“Happier” by Olivia Rodrigo
We’re not going to go into an exposition concerning the thematic similarities between “Happier” and virtually every other song we’ve thus far analyzed from Sour. What we will say is that whereas said undertaking is not a concept album, it is one that, outside of maybe one song, is pretty uniform premise wise. And that premise would be the young singer dealing with the emotional aftermaths of the dude she loves leaving her for another lady.
So by this point in the album, we already know that the addressee has done the vocalist dirty as described above. But on this particular piece, she comes off as being a bit more forgiving than other related tracks. For example, she does damn her ex in a way, though she doesn’t do so directly.
Instead it’s like in between the lines, she’s putting forth the idea that he’s a womanizer. For instance, the featured narrative, which centers on him having a new love in his life, is transpiring just one month after the two of them have parted ways.
But more to the point is the vocalist admitting, even if only to herself, that her ex has in fact found a “sweet” and “pretty” new babe. Again, this is not something she’s bound to say out loud. Instead when interacting with him directly, it’s more like a casual ‘I hope you’re happy with her’ type of thing.
But Olivia is putting forth that expression with a grain of salt. For simultaneously, even though she’s not cursing the addressee’s new relationship, she is also hoping that her ex does not end up “happier” with this girl than he was with her. And feeling such a way is sort of a revelation to the singer herself. And why? Because up until this point, she was more convinced that she had actually gotten over him. But now, whereas she doesn’t particularly come off as being jealous per se, she is able to admit to herself that obviously there are some lingering feelings.
So again, despite being faced with an ex who has simultaneously acquired a new girlfriend, this time around Olivia does seem to be overly bitter. Indeed whereas it is more or less implied that he cheated on her, she doesn’t actually go into their past. Nor is she wishing him any harm in the present. Rather it’s like ‘wow, the new girl he hooked up with is quite amazing’. But that established, she still doesn’t want her to prove as amazing to the addressee as the vocalist herself did when they were together.
Facts about “Happier”
This is the eighth track on the playlist of Sour. Sour is the title of Olivia Rodrigo’s 11-song debut full-length. Both “Happier” and its album were brought to us by Interscope Records and Geffen Records.
This is one of a couple of tracks on Sour that Olivia wrote entirely on her own. In fact “Happier” is a tune she had been working on at least since late 2020, i.e. when she is first known to have teased it.
And as the story goes, it was actually the demo to “Happier” that attracted Dan Nigro to her. He’s the credited producer of this song as well as her composition partner throughout the entirety of the album.
And to note said album, along with this track, came out on 21 May 2021.
In all, there are 11 original tracks on Sour. Olivia co-wrote 9 of these songs with Nigro. The remaining two were written solely by her. These two songs are “Happier” and “Enough for You“.