Olivia Rodrigo GUTS Review: Sophomore album proves her pop-power.

3 mins read

Olivia Rodrigo has returned with her second album, GUTS, released 8 September 2023.

While lead single, Vampire, released 30 June was highly anticipated, it left some fans wanting more. The single, while containing a fantastic bridge and production, lacked lyrical maturity which fit the teen-angst of Sour. It felt too safe and gave the impression GUTS would be a re-tread of Sour in an attempt to match the success.

However, Rodrigo has proven detractors wrong as GUTS builds on both the balladry of Sour and it’s rockier tracks. It crafts a more mature effort with both insightful lyrics and fun pop numbers.

GUTS review

Second single, bad idea right?, sounds like the Wet Leg song Wet Leg never wrote. A fantastic 2000s throwback number with snarky sass and tik-tok friendly lyrics. “And I told my friends I was asleep, but I never said where (or in whose sheets)” sings Rodrigo playfully in one of the album’s most fun tracks.

Ballad Lacy is a beautiful folk-tinged number with some of Rodrigo’s most introspective lyrics yet. Nobody could argue that lyrics “like perfume that you wear, I linger all the time” and “Dear angel Lacy, eyes white as daisies” aren’t stunning.

Album highlight love is embarrassing is GUTS’ good 4 u and is sure to be a hit. Driven by a drum beat and riff full of electricity, it opens up into a fantastic throwback pop chorus. It’s reminiscent of Paper Rings by Taylor Swift, or even some of the queen-of-pops earlier hits.

While the ballads, with the exception of the disappointing Vampire, are all great, GUTS is at its best when it leans into the Paramore-tinged pop-punk sound tracks like brutal and good 4 u that Sour gave us. get him back! is built on essentially spoken verse, falling into rap territory and pretty isn’t pretty is reminiscent of jealousy, jealousy with Rodrigo opening up about her own insecurities about her appearance and the body issues faced by young women.

Final thoughts

GUTS proves that Olivia Rodrigo is a pop mainstay and opens up many avenues for her career down the line. Whether she sticks with her pop-punk/rock sensibilities or goes in another direction, she has plenty options. Either way, we’ll listen.

Featured Image Credit: Geffin Records

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Film & Media & Journalism Student
Here to review, discuss & celebrate all things film.
contact me: bem00218@students.stir.ac.uk

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