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The Student News Site of The Village School

The Viking Press

The Student News Site of The Village School

The Viking Press

GUTS: Olivia Rodrigo Broke the Internet for the Second Time

A student listening to “GUTS” by Olivia Rodrigo. Photo taken by Kristina Roux.

The quintessential break-up album, with the perfect mix of pop and rock – Olivia Rodrigo does it again, creating a relatable and timeless album. A former Disney star featured on shows such as “Bizaardvark” and “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” Rodrigo stunned the world in 2021 with her debut album, “Sour”. Following it, her new album “GUTS” features 12 tracks, seven of which are explicit. It can be found on every streaming service – Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, etc. The album tells a story about heartbreak, but not in the usual way of sad and mellow songs you can cry to, it’s more like you’re gossiping to a friend. Before the full album release on September 8th, Rodrigo released two hit singles, “vampire” and “Bad Idea right?!”. These two singles both spent time sitting on the Billboard Top 100. 

This album was presumably based on Rodrigo’s recent breakup with a man much older than her. Fans are having trouble figuring out who exactly, but through the lyrics we can tell it’s a celebrity much older than her.

Right off the bat, the cover art displays a lot of purple, a common theme with Rodrigo’s music and style. It adds to her grunge-pop persona, as do the silver rings she is wearing on the album cover spelling out the word “GUTS” across all her fingers. You can tell based on the album cover alone that her music style has changed in the past two years and has matured compared to her “Sour” high school days. Some songs on the album featured talking or chanting along with the regular singing, almost as if she’s talking, but with a beat behind her- like she’s having a conversation with you. It seems like she’s gotten more comfortable in her music.

As her music has progressed, so has her storytelling. Not only does the album convey maturity, but also the trials and tribulations and real-world problems of being a young woman in today’s society. Some might say it’s just an angry women’s breakup album, but it’s so much more than that. The album begins with the lead-off track, “all american bitch” which pays tribute to what it’s like to be a teenager in America, with the constant pressures and a look into a young girl’s mind. The song did not make my top songs, but Rodrigo does display a relatable message that many can relate to. Other songs on this album are “vampire” and “bad idea right?!”. Both are irrevocably different, yet the same. Both are gut-wrenching breakup songs symbolizing what Rodrigo went through in her toxic relationship. While “vampire” has deeper and more impactful lyrics, “bad idea right?!” showcases more impulse and chanting than other songs, as if she’s having a conversation with you. 

Vampire is arguably the most hard-hitting song on the album. Essentially, the whole story is the repeated narrative of “the older ex-boyfriend”, and through the lyrics “Six months of torture you sold as some forbidden paradise,” and many others, young girls with similar experiences can relate. It’s unclear if she was cheated on, but you can tell she was hurt and emotionally scarred.

A personal favorite of this album was the song “lacy”. This song contradicts a lot of the rest of the album because it is more soft and contemporary instead of pop-rock. Beautifully poetic strings of words like “I care” and “I try” come together to tell a story of hurting. The song is talking about something the listener doesn’t know, about how burnt out she is, and how she’s trying to cope with the struggles of growing up. “Lacy” could be a person, a thing, or a place, the listener isn’t quite sure, but it’s a song many can relate to because of the theme of maturing.

Overall, this album displays more meaning than “just” a breakup album, It’s an album of hurting, pain, and growth. It’s as if it’s a portal into the mind of an older teenage girl, even though Olivia Rodrigo is 20 years old. She sings and writes her music with experience, and all of her songs are about things many girls can relate to. I would give this album a 7/10 because though I don’t love every song, I love the messages behind each one.

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About the Contributor
Kristina Roux
Kristina Roux, Writer
Kristina Roux is a first-year writer for the Viking Press. She is an avid dancer on the Viking Spirit Elite Team, passionate about economics and politics, vice president of the Formula 1 Enthusiasts Club, and ultimately loves to write. Kristina chose journalism as an outlet to express her opinions and to grow as a writer, as well as learn more about writing in general. When she isn't writing, she's listening to music, dancing, hanging out with her friends, reading, or cooking and baking.

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