With the release of her sophomore album GUTS, Olivia Rodrigo reflects on her past mistakes and figures out adulthood.


For the second album in a row, Rodrigo has taken the world by storm. With both SOUR and GUTS  peaking at #1 on the Billboard 200 within two weeks of release and SOUR breaking numerous Spotify and Apple Music records; neither were short of perfect releases.


I tuned into this album with nothing but high hopes as I used to be somewhat of a listener of Rodrigo. And I wasn’t disappointed in the least, but I wasn’t shocked beyond belief like how I was for the release of SOUR.


The opening song, titled “all-american b*tch,” starts the album off with a slower ballad-like sound, but quickly changes into the pop-rock sound she’s encapsulated over time. Throughout the album you can notice how she lures you in with her vocals, then gets more aggressive with the choruses. That makes it surprisingly satisfying for the listener and reminds me of early 2000s Avril Lavigne.


The next two tracks, “bad idea right?” and “vampire,” were both released as singles earlier in the year and have received majority positive reviews and reactions. On YouTube, both videos have around a 10:1 like to dislike ratio and combined they have more than 500 million streams on Spotify. Of the two, “vampire,” was easily the star between the two singles, nearly tripling viewership on all main streaming services (YouTube, Apple Music, Spotify) and peaking at #1 on the Billboard Top 100.


“How’s the castle built off people you pretend to care about?”


In comparison to SOUR, you can tell that Rodrigo’s storytelling has improved. Each metaphor accurately represents the emotion she tries to convey, and it’s become incredibly satisfying to hear. From the first line all the way to the last line, a story is being told and words aren’t being wasted.


The bridge of this song is outstanding and is the overall best on the entire album. I’m not exactly one to go crazy over bridges, but this was an exception and I applaud the production team on this; it really could’ve been hit or miss.


Towards the middle of the track list, “love is embarrassing,” and “ballad of homeschooled girl,” were my favorite from that bunch of songs. They were catchy, upbeat, and more importantly, could be found very relatable. Without relatability, a majority of musicians would probably be half as famous as they are all are, and they’d probably run out of things to say.


Many of the ballads towards the middle and end of the album all had a similar feeling to SOUR.  It’s nice for an artist to just reach back and bring some of the things that they’re known best for into the present. I’m sure many of these songs will be teenagers’ “cry songs,” and that what brings more listeners in: invoking their emotions.


I didn’t have any songs that I didn’t particularly dislike at all, the production and vocals all mashed very well together, and she kind of makes it difficult to genuinely dislike. This is all from an unbiased point of view I’m speaking from of course, if you just hate her and everything about her, I can’t really speak for you. I try to see the music from a musical standpoint as opposed to a, “I don’t listen to this regularly, so I don’t like it,” kind of stance.



*tyson meter goes on a 0-10 scale, 0-4 being nearly or completely unlistenable, 5-7 in the “maybe listen to this” or “this is kind of good” range, and 8-10 being genuinely good I recommend this*










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About the Contributor
Tyson Florence is the writer for both Sports with Florence and Take Note columns here on The SIREN. He is a senior from New Brighton, a football player, and has been attending Lincoln Park since seventh grade.

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