Olivia Rodrigo pours her GUTS out in new album

in Entertainment/Reviews by

Olivia Rodrigo is back, and this time she did not hold back; she quite literally spilled her guts. Rodrigo’s sophomore album, “GUTS,” is a much more expressive version of her previous breakup album, “SOUR.” Her new album, released Sept. 8, has already risen to fame, as the album’s two singles, “vampire” and “bad idea right?” reached the top 10 of Billboard’s Top 200 charts. “vampire” has been nominated for five VMAs, with Rodrigo scheduled to perform at the VMA Awards ceremony as well. 

The album’s opener, “all-american b****,” mocks the traditional beauty standards teenage girls often face using a form of comedic satire, with Rodrigo singing “forgive and I forget/ i know my age and I act like it/ i‘m a perfect all-American.” Olivia goes further stating that she’s a perfect Kennedy, alluding to the troubles of trying to be the perfect American girl, innocent and righteous, while being America’s sweetheart. 

My personal favorite song, “ballad of a homeschool girl” reflects on the social anxiety that comes with partying, friendships and relationships – experiences many teens face. Within the song, Rodrigo sings about the insecurities of attending major teenage events, like parties and sleepovers, for the first time. 

Both songs have much more pop-punk sounds, a style that is echoed throughout the entire album in songs like “get him back!” and  “pretty isn’t pretty.” All of these songs detail Rodrigo’s personal experience as a teenage girl, and the diaristic lyrics enable listeners to relate to her. The wisdom she provides in her lyrics mirror those of Taylor Swift, an inspiration Rodrigo has previously acknowledged. 

Rodrigo did not forget her roots, though. Despite the punk-rock exterior, this album has its fair share of confessional songs that feature reflective lyrics, mirroring the majority of songs off “SOUR.” Songs like “logical” and “the grudge” reflect on past loves and the trials of being 19. “making the bed” is a unique song that describes what it feels like to reach your goal and not know what to do next, while “lacy” mirrors the artist’s close friend Conan Gray’s song, “heather,” about questioning one’s sexuality.

 The resemblance between “the grudge” and Rodrigo’s record-breaking song “driver’s license” is evident. This piano power ballad continues the heart-wrenching lyrics and vocals that first skyrocketed Rodrigo to fame. Some of these slower songs, such as “teenage dreams,” did not stand out to me and seemed repetitive, mirroring slower songs in her previous album “SOUR.” However, it shows that she has not lost her touch in lyricism, singing about personal experiences such as eating disorders openly and other unique Gen-Z experiences. With a very sonically cohesive album, the pop star explores new sounds without deviating too far from her roots of heartbreak, powerful vocals and introspective lyrics. Rodrigo writes from the heart, and her album feels as if it’s speaking directly to her listeners. The time and effort put into this album is quite apparent, and it was well worth the two-year wait. Despite being geared to teens, anyone can enjoy “GUTS,” no matter the age and the album unlocks an angsty teenage girl side in the best way possible.

As a rising senior, this is Emma’s third year in the Patriot Post and she’s excited to be the Online Editor this year. Outside of newspaper, she’s Co-President of the journalism honor society, Quill and Scroll, and also the Editor-in-Chief of the Sigma Xi Honor Society magazine. She is also involved in and has officer positions in Science Research, Sigma Xi, FBLA, Model UN, SNHS, and other clubs, including honor societies and her own nonprofit. In her free time, she enjoys reading, watching dramas on Netflix, listening to Taylor Swift, and hanging out with friends and family. She’s very excited to work on the Patriot Post this year!