Spilling My Guts, on Guts

A review of Olivia Rodrigo’s hot new sophomore album, Guts.
Spilling My Guts, on Guts

Following a Grammy-winning, Billboard-topping, record-breaking album is a challenge in itself, yet popstar Olivia Rodrigo managed to accomplish this task with grace, elegance, and some of her typical teen angst. As a fresh face in the music industry, there were so many expectations imposed on her, but she managed to clear up any doubts about her success and talent through the release of her sophomore album Guts. The album can only be described as pop perfection with the catchiest of melodies and the most heart-wrenching of lyrics. And with all twelve songs debuting in the Billboard’s Top 100, there’s no doubt that fans agree too.

Rodrigo’s first performance at the Grammy Museum

Throughout the album, Guts manages to form a cohesive theme of vulnerability, (AKA “spilling ur guts”). In the opening track of Guts, titled “all-american b****”, Rodrigo belts out “I know my place, and this is it / I don’t get angry when I’m pissed / I’m the eternal optimist.”  Rodrigo describes how she’s always been put in a box as a famous young woman, not being able to express herself completely in order to maintain a perfect image. Nonetheless, it’s the angsty beat that makes this song compelling, making listeners feel like the protagonist in a 2000s coming of age story. I mean, it’s practically impossible not to sing along when you feel like the main character.

In addition to teen rock anthems, Guts also showcases Rodrigo’s ability to write heartbreaking ballads, such as “lacy,” “making the bed,” and “the grudge”—my personal favorite. Her lyricism in “the grudge” is unparalleled with lines like “Took everything I loved and crushed it in between your fingers” and “And we both drew blood, but man, those cuts were never equal.” The emotional vulnerability in her music is such a special experience as it allows her fans to feel seen and potentially heal from their past traumas. Music in general has such a big impact on our lives, and Rodrigo’s songs have themes that many of us can relate to as teens.

The emotional vulnerability in her music is such a special experience as it allows her fans to feel seen and potentially heal from their past traumas.

Olivia Rodrigo on the cover Rolling Stone Magazine

Unfortunately, I can’t claim Guts as a no-skip album as track 8, “get him back!” falls short for me. Though I do appreciate the duality of the lyrics (getting revenge and getting back together), the production on the song is what ruins it. It feels like a mediocre kidz bop song. However, considering that eleven out of the twelve songs are hits, I can confidently declare Guts to be an amazing album.

Rodrigo is definitely one of the most talented artists of our generation, being able to create a cohesive album with songs that are so sonically different. Her influence over the music industry and teen girls is undeniable. I mean, even with my awful memory, I managed to learn all the lyrics to Guts within a week of its release. And as an album, Guts showcases her musical intelligence and impressive lyricism. It has definitely solidified Rodrigo as a standout artist in the music industry with a bright future ahead of her.