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Olivia Rodrigo spills her “GUTS” in fun and vulnerable sophomore album

Pop+singer+Olivia+Rodrigo+released+her+sophomore+album+%E2%80%9CGUTS%E2%80%9D+which+contains+12+songs+that+feature+songs+like+%E2%80%9CAll-American+Bitch%E2%80%9D%2C+%E2%80%9CBad+Idea%2C+Right%3F%E2%80%9D+and+%E2%80%9CVampire.%E2%80%9D+Photo+courtesy+of+Chuff+Media+
Pop singer Olivia Rodrigo released her sophomore album “GUTS” which contains 12 songs that feature songs like “All-American Bitch”, “Bad Idea, Right?” and “Vampire.” Photo courtesy of Chuff Media

In early 2021, young actress Olivia Rodrigo, known for TV shows like “Bizaardvark” and “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” released the song “Driver’s License.” Soon, the catchy pop-based piano ballad would hit over 1 billion on-demand streams in the United States and worldwide, becoming an instant hit. 

Later Rodrigo released her debut album, “SOUR,” which experienced the same eye-catching numbers. Both casual music fans and critics championed the album for its relatable insights of falling in and out of love, mixed with soft ballads to energetic pop songs. 

Recently, Rodrigo returned with her second album, filled with even more brightly chaotic and vulnerable pop and angsty pop rock songs bound to have fans singing out loud the rest of the fall season. The album contains 12 songs and is 39 minutes long with each song having mature production and clever lyrics. 

All-American (expletive) 

Rodrigo comes out swinging in the opener to the album, from light guitar strumming to hard-hitting drums and bass. The song chronicles the unfair expectations women and young girls are held to. It’s a fiery start and sets the stage for how the rest of the album is. 

Bad Idea, Right? 

“Bad Idea, Right?” is another pop punk-inspired track stylized with electric guitar and drums. It’s the story of a tale as old as time: should someone reconnect with an ex-partner even though everyone knows they shouldn’t? This was one of two singles released in preparation for the release of “GUTS” with much praise.  

Vampire 

“Vampire” was the first single released by Rodrigo since “SOUR,” telling listeners about a relationship in her past. She likens this person to a vampire, specifically a “bloodsucker” and someone who “sold (her) for parts” lush vocals and operatic piano surround the song.  

Lacy 

“Lacy” brings back the gentle guitar strumming of previous tracks and sees Rodrigo lamenting over a complicated relationship in her life, one of the album’s central themes. This song in particular, has seen many fan theories and discussions about its meaning. One very popular theory is “Lacy” is Taylor Swift, as the lyrics of the song have been described as “swift like” by fans. As well rumors of a supposed feud between the two pop stars.  

Ballad of a Homeschooled Girl 

“Ballad of a Homeschooled Girl” gives the audience a window into feelings of deep insecurity and moments of painful awkwardness, all with a catchy drum and guitar beat. Lyrics like “It’s social suicide” and “I’m shocked I’m still alive” play to Rodrigo’s ability of dark comedic writing.  

Making the Bed 

“Making the Bed” is one of the most reflective tracks on the album, with Rodrigo singing about her extreme and quick rise to fame, specifically in a generation obsessed with the internet.  

Logical 

“Logical” has a similar instrumentation to previous tracks and sees Rodrigo blinded by love in an earlier relationship. She laments how love can distract the wrongdoings and manipulations her partner made. It’s soft but packs an emotional punch.  

Get Him Back! 

In one of the album’s most upbeat and vibrant songs, Rodrigo sings about a past relationship she would rather get sweet revenge on than let him go. The lyrics bring back Rodrigo’s clever comedy writing that oozes with energy. 

Love is Embarrassing and The Grudge 

Both these tracks have similar themes of dealing with love’s more unpleasant effects on a person. Whether it’s developing romantic feelings for someone a little too quickly on “Love is Embarrassing” or having the personal strength to acknowledge that you’re not ready to forgive someone who broke your heart on “The Grudge.”  

Pretty Isn’t Pretty 

“Pretty Isn’t Pretty” is a powerful and catchy track about the everlasting cycle of societal beauty standards. She comments how no matter what she does and the amount of makeup she puts on, she always feels the same. It is set against thrashing drums and a cutting bassline.  

Teenage Dream   

“Teenage Dream” ends the album on a high note, where Rodrigo sings in a heavy operatic finale about stepping into the world of adulthood. She contemplates her journey, and although she may have some regrets, she understands now is the time to transition, whether she’s ready or not. “Teenage Dream” seems to be a call back to the finale song off “SOUR’ “hope ur ok” with the low vocals and hidden conversations in the ending notes of the song.

“GUTS” is a harmonious and impressively written album that will resonate with many of her fans, especially younger listeners who may struggle with all these new confusing feelings life can hit them at different times.  

H. Catching Marginot is a staff reporter and may be reached at [email protected] 

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About the Contributor
H. Catching Marginot, Contributor/Writer
Henry Catching Marginot is a junior at the University of Texas at El Paso majoring in multimedia journalism and minoring in English: rhetorical studies. He is a contributor at The Prospector and freelances. He plans to pursue writing in the future.
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