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The Lion's Roar

The Official Student News Media of Southeastern Louisiana University

The Lion's Roar

The Official Student News Media of Southeastern Louisiana University

The Lion's Roar

REVIEW | Olivia Rodrigo’s “GUTS” spilled raw emotion and relatability

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Earlier this year, Olivia Rodrigo released her anticipated sophomore album, “GUTS.” I listened to it seven times the first week. On Friday, March 22, Rodrigo dropped “GUTS (spilled),” the deluxe version with four new songs. Once again, I was blown away by her voice and lyrical prowess.

Rodrigo first captured the world’s attention with her role in “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” on Disney Plus. Her song, “All I Want,” blew up on TikTok in 2020 and opened the doors for a successful music career.

At the beginning of 2021, Rodrigo released her first official single, “Driver’s License,” which had every listener, me included, feeling the raw emotion and screaming the lyrics in their car. “Driver’s License” hit No. 1 in the nation and quickly rose to top 100 in the world. 

We didn’t have to wait long for a full album, which hit streaming and stores in May 2021. Rodrigo’s debut album, “SOUR,” was filled with emotion and detailed the struggles of young adulthood, which was very relatable for me and many of her listeners.

Two years later, 2023 gave us THE song of the summer – “vampire.” If I had to confess the number of times I’ve listened to this song, it would be super embarrassing. “vampire” is hands down the best angry breakup song since “Picture to Burn” by Taylor Swift in 2006. I stand by that statement.

Rodrigo wasted no time giving her fans what they wanted. Only four months after releasing her single, Rodrigo dropped the whole album. “GUTS” was, and still is, a music powerhouse. This album gave us rage, sorrow and everything we have ever felt in our relationships with others, both romantically and platonically, and with ourselves.

“GUTS” broke down the door and opened the floor for Rodrigo to take center stage and dominate. She has a song for everyone, including a country song.

Now, I am not a huge fan of artists randomly deciding they are going to be country: (*cough* *cough* Beyoncé). However, Rodrigo’s song, “girl i’ve always been,” incorporates the right amount of pop, folk and country to make it work. I love this song! The guitar accompaniment paired with her breathy vocals creates a song reminiscent of old country, and the chorus is amazing:

“Well, I have captors I call friends/ I got panic rooms inside my head/ I get down with crooked men/ but I am the girl I’ve always been.”

Everyone always hears from relatives or old friends about how much they have changed over the years or how they aren’t the same person from “back then.” Rodrigo addresses this by showing how someone’s perspective of another person changes, not the person themselves.

Rodrigo’s storytelling skills are astounding, as well as her vocal range. She displays a beautifully soft voice in “lacy” and “pretty isn’t pretty enough,” then hits us with her punk rock vocals in “get him back!” and “bad idea right?” Finally, Rodrigo rounds everything out with her raw emotion and truth.

One of my favorite songs from this album is “all-american b*tch.” Rodrigo explores what it’s like to try and portray yourself as the perfect example of a woman for society and how ridiculous and fantastical the standards are for women.

Rodrigo sings, “I am built like a mother and a total machine/ I feel for your every little issue, I know just what you mean/….I forgive and I forget/ I know my age and I act like it/ got what you can’t resist/ I’m a perfect all-America b*tch.” 

Everything she says is contradictory to show how unrealistic the expectations are.

I highly recommend listening to “GUTS (spilled),” but be warned: you will feel every emotion through the course of an hour. By the end of the album, you will not be the same person you’ve always been.

You can listen to Rodrigo’s new album on Spotify, Apple Music or your favorite music streaming service. She is also on tour right now, so if you really fall in love with her music, keep an eye out for concert dates near/in NOLA.

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About the Contributor
Abigail Fischer
Abigail Fischer, Social Media Editor
Abigail Fischer is majoring in English with a concentration in creative writing and minors in French and publishing studies. During the Spring 2022 semester, she began working as a staff reporter for The Lion’s Roar. Abigail spends most of her time working, reading books and traveling. After graduation, she hopes to work as a copy editor in France.
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