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Olivia Rodrigo Releases Second Studio Album, “GUTS”

GUTS%2C+Rodrigos+second+studio+album%2C+hit+the+charts+Sept.+8%2C+2023.+Photo+by+Yahoo+Movies
GUTS, Rodrigo’s second studio album, hit the charts Sept. 8, 2023. Photo by Yahoo Movies

Olivia Rodrigo released her highly anticipated album, “GUTS,” on Sep. 8. Her already-released singles from this album, “vampire” and “bad idea right?” have over 500 million streams combined, and both music videos have amassed millions of views on YouTube. 

When Olivia Rodrigo released her debut album, “SOUR,” in 2021, it gained popularity quickly, spending five weeks in the Billboard 200 number one spot and winning a Grammy for best pop vocal album.Encompassing every emotion, “SOUR” gave the impression of a breakup album. Written at only 18, the album showed the sense of naivety that comes with young heartbreak. Nearly the entire album focused on one single person from Rodrigo’s past. Clearly, this new music took a turn from that. “GUTS” represents a more grown-up Rodrigo and lacks the innocence of her first album.

Rodrigo shared on social media this album conveys “growing pains” and figuring out who she wants to be at this point in her life. With 12 tracks, Rodrigo created an album that portrays the liveliness and trials of her teenage years.

Like “SOUR,” “GUTS” takes listeners on a rollercoaster of emotions. “GUTS” dives deeper into Olivia Rodrigo’s punky side, differing from the variety of styles seen featured on “SOUR.” Rodrigo’s definitely portraying the narrative that she’s in her comeback era. If fans enjoy “brutal” from “SOUR,” then this album includes many options. Not to say this album doesn’t have deeper and more emotional songs. It does. And they’re great.

“All-American b,” “ballad of a homeschool girl” and “love is embarrassing” are only what I can describe as teenage punk-pop tracks. These songs make for good background music at a party, but not great for headphone users. Some of the lyrics are incomprehensible, and overall the songs can be overstimulating, but I do think these songs help bring the whole album together. “making the bed” and “logical” are songs that pull on heartstrings. These introspective tracks focus on Olivia’s struggles and changes accompanied with her rise to fame. The lyrics are relatable and can be interpreted however the listener wants.

In “the grudge” Rodrigo sings about betrayal, similar to “SOUR’s”“traitor.” The methodical and captivating lyrics really allow for the entire song to come together. Online, listeners have spread rumors claiming the track was written about Taylor Swift, and I’d have to agree. The two fell out after copyright issues resulting in Olivia Rodrigo paying Taylor Swift 50% of royalties from one of her songs. Rodrigo felt betrayed because the two were friends and Swift publicly displayed her adoration and admiration for the artist. In 2021, Taylor Swift wore a flower dress to the Grammy’s, and one of the lyrics from the song remarks, “Your flower’s filled with vitriol,” which could be a jab at Taylor. Personally, my favorite lyric remarks, “And we both drew blood, but, man, those cuts were never equal.”

In “teenage dream,” Rodrigo sings about growing up and the unrealistic expectations put on teenagers. She sings about wanting to look forward to her whole life ahead of her, but fearing that she already lost the best parts of her during her childhood. She sings about the hypocrisy of the phrase, “It gets better” because in her worst times, she can’t find that happiness and reassurance.

Rodrigo included a song called, “get him back!,” a fun song about Olivia wanting to get revenge on a boy she met in the summer. The song’s bridge offers super catchy lyrics and fun beats. This track shows her strength and she’s not someone that can just be messed around with.

In “lacy,” Rodrigo goes for a softer-sounding track with underlying tones. Lacy represents maybe not a particular person, but just the idea of an ideal woman. Throughout the song, Olivia compares herself to Lacy. In this vulnerable song, Rodrigo uses the comparison of herself to Lacy to show her inferiority and insecurities in herself. Similar to “jealousy, jealousy” from “SOUR,” “lacy,” rather than acting like she doesn’t care, Olivia admits she’s obsessed with and intimidated by the beauty of other women and overall beauty standards. The track, “pretty isn’t pretty” also touches on insecurities with lyrics such as, “I started to skip lunch,” and “I could change up my body and change up my face.”

Overall, my favorite songs are “logical,” “lacy,” “get him back!”, and “the grudge.” I think this album does have a few skips, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t great. I would rate it an 8/10. Definitely worth taking a listen.

About the Contributor
Ella Geist
Ella Geist, Staff Writer
Hi, my name is Ella and I’m a sophomore. I love reading and music.
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    emmaJan 8, 2024 at 8:37 am

    I think her music is something that teenage girls can relate to can its something that they like to listen to.