Billie Eilish, Happier Than Ever

Or more likely the title's just one big snarky troll. Her repertoire has expanded and the breathy-girl vocals mellowed and refined (with the intentionally ironic exception of "Male Fantasy") and it goes well with the slinkier, smoother initial tracks, even the harshy "I Didn't Change My Number." (Stand-out: "Billie Bossa Nova." Yes, literally. You can almost imagine the stage show.) The slower, more introspective moments show real maturity ("my future" and "Halley's Comet" in particular), even if "Getting Older" doesn't quite wash with her age ("NDA"'s interesting power reversal reads more like it), and a little bit of grit doesn't harm "OverHeated" or at least doesn't harm "Therefore I Am" fatally. Still, "Oxytocin" is annoying and even a little thuggish, "GOLDWING" doesn't have enough of a hook to overcome the weak writing and the half-hearted angsty R&B in "Lost Cause" comes off even worse. The accuracy of the title notwithstanding she's still got growing up to do and the bad habits of her prior art die hard, but this album shows growth for sure, and those unmoved by her earlier efforts might find more to like in this one. (Content: F- and S-bombs, adult themes.)