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'Covers the campus like the magnolias'
"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

Olivia Rodrigo spills her ‘Guts’ on her sophomore album

The pop star returns with a vengeance
Vampire is Olivia Rodrigo’s lead single for her album GUTS (Courtesy of IMDb).

On Sept. 8, Olivia Rodrigo dropped her highly anticipated sophomore album “Guts,” which was made, once again, in collaboration with her producer Dan Nigro. Two years following the release of her debut album “Sour,” Rodrigo comes back with a vengeance.

Themes from “Sour” remain prevalent, but she takes on these ideas in a more mature way that only a seasoned artist could accomplish. The identity of “Sour” is rooted in heartbreak, while “Guts” places emphasis on perspective. Rodrigo laughs at herself in “love is embarrassing,” singing, “What the hell was I doing?” On the track “bad idea right?” she sings, “I only see him as a friend / biggest lie I ever said.” Rodrigo takes pleasure in the tragedy of finding love as a young adult. 

Instead of shying away from the challenge, Rodrigo took on making a sophomore album head on. She built upon themes of her debut album, adding a certain level of maturity to her sound. According to BBC, Rodrigo sights 90s female artists like Fiona Apple and Alanis Morisette as her inspirations. Her album “Sour” demonstrates these classic 90s angsty-punk themes, especially the songs “brutal” and “good for you.” On her latest album, songs like “all-american b****” add even more punk to Rodrigo’s distinct pop-punk sound

Aside from this, Rodrigo succeeds in writing deep cuts that are often the defining moments of the album. “Logical” is especially vulnerable when she writes, “And now you’ve got me thinking / two plus two equals five / and I’m the love of your life.” A clearly illogical statement, Rodrigo reflects on her experience with heartbreak by proclaiming that none of it made sense.

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“Teenage Dream” reflects on Rodrigo’s experience in the spotlight in addition to her experience as a teenage girl. There is a certain anxiety about producing a second album, especially when the first album reaped as much success as “Sour.” The song outlines how she fears “that they already got all the best parts of me / and [she’s] sorry that [she] couldn’t always / be your teenage dream.”

While acknowledging the pressure to reinvent herself as a woman in the music industry, she simultaneously validates the fear getting older. Teen years are romanticized by the media, and Rodrigo even contributed to this with her last album “Sour” — with dreamlike hits like “Driver’s License” and “Deja Vu.” Rodrigo is introspective across the entire album. 

If 12 songs wasn’t enough, there are rumors of an upcoming deluxe edition of “Guts.” On the vinyl edition of the album, fans have found an extra song at the end that she did not release with the digital version. In a parody infomercial that the singer released on her YouTube, there is a glitch in the setlist that reveals four extra songs, according to Billboard. There is no confirmation from the singer of when these songs will be released, however, fans spotted the name of all four in the YouTube video: “obsessed,” “scared of my guitar,” “stranger” and “the girl i’ve always been.” 

The “Guts” era is far from over with new songs on the way and a list of tour dates that the singer announced on Instagram on Sept. 13. Rodrigo’s impact on pop-culture has only begun. She is the it-girl and will continue to be for years to come.

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    MaddieSep 21, 2023 at 1:33 am

    Always love reading your pieces Care! – maddawg