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Let us know what you think on social media @ChairshotMedia and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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