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The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

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Guts by Olivia Rodrigo


Olivia Rodrigo is bringing back the total power of the angsty 2000s teenage girl, and I can feel the low-rise jeans and feathers in my hair already. 

Olivia Rodrigo released her second studio album, “Guts,” on Sept. 8 after the massive success of her first album in 2021, “Sour,”, which won her three Grammys at only 18 years old. 

“Sour” discussed heartbreak through piano ballads and punk rock hits and sparked celebrity drama as fans attacked Joshua Bassett, former situationship of Rodrigo, and Sabrina Carpenter, the other woman in their love triangle. In a great PR move, both Carpenter and Bassett wrote their own songs on the situation, causing more online drama while bringing in all the cash. 

In “Guts,” Rodrigo laid into her punk influences by creating angsty songs to resemble  those of the early 2000s. Songs like “get him back!” and “ballad of a homeschooled girl” explain the plights of being a young woman through Avril Lavigne-style hits that could easily fit in a teen drama.

Rodrigo teased her new album by first releasing two singles, “vampire” and “bad idea, right?” Showcasing the duality of her album; one song is a powerful, heartbreaking ballad and the other is a pop punk song about getting back with your ex. 

While the album includes many hard songs, she didn’t forget her ballads, such as “teenage dream,” and “the grudge,” which talk about betrayal and growing up. These slower yet still powerful songs show off Rodrigo’s range and powerhouse voice that appeals to the new generation of young women. 

Many of her songs, especially “all american bitch,” illustrate the difficulty that women face when attempting to fit into societal standards.  The expectations of being pretty and sweet, while simultaneously being sexy and seductive, make it impossible for women to not be criticized.

Other songs on the album focus on the obsession with being as pretty as other women. Her song “lacy,” personifies her obsessive thoughts about this beautiful woman she wishes she could be. She compares herself so heavily to this other woman, that it almost seems like she is in love with her due to her obsessive behaviors. 

My favorite on the album, “Get him back!”, is the perfect pop-punk hit that the 2000s would love to claim. Filled with quirky lyrics and a great sound, the song is perfect for any teen coming-of-age movie. Using the clever double meaning of “get him back,” Rodrigo discusses an ex who did not treat her well. She claims she wants to get him back, as in back together, and get him back, as in key his car and tell his mom that he sucks. 

Like her previous album, fans have found more drama written between the lines. 

The song “the grudge,” has fans trying to find out who the song is about. Some claim the song is about Taylor Swift, since Rodrigo gave up 50% of the royalties of her song “deja vu” after being accused of it sounding a lot like Swift’s hit “Cruel Summer.”

“lacy” also has fans questioning who this woman Rodrigo is obsessed with. Fans theorize  it is about singer/songwriter Gracie Abrams who opened for Rodrigo’s Sour tour, and has also opened on Swift’s Eras Tour. The two had a falling out, and it seems Abrams has taken Swift’s side in the argument.

“Guts” is a new take on Olivia Rodrigo’s style as she leans more into her punk influences. Her ballads, though, seem to pale in comparison to those on her previous album. They lack the power and emotion that songs like “traitor” or “favorite crime” had. Still, the album created many great songs to add to your “I hate men” playlists and displayed Rodrigo’s versatile talent once again. 

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Kenzie Van Haaften, Staff Reporter

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