The Daily Gamecock

Review: Olivia Rodrigo demonstrates new level of maturity in sophomore album 'GUTS'

<p>A photo illustration of a person listening to "Guts" by Olivia Rodrigo on Sept. 10, 2023. "GUTS" is Rodrigo's sophomore album.</p>
A photo illustration of a person listening to "Guts" by Olivia Rodrigo on Sept. 10, 2023. "GUTS" is Rodrigo's sophomore album.

Album: "Guts"

Release Date: Sept. 8, 2023

Run Time: 41 minutes, 57 seconds

Label: Geffen Records

Artist: Olivia Rodrigo

Rating: A

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On her sophomore album, "GUTS," Olivia Rodrigo takes listeners on a journey through her toxic relationships and self-destructive tendencies that leaves the listener wanting more.

The album incorporates a blend of alternative rock and sad ballads with a nostalgic '90s presence.

The first single, “vampire,” features a pop rock style of music with piano elements guiding the song. The lyrics, “I've made some real big mistakes / But you make the worst one look fine / I should've known it was strange / You only come out at night / I used to think I was smart / But you made me look so naïve,” reflects on Rodrigo's past mistakes. During the song, she is able to discover herself and have a revelation about her past relationship.

As a way to uplift listeners, her track “bad idea right?” consists of playful instrumentation and catchy lyrics. The beginning of her music video for Rodrigo's second single on the album sets the tone of the song, portraying teens and young adults making fun and careless mistakes.

The lyrcis "Yes, I know that he's my ex / But can't two people reconnect? / 'I only see him as a friend,' the / Biggest lie I ever said," shine a light on the irony of Rodrigo going back to her ex, despite wanting nothing to do with him. The song also portrays the inevitable mistakes that all teens and young adults make.

Rodrigo demonstrates maturity not only through her lyrics, but also through her vocals, as she frequently showcases powerful belting.

Another track, “making the bed,” is a wistful piano ballad that unveils Rodrigo’s vulnerability to the audience. Through the lyrics, “Well, sometimes I feel like I don't wanna be where I am / Gettin' drunk at a club with my fair-weather friends / Push away all the people who know me the best / But it's me who's been makin' the bed,” she conveys regret for her actions when she first gained a sense of fame. Rodrigo introduces a disheartening melody in this track that changes the pace of the album and allows listeners to appreciate the dichotomy of her songs.

Her unique track, “all-american bitch,” is a pop-rock song filled with conflicting emotions about trying to fit the persona of an ideal American woman. The vocal fluctuations in the song depict her internal battle with this idealized image, which she ultimately resolves through her energy-boosting bridge, “Forgive and I forget / I know my age, and I act like it / Got what you can't resist / I'm a perfect all-American bitch.” cqar

The major theme of Rodrigo's sophomore album is maturity. Each of the tracks reflect her journey as she navigates adulthood and complicated relationships, learns from past mistakes and explores different genres of music to fully express her emotions.

The tracks on "GUTS" exhibit Rodrigo’s range of talents through her diverse lyrics and vocals. The mixture of punk-rock and melancholic themes illustrate her ability to master different styles of music, having come a long way from her first album and leaving her audience satisfied.


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