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Album Review of GUTS; Olivia Rodrigo’s Newest Release

Elise Boucher

On May 21st, 2021, Olivia Rodrigo debuted with her album Sour, immediately rising to stardom with songs such as “driver’s license”, “deja vu”, “brutal”, “Good 4 U”, “traitor”, and “jealousy, jealousy”, majorly thanks to the popular social media app Tik Tok. Sour went on to attain many awards such as a Grammy, People’s Choice Award, Billboard Music Award, and two international awards. In the process, the previous actress starring in High School Music: The Musical and other films, garnered many fans including myself.

 A little over two years after the release of Sour, many fans received the news they had been expecting for a while now; the official second album announcement. On June 13th of this year, Rodrigo announced her new single on the album “vampire”, releasing it officially on June 30th. Alongside this, on June 26th, her website officially dropped the title of the anticipated album with a release date of September 8th; GUTS. Later on through the summer, on August 11th, she released her second single of the album titled “bad idea right?” 

Fast forward to September and the release of GUTS. Many people and fans, including myself, have listened to the album and enjoyed it thoroughly. However, I want to go through this album song by song, and give a ranking from my personal least favorites to my favorite, all with a detailed explanation on why that is. 

  1. “logical” – I love the power in her voice throughout the song. You can truly hear her emotion seeping through especially towards the end. The reason this song is ranked the lowest is because I don’t love the chorus and personally find it a tad bit corny. 7/10.
  2. “get him back!” – I like the chorus and honestly I find myself jamming to this song without realizing it! The buildup to the end of the song is also really great. However, I’m not sure how to feel about the sarcastic verses. 7.5/10.
  3. “pretty isn’t pretty” – I really enjoy the flow and the message of the song. Additionally, the indie feel of the instrumentals really make this song. However, I don’t find myself listening to this song as much as the others, and in my eyes it doesn’t stand out too much. 8/10.
  4. “ballad of a homeschooled girl” – I love this song. It combines pop with a tad bit of thrashy rock and what you get is something really fun to jam to. The storytelling and progression of the song is also really good. The only thing that gets its score docked is the constant repetition of the lyrics ‘social suicide’. It’s constant and I understand that it’s the point but I’m not a huge fan. 8/10.
  5. “making the bed” – Another great emotional ballad from this album. The melody and Rodrigo’s voice really put you into the feels. The story that the song conveys is done perfectly. 8/10.
  6. “all-american b****” – Originally, I had this song way lower. But as I listened to this album over and over… it really grew on me. My original complaint with this song was the beginning, but I’ve started to really enjoy it. Other than that, the chorus is great and I love the jumps between calm verses and chaotic angry choruses. 8.5/10.
  7. “love is embarrassing” – I really love everything about this song! The melody, the lyrics, everything! It’s honestly a bop to just have fun with! 8.5/10.
  8. “bad idea right?” – Again, great storytelling and melodic progression throughout the song! This is my favorite ‘rock’ song from the album. Compared to “get him back!” I love the more sarcastic tone in her voice and the powerful choruses. Also I’m in love with the pre-chorus… Compared with Sour, this would be the equivalent of “brutal”, the rockish song on her debut album. 8.5/10.
  9. “lacy” – Like “all-american b****”, I didn’t really enjoy this song. I was a bit unsure of the verses, but this song has grown on me a lot. The melody, the flow and storytelling is immaculate. Combined with the buildup of emotion in her voice, this song is phenomenal. I would be lying if I said I didn’t get emotional listening to this song. 8.7/10.
  10. “teenage dream” – This song is the perfect concluding song to this album. The album, which is all about teenage girlhood, concludes with a song about growing up from the teenage years. Apart from storytelling, I love the sharp chords and notes she hits. 8.7/10.
  11. “the grudge” – Everything is perfect. There is so much power and emotion in her voice and it’s masterful. She changes from being mellow to being angry and it’s beautiful. There is a rumor that this song is about Taylor Swift, and how Swift sued Rodrigo and won 50% of the royalties on “deja vu” after stating it sounded too similar to her “Cruel Summer”. Besides that, the song is still amazing. 9/10
  12. “vampire” – I love this song. The whole vampire metaphor about comparing a vampire to a lover who took advantage of her. The build-up in the song is perfect, and you can hear her sound frustrated, sounding scared, and then sounding more angry. It’s perfect in every way. 10/10.

Overall, this album has phenomenal progressional storytelling, along with great flow into her lyrical ballads, and amazing bops with her more upbeat songs. GUTS has been reviewed and revered as the epitome of ‘teenage girlhood’ and I thoroughly agree with that statement. With that being said, some of the lyrics could be corny at times, and some of the songs sounded similar to one another and to previous works of hers, which can be normal but it’s almost glaring at times. However, I didn’t find a single song on here to be lackluster, so I have to give this album an 8.3/10.

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About the Contributor
Elise Boucher, Reporter
 Elise Boucher is part of the Class of 2024 at Oakmont Regional HIgh School. This is her second year being a part of The Oakmoniter. She dances competitively, and also lifeguards. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and writing, hanging out with friends, choreographing new dances, volunteering, and watching TV shows. She also enjoys making people laugh and putting a smile on people’s faces. A long-term goal for her is to be accepted into medical school to pursue becoming a doctor.

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    Nicholas HillOct 25, 2023 at 10:08 am

    This article is the objective wrong opinion. It’s a good article, well written, but you could put these songs in a random order and get a better ranking. Teenage Dream is the best song on the album and Vampire, while is a good single, introducing the sound of the album with a good music video, it’s not a 10/10. Also making the bed is at the very least an 8/10, the song gives me goosebumps at the end and makes me feel almost as teary-eyed as Jigsaw by Conan Gray. Ballad of a homeschooled girl is probably the best “pop” song on this album and is way better than get him back! and all-American b**ch. Have a good day.