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Rodrigo keeps sound consistent in ‘Guts’

In+her+new+album%2C+GUTS%2C+Olivia+Rodrigo+shows+listeners+a+transition+in+her+lyrics+as+she+goes+from+being+a+teenager+to+a+young+adult.
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In her new album, “GUTS,” Olivia Rodrigo shows listeners a transition in her lyrics as she goes from being a teenager to a young adult.

Following the success of her debut album “SOUR,” Olivia Rodrigo’s second album “GUTS,” shows that she is no longer the 17-year-old Disney kid singing about getting her driver’s license, but now a 20-year-old who is having fun as she navigates young adulthood.

The album opens up with “all-american bitch,” a fun pop-rock track that is similar to some of her previous songs in “SOUR.” In “all-american bitch,” Rodrigo sings about being confident in her own skin no matter what anyone says of her. The lyrics, “I’m a perfect all-american bitch / with perfect all-american hips / with perfect all-american lips,” is something many people will shout at the top of their lungs alone or with friends, as the song is overall a powerful anthem. 

“bad idea right?” — a song that was previously released in August 2023 — explores Rodrigo’s inner turmoil of deciding whether she should get back together with her ex or not. This is something many listeners can relate to when deciding whether to continue to see someone or not — especially when she repeats “Seein’ you tonight / it’s a bad idea, right?” three times with her volume increasing each time. This song has an intense bass and electric guitar that matches Rodrigo’s anxiety as she comes to the final decision at the end of the song, which was to get back with her ex and lie about it to herself and others. 

“vampire,” the first song Rodrigo released prior to the album, goes into detail about a toxic relationship Rodrigo was in. The track starts off with a beautiful and melodic piano that continues throughout the rest of the track as Rodrigo sings her heart out about how much of a toll this person put on her life. The lyrics, “Bloodsucker, famefucker / Bleedin’ me dry like a goddamn vampire,” perfectly bring home this point. 

The album continues with emotional songs like “making the bed” and “logical,” but two songs that tug at the heartstrings are “lacy” and “the grudge.” Jealousy and obsession are the main themes of “lacy.” The lyrics, “Lacy, oh, Lacy it’s like you’re out to get me / you poison everything I do,” shows how threatened Rodrigo was by the person she is talking about. This accompanied by the lovely guitar strumming and Rodrigo’s softer tone, makes this song a treat to the listener’s ears. 

“The grudge” has a similar structure to Rodrigo’s popular song “drivers license.” However, “the grudge” focuses on the difficulties of forgiving someone. Rodrigo delivers another emotional ballad with powerful vocals and intriguing lyrics. “You must be insecure, you must be so unhappy / And I know, in my heart, hurt people hurt people / And we both drew blood, but, man, those cuts were never equal,” shows a great sense of self-awareness and vulnerability. One of the special things about this song is that it ends on an unfinished verse with the last word of the song being “but,” which leaves room for listeners to interpret what she meant. 

“get him back!” and “love is embarrassing” are more upbeat tracks and show Rodrigo’s sassy side. Both songs are reminiscent of Avril Lavigne’s album “The Best Damn Thing,” which was released in 2007. “get him back!” is a playful track that features Rodrigo singing and rapping to a vibrant electric guitar and slow drums. Similar to “bad idea right?” Rodrigo sings about getting back together with her ex, but this time it focuses more on getting revenge as she laughs at the end of the track.

The last song of the album, “teenage dream,” is a coming-of-age song as Rodrigo reflects on transitioning from being a teenager to a young adult. With a nice, slow piano and enriching violin, she sings about some of the fears she has about growing up but also about some of the things she looks forward to, like being taken seriously by men and being seen as wise and capable of handling herself. 

While some fans might not like how Rodrigo’s sound has not changed too much since her last album, some fans might appreciate the maturity and depth in her songwriting in “GUTS.”  In addition, she took a few artistic risks in most of her songs like having an unfinished verse and including what could be viewed as funny intros and outros in several of her songs. Overall, this album felt like Rodrigo was saying goodbye to her teenage era and welcoming adulthood.

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Jadyn Davis, Senior writer
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