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The Argus

The Argus

The Student News Site of Illinois Wesleyan University

The Argus

The Student News Site of Illinois Wesleyan University

The Argus

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Oliva Rodrigo confirms status as “Pop-Rock Princess”

On September 8, Olivia Rodrigo released her sophomore album “GUTS”, officially solidifying her status as ‘op-Rock Princess’. After patiently waiting for this album for two years, three months, and 18 days following the release of Sour, I stayed up late to listen to the album in its entirety while sitting comfortably in my bed at 11p.m. the night before when it dropped on Youtube. In dedication of the album’s release, I have compiled my personal ranking of the 12 gutsy tracks. (Everyone is of course entitled to their own opinion. Just know you will be wrong.)

1. ballad of a homeschooled girl

Though this song isn’t actually a ballad, it is a certified banger. This song is a perfect transition from summer into fall. Rodrigo’s line delivery on the word ‘alive’ going into the final chorus gave me full body chills. Although I was not homeschooled, I can confidently say I’ve done multiple of the socially-awkward things Rodrigo describes in the song. 

Favorite lyric: “I laughed at the wrong time, sat with the wrong guy, searching how to start a conversation on a website.”

2. vampire

Miss Olivia really knew what she was doing when she picked this as the first single of the album. It’s a great transition from Sour, especially when you compare the ending of the ‘Good 4 U’ music video to the beginning of ‘vampire’s’ (We love continuity) In addition, the vocals on this song are so good, O.R. deserves another Grammy for them. 

Favorite lyric: “You’re so convincing, how do you lie without flinching?”

3. all-american bitch

This song perfectly balances explaining the duality of being a young woman in our society, and being so deeply 2000’s it hurts. 

Favorite lyric: “I’ve got sun in my motherf*ing pocket, best believe”

4. lacy

As my favorite ballad on the album, this song perfectly captures what it’s like to envy someone. The husky low tone Rodrigo takes in this song makes it feel like you’re walking in a dream. 

Favorite lyric: “I try to rationalize, people are people but it’s like you’re made of angel dust.”

5. love is embarrassing

This song is just a heap of fun. I know we’ve all done something crazy in the name of love, and this song proves that celebrities are no different. 

Favorite lyric: “I’m planning out my wedding with some guy I’m never marrying.”

6. making the bed

Rodrigo’s description of not only the difficulties of fame, but what it feels like to yearn for and work towards something only for it not to turn out like you wanted isheartbreaking. This song originally started lower on this list, but it’s too emotionally vulnerable and relatable I had to move it up.

Favorite lyric: “I got the things I wanted, it’s just not what I imagined.”

7. bad idea right?

While it is a total party anthem, it didn’t really click with me which was disappointing as it was the second and final single. Itt may not be one of my favorites,but “bad idearight?” does grow on me more and more with every listen. 

Favorite lyric:“I’m sure I’ve seen much hotter men, but I really can’t remember when

8. “teenage dream.”

The message of “teenage dream” is so beautiful and heartbreaking. The build up to the final chorus is amazing and has an emotional payoff. 

Favorite lyric: “They all say that it gets better, but what if I don’t?”

9. the grudge

On my first listen, I wasn’t much of a fan, but after returning to it a few times, I feel myself connecting more and more with the lyrics of the song. The production, on the other hand, feels all too similar to every ballad on Sour. 

Favorite lyric: “The arguments that I’ve won against you in my head, in the shower, in the car, and in the mirror before bed.”

10. get him back

This song is perfectly ‘teenybopper’, in the best way. I think it’s intentionally a little juvenile, but let’s be honest, we all wanna key our ex’s car after a breakup. If “get him back” did one thing, it was deliver us with one of the best lyrics of the album (see below).

Favorite lyric: “I wanna kiss his face with an uppercut.”

Overall, “GUTS” beat the stereotypical “sophomore slump” and proved that it is possible to make a good sequel. While I loved Rodrigo’s further dive into the pop-rock and even punk genres, I wish this album had a little more ‘guts’. 

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