Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 27 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
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  1. Aug 2, 2021
    100
    ‘Happier Than Ever’, then, is not just a triumph in progressing a signature sound into new territories, but a lesson in how to own your reality with confidence and class.
  2. Jul 30, 2021
    100
    With this collection, she proves that she was not just a shot in the dark or a blaze lighting up the sky for only a moment.
  3. 100
    ‘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.
  4. Jul 30, 2021
    91
    It’s an album that feels more intimate than the first one, and the first one was pretty intimate. ... It’s a fabulous headphones record.
  5. Aug 3, 2021
    90
    Delivering on the promise of her industry-shaking debut with confidence and grace, Happier Than Ever has the markings of a big career moment, one that signals artistic growth and hints at even more greatness to come.
  6. Jul 30, 2021
    86
    The results are daring, but she’s succeeded in making the best pop album of 2021, thus far.
  7. Aug 4, 2021
    83
    Billie Eilish’s second album expands upon everything that worked the last time and pushes it in new directions, a creative muse restless and bold in its ambition. It may not always land, but this is a terrific release that proves Eilish’s staying power, demonstrating she’s more than up to the task of delivering on the promise of her debut.
  8. 83
    The hooks are less immediately earworm-y than stomping When We All Fall anthems like "Bad Guy" or "Bury a Friend"; only rarely do the BPMs bump up high enough to transfer to the dance floor. Mostly, the beats are there to frame Eilish's singular voice: a smoky, silvery instrument that swoops and dips between vulnerability and bravado, jazz-bar bossa nova and confessional Gen Z poetry.
  9. 80
    “Your Power” is the slowest-and-lowest moment on “Happier Than Ever,” but as a whole the album is softer, quieter, more languid than Eilish’s trap-inflected debut. ... The dreamy-jazzy mode suits her singing, which has never sounded better than it does throughout “Happier Than Ever.”
  10. Aug 4, 2021
    80
    It's not your typical upbeat pop album — instead, it's more reflective and subdued. Through it all, it stays true to the young artist that took over pop music in only a few short years.
  11. Aug 3, 2021
    80
    Perhaps the most ambitious moment on the album is its warped title track which goes from a whisper to a scream when Eilish’s crystalline vocals burst from power ballad to an explosive Metallica-esque electric guitar anthem. Still, it’s the unwavering vulnerability of Eilish’s songwriting that makes Happier Than Ever most impressive.
  12. Aug 2, 2021
    80
    Billie Eilish continues to rise to the occasion on Happier Than Ever, staring down critics, naysayers and whatever the future holds while carrying self-love and compassion in her back pocket.
  13. Aug 2, 2021
    80
    Happier Than Ever is a record of many layers and nuances. It is primarily a deep dive into the dark side of overnight celebrity and the internet’s industrial-scale objectification of young stars. But the project is also is a study in loneliness and a baroque, at times almost gothic, picking apart of adolescent melancholia. It’s Lindsay Anderson directing an episode of HBO’s Euphoria. Or Edward Gorey illustrating Judy Blume.
  14. Aug 2, 2021
    80
    We relate because we root for her, because we listen with affection and identification. We’d all rather see her in a crown, running this nothing town. But the most striking thing about Happier Than Ever is that she’s refusing to coddle her audience, refusing to protect us from her darkest moments. It’s a high-risk move.
  15. 80
    The rest of Happier Than Ever tells a richly nuanced story about how human beings intersect.
  16. Aug 2, 2021
    80
    An album that consolidates and enhances Billie Eilish’s reputation as one of the stellar figures of her generation.
  17. Jul 30, 2021
    80
    Patiently moving into a new era, ‘Happier Than Ever’ is shrouded in a transformative darkness.
  18. 80
    Happier Than Ever is full of things most of us don’t have to deal with – NDAs, interviews, paparazzi – and yet Eilish weaves them around universal woes, with such a knack for sharp, insightful lyrics that it never comes across like her diamond shoes are too tight.
  19. Jul 29, 2021
    80
    The 16-song set flows beautifully, carrying listeners on an emotional journey in which surprising musical twists and glittering barbs of lyrical empowerment cast optimistic light on a long dark night of Billie’s tortured soul.
  20. Jul 29, 2021
    80
    The album also nudges Eilish beyond the trip-hop and trap sounds that dominated her past work, resulting in a more sonically diverse set that allows the singer—whose downbeat vocals have often been compared to Lorde’s—to explore the more textured, melodic aspects of her voice.
  21. Jul 29, 2021
    80
    The melodies and vocals are uniformly great; writing about the pressure of fame in a way that elicits a response other than a yawn is an extremely tough trick to pull off, and Happier Than Ever does it with aplomb.
  22. Aug 2, 2021
    76
    Some of Happier Than Ever’s quieter tracks drag—“Everybody Dies”’s dreary grasps at existentialism barely leave an impression. That said, as the beat change on “My Future” shows, Happier Than Ever’s best songs are the ones where Eilish and Finneas allow one small idea to mutate into two or three bigger ones.
  23. Sep 15, 2021
    75
    So, whilst it may not boast songs that stick with you for months in the way that Eilish’s first does, Happier Than Ever feels like a project that will age more gracefully and, in years to come, it may even come to eclipse that which came before it.
  24. Aug 4, 2021
    74
    Aesthetically, it may be polarizing compared to the hit factory that was her debut, but Happier Than Ever stands on its own as a powerfully flawed, overstuffed, but meaningful exploration of what it’s like to live as both a teenager and a superstar in ways that none before her felt comfortable saying.
  25. 70
    During its slower stretches, “Happier Than Ever” languishes. ... The risks start to pay off, though, on the album’s strong closing stretch, beginning as the warping “NDA” segues into the brash posturing of “Therefore I Am,” one of several lukewarm singles that benefits from the surrounding context of the album. ... Eilish remains an inveterate rebel. “Happier Than Ever,” though, exposes both the strengths and the limitations of her preferred mode of subversion.
  26. Aug 2, 2021
    70
    At roughly 56 minutes in length, Happier loses traction occasionally and would’ve benefited from further vetting, particularly mid-sequence.
  27. 60
    On Happier Than Ever the tempo never quite reaches fever pitch; instead, Eilish is content with the tranquillity of tried and tested methods - tentatively pushing boundaries, rather than cranking the distortion up to 10.
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 1257 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Jul 30, 2021
    10
    Billie wakes up from nightmares, and real life remains difficult and tasty. The artist left the dreamlike universe of her previous album and,Billie wakes up from nightmares, and real life remains difficult and tasty. The artist left the dreamlike universe of her previous album and, with her eyes open, she sang about real life. Happier Than Ever is one of the year's bravest records. Billie gives herself in flesh and blood as she sings with surprising and stimulating vocals. If you don't remember what it's like to be in post-adolescence, listen to this record. Full Review »
  2. Jul 30, 2021
    3
    The album tracks are very repetitive, you don't notice much difference when you change songs, only 3-4 songs are different from what HTE is.
  3. Jul 30, 2021
    3
    Billies having her "tough second season" creatively. All the songs are very nothing-y. I get that she's telling stories and expressing pastBillies having her "tough second season" creatively. All the songs are very nothing-y. I get that she's telling stories and expressing past pains through her lyrics and I applaud her for that.
    That's just what all the positive reviews are about- the lyrics and themes. I haven't seen a single interview to praise what the reviews should be about - the music!

    It seems she is very influenced by the typical boring contemporary social-media-influencer-rnb. The old Billie darkness is still there at points but the songs are just so sub-par quality-wise that's in honestly difficult to listen to the album on one.go

    The difference between the girl she was when she did the first EP and the debut album vs the woman she is now is clearly gonna affect the kind of art she produces.

    I hope she'll be back with something more inspiring. I love all her other stuff...
    Full Review »