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Happy New Year is the debut mixtape by American singer-songwriter Neriah Fisher. It was released on October 28, 2016, through Republic Records. The record was primarily produced by Joel Little and Fisher herself, who also serves as executive producer.

Happy New Year received generally positive reviews from music critics. The mixtape debuted at number 178 on the US Billboard 200, and number 36 in Canada. The lead single, "Back to You", was released on November 18, 2016, three weeks after the release of the mixtape. It charted at number 20 in Canada, and number 48 on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart but failed to enter the Billboard Hot 100. It also reached number 32 on the US Mainstream Top 40 chart. The title track, "Happy New Year", was released as the second and final single from the record. In Japan, a deluxe edition of the album was released, with two remixes of "Back to You", by Alison Wonderland and Diplo. The Diplo remix charted at number 24 on the New Zealand Hot Singles chart and remained on the chart for two additional weeks after that.

The mixtape consists of fifteen tracks, inspired by 80's sounds and aesthetics, according to Fisher. All fifteen tracks were produced by Joel Little. He also co-wrote nine tracks alongside Fisher.

Background and release

When announcing the release of the record, Fisher made an Instagram post in which she said "These fifteen tracks mean a lot to me. And for a long time, I felt like they were too personal and I wasn't comfortable knowing that they would go out to the entire world. But the world is changing, and so am I. And now seems like a good time to tell my stories. If this project helps even one person feel less alone and more accepting of themselves, then this will all be worth it. I hope you have as much fun listening to this as I did making it." She went on to thank Joel Little for assisting her with the making of the mixtape in her post. Steven J. Horowitz of Billboard called the project a "mature and somber collection of moody, self-deprecating tracks". From December 2016 to April 2017, Fisher released a collection of six videos to her YouTube channel titled "The Making of Happy New Year". In the videos, she shares snippets of demo recordings of certain songs from the record, as well as video footage of the studio recording sessions. She has created videos for the lead single, "Back to You", the title track "Happy New Year", as well as "Forget About Me", "Butterflies", "Love Is Pain" and "Break Me Again".

Promotion

Fisher first performed "Back to You" on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on November 22, 2016 and "Break Me Again" on December 7, 2016. She also performed "Back to You" on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on December 6, 2016. She performed the title track and second single, "Happy New Year" at the 2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards in a medley with Shawn Mendes, and the pair then went on to perform his hit single, "Mercy" on March 5, 2017. "Break Me Again" has been performed live at the 2017 MTV Europe Music Awards, despite not being released as an official single. Fisher shared the cover art and track listing on Twitter and Instagram on October 26, just two days before the release of the record.

Singles

The lead single, "Back to You", was released on November 18, 2016, three weeks after the release of the mixtape. It charted at number 20 in Canada, and number 48 on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart but failed to enter the Billboard Hot 100. Two remixes of "Back to You" were released, by Alison Wonderland and Diplo. The Diplo remix charted at number 24 on the New Zealand Hot Singles chart and remained on the chart for two additional weeks after that. It also reached number 32 on the US Mainstream Top 40 chart. The title track, "Happy New Year", was released as the second and final single from the record. It debuted at number 90 in Canada and number 20 on the US Bubbling Under Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Critical reception

Happy New Year received generally positive reviews from music critics upon its release. On the review aggregator site MetaCritic, the record holds a score of 77/100, based on 13 reviews. Rob Sheffield, writing for Rolling Stone, awarded the album 4 out of 5 stars, commending Fisher's songwriting and vocals and praising her "addicting cloudy and vacant tone through the album". Sheffield ends his review by commenting that "Happy New Year is filled to the brim with its fair share of catchy, radio-friendly songs and moody, downbeat songs. It doesn't stick to a specific genre, which works in its favor. It's wide scope excellently represents the rollercoaster of emotions shown throughout the album, and leaves its listeners wanting more." NME likewise gave the album 4 stars out of five and stated "the album maintains an authentic feel, quickly establishing that this is a story about pain, and healing." He singled out "Break Me Again", "Rumors" and "Talk to Me" as the best songs from the record.

Commercial performance

The mixtape debuted at number 178 on the US Billboard 200, and number 36 in Canada. It spent just two weeks on the US chart, falling to number 192 the week after its chart debut, and then dropping off the chart completely the next week. It spent thirty weeks on the Canada chart, mainly due to streams from "Back to You".

Track listing

The album was produced solely by Joel Little.

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Rumors"
  • Neriah Fisher
  • Joel Little
3:13
2. "Every Night"
  • Fisher
  • Little
3:36
3. "Dark Skies"
  • Fisher
  • Little
3:42
4. "Forget About Me"
  • Fisher
3:28
5. "Back to You"
  • Fisher
3:19
6. "Happy New Year"
  • Fisher
3:05
7. "Break Me Again"
  • Fisher
3:23
8. "Love Is Pain"
  • Fisher
  • Little
2:26
9. "Not Enough For You?"
  • Fisher
  • Little
4:17
10. "Silent Screams"
  • Fisher
  • Little
2:41
11. "Lights Out"
  • Fisher
  • Little
3:47
12. "Butterflies"
  • Fisher
3:22
13. "Talk to Me"
  • Fisher
  • Little
3:01
14. "Chances"
  • Fisher
  • Little
3:25
15. "Goodbye Girl"
  • Fisher
4:43
Total length: 51:28

Charts

Weekly charts

Chart (2016) Peak 

position

Canadian Albums (Billboard) 36
US Billboard 200 178
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard) 50

Year-end charts

Chart (2016) Position
Canadian Albums (Billboard) 65

Singles

Back to You

Chart (2016) Peak 

position

New Zealand Hot Singles (RMNZ)

24
Canada (Canadian Hot 100) 20

US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)

48
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard) 32

Happy New Year

Chart (2016-17) Peak 

position

Canada (Canadian Hot 100) 90
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard) 20

References

  1. The total length of the Japanese deluxe edition is 60:26.
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