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OPINION: How Olivia Rodrigo perfected her sophomore album “Guts”

Price Wilborn

Last month, Olivia Rodrigo released her sophomore album “GUTS.” And what a sophomore album it is. Rodrigo pulled exactly what Lorde did with “Melodrama”, her 2017 sophomore album following  “Pure Heroine” – taking everything listeners loved and dialing it up. 

Rodrigo was introduced to the world through Disney by starring in shows like Barvard and then High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. Her first ballad, “All I Want,” was performed on the show. Aside from her Disney career, Rodrigo’s single “Driver’s License” was released in January 2021. 

“Sour” kept the theme of the slow, lyrical but youthful description of heartbreak. Her debut record spawned multiple Top 10 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 and has since been certified Platinum four times. 


“GUTS” also has a lot more edge than her freshman album “Sour.” It indicates the transition from adolescence to early adulthood in a sense. “Sour” went through the highs and lows of first teenage love – the wanting, the miscommunication, the hurt. But “GUTS” gives us unfiltered rage. 

Still, Rodrigo manages to stick to their roots. “Vampire” – the debut single from the album” is a heartbreak ballad. She describes an ex-boyfriend as a “bloodsucker” and “fame-fucker.” 

The other single released to build anticipation for the album was “bad idea right?” This single showed us Olivia Rodrigo all grown up. 

Unlike “Sour,” there is a lot more of a grungy feminine rage in titles like “All American Bitch.” Rodrigo embraces influences such as Hole’s Live Through This from the switching from screaming to soft singing. The song’s title was inspired by Joan Didion’s “The White Album,” according to Interview Magazine. 

She has also taken that rage and channeled it into her performances. Following the overturning of Roe v. Wade, she brought Lily Allen to perform Allen’s “Fuck You.” She dedicated the performance to the five Supreme Court Justices who voted to overturn the federal protection to abortion in the United States.

Essentially, Olivia Rodrigo has broken free from her Disney star identity and reemerged as the princess of pop music.

Engagement Editor can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on X @debramurrayy.

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