By: Chloe Thomas and Georgia Arneson
Disclaimer: This is an explicit album
Olivia Rodrigo dropped her highly anticipated sophomore album GUTS on September 8th, 2023. After releasing her record breaking album Sour in 2021, fans wondered if her next album would live up to the success of her first.
Olivia is known for her “Deep Cuts” like “Drivers License” and “Traitor.” She definitely did not disappoint when it came to the emotionally vulnerable tracks on this album. The lead single for GUTS is a song called “Vampire,” which talks about being emotionally drained by someone she is dating. She sings about looking back on this relationship, about how many people warned her that this person is known to be a bad partner, and how she just ignored it because she trusted them. This is shown in lyrics like “and every girl I ever talked to told me you were bad, bad news/ you called them crazy, God, I hate the way I called them crazy too.” Rodrigo sings about how she thinks her partner is very two-sided and always makes her feel like she isn’t smart or special. This theme ties the song along with her other powerful tracks. Another very emotional track is “The Grudge,” where she sings about how she hurt her partner’s heart, but can’t comprehend what this person put her through as well. She mentions how even through all of her pain, this person is still everything to her. This shows the feeling of wanting to hate somebody that you love but not being able to. Olivia shows how emotions can be confusing sometimes, and this song explains different perspectives on how love and hate intertwine.
The album dives into plenty of different relationship dynamics, with one song sticking out to us called “Lacy.” This song speaks about admiring a female friend, to a point where she starts to love and hate them. Lyrics like “try to rationalize/people are people/but it’s like you’re made of angel dust” shows us that Olivia thinks this person is too perfect and how she can’t comprehend that this person is just like everyone else. While lyrics like “Lacy, oh Lacy, it’s like you’re out to get me/you poison every little thing that I do/Lacy, oh, Lacy, I just loathe you lately” talk about how this person makes her feel like Olivia’s doing everything wrong, the music in this song is very calming with background vocals that make it sound almost like a love song. She sings and feels like she’s upset and angry, making the overall song very satisfying to listen to.
Another stand out track on this album is “Ballad of a Homeschool Girl,” a song that talks about dealing with social anxiety and referring to it as “social suicide.” The title refers to the stereotype that homeschooled people do not know how to socialize properly, which is how Olivia feels in a group setting. The lyrics “I broke a glass/ I tripped and fell/ I told secrets I shouldn’t tell/ I stumbled over all my words/ I made it weird, I made it worse” are about feeling like she can’t do anything right and feeling like she doesn’t fit in with others. In the last few lines, Rodrigo says: “Can’t think of a third line.” Then, for the rest of the song, she just says “la la la la” which refers to her feeling as if her song writing isn’t good enough.
While this album has lots of fun songs you have probably heard like “Bad Idea, Right?” and “Get Him Back!” that are playful and upbeat, this album also shows so many different emotions, perspectives on relationships and overall a great musical sound. This album is a great listen and her versatility keeps listeners entertained and engaged. It’s hard to get tired of Rodrigo’s voice and how she sings with emotional power. The actor turned singer definitely will continue to become a major star in the music industry.