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Time To Spill Your Guts

A review of Olivia Rodrigo’s sophomore album

GUTS, Olivia Rodrigo’s newest album, is a warped version of a so-called teenage dream. Rodrigo plays Alice as she guides us through her personal wonderland, where everything is either a choice gone wrong or an insecurity hiding in plain sight. “Vampire” tells the story of a manipulative relationship where only one person is in control. “Teenage dream” is a mournful song about coming to terms with the fact that you’re growing up, and you’re doing it by yourself. “Ballad of a Homeschooled Girl” is a punk song where Rodrigo croons about the uncomfortable feeling of the imposter syndrome that comes with being a teen.

Rodrigo sings with a new tone that she didn’t previously have. In SOUR, she plays the part of the sweet heartbroken girl whose songs are mostly ballads. But in GUTS, it’s a different story. Rodrigo’s tracks are laden with grueling bars and lyrics reminiscent of the 90s Riot Grrrl scene, and it’s safe to say that Rodrigo has evolved into full pop punk princess.

So in my opinion, the album is a great concept. 

But, sadly, there are a couple reasons GUTS falls short.  

For one thing, the actual music. The lyrics are raw and emotional, a perfect set up for great instrumentals. Instead, each song seems like a clone of the latter, which has me looking at my phone to see if the track is playing on repeat. One song that disappointed me particularly, despite its popularity, is “Bad Idea, Right?” The song starts as something like a spoken word poem, telling the tale of a party and a run-in with an ex. The spoken word poem, to be frank, doesn’t go along well with the chorus, where Rodrigo chants: “Can’t hear my thoughts (blah, blah, blah,)” and “I should probably, probably not.” It makes for a very confusing and messy song that doesn’t make any sense in the long term. 

Despite not being a huge Olivia Rodrigo fan over all, I still have to admit that SOUR had much better vocals and instrumentals. Where SOUR is a bittersweet summer dream, GUTS will probably make you question your choices in your sleep. 

But let’s not dwell on the negative. Rodrigo is a successful face of music in this decade, and despite contrary statements, I believe that she will continue to be successful as long as this generation sees fit. 

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About the Contributor
Lola Melian Lafinur, Writer/Reporter
I write articles about Arts and Entertainment in modern culture (movies, music, etc). My interests include film, writing, and reading every YA fantasy book ever written.
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