Saturday, April 20, 2024

Album review: Listening to “GUTS” is not a “bad idea right?”

MosaicAlbum review: Listening to "GUTS" is not a "bad idea right?"

BY BETH WOJCIECHOWSKI
Associate Arts and Culture Editor




I’ll admit it: when Olivia Rodrigo’s debut album “SOUR” was released in 2021, I was highly apprehensive. 

Sure, I enjoyed her debut single “drivers license” and had highly enjoyed the TikTok drama that followed, but considering that I grew up in an era where every Disney Channel star would release one or two inconceivably bad songs (sorry, Bella Thorne, “TTYLXOX” still lives in my nightmares more than a decade later), I had my doubts. Much to my surprise, however, these doubts quickly faded once I listened to “SOUR” and found myself loving every song more than the last.

After she won big at the 2022 Grammy Awards with her debut album, I knew that “GUTS” was bound to be an impressive follow-up. Indeed, “GUTS” did not disappoint. In fact, I’d argue that it was even better than “SOUR” simply due to the sheer variety of songs and the emotion infused within the lyrics.

In all 12 tracks it is clear that  Rodrigo has come into her own with “GUTS.”  Each song expands on the styles and genres used in “SOUR” but with more of a nuanced, sophisticated flair. From Paramore-esque pop-punk tracks to more emotional ballad tracks that have a Phoebe Bridgers feel to them, Rodrigo fully delivers with every aspect of this album. There is something for everyone in the wide variety of songs.

Many of the songs in “GUTS” feel very reminiscent of music from the 2000s. There are a few that I believe would fit perfectly in films such as “Clueless” or “10 Things I Hate About You.” This is especially true for Rodrigo’s more pop-punk-esque sound in tracks such as “get him back!” and “all-american b***h.”

My personal favorites on the album, “lacy” and “ballad of a homeschooled girl,” are polar opposites of each other in regard to tempo and genre. However, they both have an angsty feeling that I adore – perfect for walking around campus with a purpose (in my humble opinion).

While there is quite a wide range of songs in the album, I can’t help but feel that most of the song lyrics are more relatable to young adults or teenagers than any other demographic. 

This is probably because Rodrigo wrote this album when she was 19 years old. Her lyrics detail her life experiences, which are naturally going to resonate with people of that age group. I can’t help but wish this album was around when I was in high school.  While I do enjoy it now, I definitely think it would’ve resonated with me more if it were around then. 

In spite of her Disney-girl past, Rodrigo is not to be discounted when it comes to her solo music.  I can’t help but feel that her rise to stardom  in the music industry is reminiscent of some of my childhood ex-Disney star favorites such as Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato. 

Overall, “GUTS” contains songs for every kind of mood, and you truly can’t go wrong with a single song on the album, due to the sheer mix of emotions that the songs convey. Hell is a teenage girl, and “GUTS” only serves to prove that. 

Expert tip: “all-american b***h” is the perfect song to listen to on your daily campus speedwalk to your 8 a.m. You can thank me later. 

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