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Olivia Rodrigo’s "Guts": Album Review

Updated: Sep 26, 2023

Molly Kober, Staff Writer

Olivia Rodrigo, Guts Tour Promotional Poster. Photo//Live Nation Entertainment


On May 21, 2021, Olivia Rodrigo released her debut album Sour. After the album won Best Pop Vocal Album at the 64th Grammy Awards, went 4x Platinum and prompted Rodrigo’s first world tour, fans have been waiting to see what the superstar would do next.


Finally, after an announcement earlier this summer, Rodrigo released her sophomore album Guts on Sept. 8.


The first single, "Vampire," is a scathing recount of a power-imbalanced relationship. Starting off sad and slow with a beautiful piano melody, it quickly turns rageful and regretful. The intense electric guitar and drums mimic the way your heart races in a fit of anger – the perfect choice for an alluring lead single.


The first track, “All-American B*tch,” starts off like a lullaby with smooth acoustic guitar. This sarcastic song playfully discusses the ridiculous unreachable expectations of innocence and perfection among women. She goes full punk in the chorus and falls back into the soft melody in the second verse. Rodrigo even goes as far as to scream into the mic during the bridge. The song ends with a choir-like sound and the lyrics, “I’m grateful all the time / I’m sexy and I’m kind / I’m pretty when I cry."


“Bad Idea Right?," the second single off of Guts, is all about having fun now and paying for it later. This fun, 90s-inspired number is just what you need if you’re looking to feel better about calling an ex.


Track 8, “Get him back!," is an anthemic and vengeful tune that will make you want to skip through the streets dreaming about revenge.


Similar to “Jealousy, Jealousy” on her debut album Sour, “Lacy” is a soft song with soothing melodies dealing with rueful, one-sided envy.


Tracks 5 and 9, “Ballad of a Homeschooled Girl” and “Love is Embarrassing," talk about the intense shame and discomfort that comes with growing into yourself as a young adult: misreading signs, wishing you knew better, and wanting to “curl up and die." These anxiety-riddled tunes are perfect for scream-singing when the embarrassment of life is just too much to bear.


Track 6, “Making the Bed," is about the moment you shamefully realize you can no longer coast down the same path just because no one is stopping you. Rodrigo beautifully illustrates this awkward moment of growth through raw honesty, singing, “I’m playing the victim so well in my head / But it's me who’s been making the bed."


The songs “Logical” and “The Grudge” surround the emotions post-break-up, wondering if you’ll ever recover and how you even let it happen in the first place.


The closing track, “Teenage Dream,” is the perfect way to wrap up this coming-of-age saga. Starting out with just the piano, Rodrigo gets in touch with her bedroom-pop roots and delivers a devastatingly beautiful song about not being able to live up to expectations.


Between the stunning vocals, inspired melodies, and intense vulnerability, this album is something every young person needs to hear. Full of awkwardness and angst, Guts is the album we never knew we needed.

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