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Released: 2024

Label: Olivia Rodrigo PS

When the annals of pop music get written, those of us in the know will remember 2024 as the year Olivia Rodrigo dropped the bombshell that was “GUTS (spilled)”. Released by Olivia Rodrigo PSC, this album paints a vivid tableau of Rodrigo’s journey so far while also serving as a musical manifesto of her aspirations. Drawing inspiration from the tears and triumphs of teenagehood, and wrapping them in melodies and rhythms that dart between both chart-pleasing and heart-rending, Rodrigo fingerprints are all over this album.

Songs like “bad idea right?” and “the grudge” are odes to the oscillations of young love, while “ballad of a homeschooled girl”, “pretty isn’t pretty”, and “girl I’ve always been” are drenched in introspection, showcasing a unique blend of self-awareness and poeticism. Buckle up as we dive into hits that have solidified Rodrigo in the pop music pantheon, from the rebellious “all-american bitch” to the melancholy “scared of my guitar”.

So let’s get into it. From “all-american bitch” to “so american”, here we are breaking down the album “GUTS (spilled)” by “Olivia Rodrigo”.

1 all-american bitch

She bolts on an almost gloatingly defiant persona, her lyrical prowess circling the drain of societal standards and expectations. “I am light as a feather, I’m as fresh as the air / Coca-Cola bottles that I only use to curl my hair / I got class and integrity just like a goddamn Kennedy”, she delivers, simultaneously illuminating and mocking the prescribed American ideal. Underneath the cheeky bravado, Rodrigo’s hook offers a stark, poignant commentary: “I’m a perfect all-American bitch /With perfect all-American lips / And perfect all-American hips / I know my place, I know my place / And this is it.” In these bars, Rodrigo not only indicts America’s Barbie-doll standards of beauty but also encapsulates the emotional toll women face when striving to embody that ‘perfect all-American bitch’.

2 bad idea right?

The hook, “Seein’ you tonight, it’s a bad idea, right? Seein’ you tonight, fuck it, it’s fine,” serves as a perfect embodiment of the song’s theme, this lyrcial swing capturing her internal tussle between heart and logic. Rodrigo’s lament, “I only see him as a friend,” the biggest lie I ever said,” delivers a sucker-punch of reality, laying bare the deceptive self-talk one engages in to justify less-than-Ideal choices. The reconnection with an ex, the concerted denial of lingering feelings, and the eventual slip up in a moment of weakness – all underpin the tumultuous carousel ride Rodrigo bares us witness to in this modern pop ballad. Never shying away from confronting the truth, Rodrigo again shows why she’s the genuine article in today’s pop scene.

3 vampire

Rodrigo’s vulnerable confession, “I used to think I was smart/But you’ve made me look so naive/The way you sold me for parts/As you sunk your teeth into me”, unveils the grim reality of manipulation and exploitation. The audacious rebuke, “Bloodsucker, famefucker/Bleedin’ me dry, like a goddamn vampire”, serves as Rodrigo’s cathartic release, offering an unflinchingly raw indictment of her tormentor. What’s especially remarkable in “vampire” is Rodrigo’s ability to transform her personal trauma into a universal narrative, encapsulating the darker shades of love and betrayal that reverberate far beyond her immediate experiences.

4 lacy

The lyrics drip with a sense of longing, underscored by the lines “Ooh, I care, I care, I care / Like perfume that you wear / I linger all the time.” The song echoes a constant internal battle with self-doubt and misplaced love. Digging deeper into the song, Rodrigo’s angst reaches a crescendo in the verse, “Lacy, oh, Lacy, I just loathe you lately / And I despise my jealous eyes and how hard they fell for you,” revealing a complex blend of infatuation and resentment. This raw outpouring in “Lacy” is emblematic of Rodrigo’s ability to turn the messiness of human emotions into captivating pop narratives.

5 ballad of a homeschooled girl

Rodrigo’s lyrics are viscerally relatable, especially when she dives into the core of her inner turbulence and candidly expresses it through lyrics like, “Each time I step outside, It’s social suicide.” Here, Rodrigo poignantly taps into the paralyzing fear of the social minefield that many young people face. The song is a gut-punching confession, a raw portrayal of the emotional rollercoaster that comes with the trepidation of making social missteps. It’s a heartfelt exploration of the trials and tribulations of youth, and Rodrigo makes it all the more potent and memorable – a standout track in an album bursting with emotionally charged narratives.

6 making the bed

The haunting line, “I got the things I wanted, it’s just not what I imagined,” encapsulates the heart of the song. The lyrics paint a picture of Rodrigo grappling with self-induced unrest and consequences. There’s this rich narrative of pushing away those who know her best and engaging in futile or self-destructive actions that stem from a place of discomfort with her own identity. But amidst this internal turmoil, Rodrigo pulls no punches in acknowledging her agency; the refrain “But it’s me who’s been making the bed” is a clever metaphor for taking ownership of her faults and choices. She lays out the intimate struggle of self-perception, the dichotomy between the person she is and the person she wishes to be, capturing the universal narrative of growing pains in her evocative verses.

7 logical

Rodrigo’s lyrical prowess flourishes as she expresses the tumultuous reality of a toxic relationship. Her gut-wrenching line, “You lied, you lied, you lied / Oh, and now you got me thinking / Two plus two equals five,” encapsulates her struggle with gaslighting, a manipulation tactic that causes the victim to question their own reality. Rodrigo grapples with the dissonance of love’s ideal and its bitter manifestations, a conflict crystallized in the lyric, “No, love is never logical.” The climax lies in the acknowledgment of her complicity—”I know I’m half responsible / And that makes me feel horrible,”—a poignant admission that speaks volumes of her evolving self-awareness and resilience.

8 get him back!

Rodrigo lays the raw emotion bare from the get-go, “And when I told him how he hurt me, he’d tell me I was trippin’/But I am my father’s daughter, so maybe I could fix him.” This beautifully captures the painful dilemma of acknowledging someone’s toxicity but still yearning for their affection. She wittily encapsulates this seesaw battle of emotions in the infectious chorus, “I wanna get him back/I wanna make him really jealous, wanna make him feel bad.” In the deceptively upbeat tune, Rodrigo spines a tale of heartache, spurned love, and the paradoxical desire to reconcile, which resonates with anyone who’s ever been on a torturous emotional rollercoaster ride.

9 love is embarrassing

Rodrigo nails the awkwardness and naivete that comes with first love experiences – tossing self-esteem aside for ‘losers who’s not worth mentioning’. The push and pull of surrender and resurgence is palpable when she sings, “I give up, give up, but I keep comin’ back for more.” She’s frustrated, heartbroken, but still drawn back into the cycle. The song culminates in Rodrigo’s scathing self-assessment: “I’m plannin’ out my wedding with some guy I’m never marryin’.” It’s a biting critique of the desperation and delusion that can accompany young heartbreak. The song is a raw and real exploration of early love missteps – Rodrigo doesn’t pull any punches, and it certainly makes for an evocative listening experience.

10 the grudge

The raw, searing emotion is palpable in the lines, “You took everything I loved and crushed it in between your fingers.” Rodrigo is deftly unpeeling layers of heartache, emphasising the destructive aspect of a once cherished relationship. “My undying love, now I hold it like a grudge,” communicates the shift from passionate love to deep resentment, a consequence of pain inflicted. Despite the evident struggle to forget, the artist underlines her constant battle to let go, as conveyed in “But you know I can’t let it go, I’ve tried, I’ve tried, I’ve tried.” Here, Rodrigo, trapped in the cyclical nature of grudges, paints a candid picture of resilience. However, there’s no glossy resolution — the strength to forgive isn’t quite there yet, underscoring the reality that healing isn’t linear but a journey riddled with emotional contradictions.

11 pretty isn’t pretty

The song grapples with the relentless pursuit of perfection, self-acceptance, and the pitfalls of comparing oneself to unrealistic ideals. Rodrigo poignantly articulates the futility and emotional fatigue of this struggle in the verse, “I could change up my body and change up my face / I could try every lipstick in every shade / But I’d always feel the same / ‘Cause pretty isn’t pretty enough anyway”. This track crystallizes Rodrigo’s authenticity as a lyricist with a knack for unearthing and translating teenage angst into universal experiences, tearing at pop’s glossy sheen and laying bare the ugly truth about beauty.

12 teenage dream

Olivia Rodrigo lays it bare with her lyrics, “But I fear that they already got all the best parts of me / And I’m sorry that I couldn’t always be your teenage dream.” It encapsulates the struggle of striving to grow while grappling with the fear of leaving the best parts of oneself behind, a harsh reality that accompanies maturing. Rodrigo’s reflection does not hold back, questioning “but what if I don’t?” as she critically observes the societal expectations that ‘it gets better the more you grow’, offering a sobering counter-narrative. This song, much like Rodrigo’s entire body of work, deftly explores the intricacies of youth, fear, and the longing for days past with an unflinching honesty that’s both refreshing and relatable.

13 obsessed

It oozes insecurity and wistfulness with the line, “every time you call my name, I think you mistake me for her.” The lyric is a candid confession that echoes the deep-rooted self-doubt of many wishing to be the only one. Rodrigo, in true pop troubadour style, uses sharp lyrics to confront her anxiety, offering a forthright documentation of 21st century love in the age of over-sharing. This song’s exploration of obsession and jealousy is as much a tale of the impacts of social media as it is a classic story of unreciprocated love. “I’ve seen every movie she’s been in, and, oh God, she’s beautiful,” divulges Rodrigo, a line that embodies a very modern form of longing.

14 girl i’ve always been

“I can’t say I’m a perfect ten, but I am the girl I’ve always been,” she implores. It’s a declaration that encapsulates the song’s essence – Rodrigo’s refusal to bend to external expectations and her commitment to authenticity. She’s ‘all in’ with her vulnerability, discussing mental health with painstaking honesty – “I got panic rooms inside my head.” Rodrigo’s bravery here is palpable – a reinvention that’s not so much about change but about shedding layers to reveal the artist underneath. Her assertiveness in addressing the toxicity of her relationships, expressed in lines such as “Cursing me, trash my name, I rained all over your parade,” serves as necessary catharsis. Intricately tethered to Rodrigo’s journey of self-realization, “girl i’ve always been” hands us raw emotion wrapped in honesty.

15 scared of my guitar

With its point-blank lyrics, Rodrigo explores the dichotomy between what her heart knows and what she chooses to present to her lover. A gut-wrenching line – “Yeah, it knows me too well so I got no excuse, I can’t lie to it the same way that I lie to you” – delivers a seismic punch to the listener, revealing Rodrigo’s struggle to reconcile her emotions. The guitar here becomes a symbol of truth and emotional revelation that she fears. By shying away from her guitar, Rodrigo metaphorically shies away from facing her inner turmoil, choosing instead to keep up the façade of a happy relationship. Her lyrical prowess and emotional transparency make “Scared of My Guitar” an enticing blend of angst and authenticity.

16 stranger

She sings, “I was half myself without you, but now I feel so complete.” It’s a gut-punch of a lyric, highlighting her resilience in the face of emotional turmoil. Rodrigo also delivers an interesting flip in the structure of the song, shifting the power dynamic from one of longing to one of dismissal with the compelling assertion, “You’re just a stranger I know everything about.” The polarity within these lines, combined with the songwriter’s conversational and straightforward lyrical style, works to underline Olivia’s growth and autonomy. This track stands as a testament to the multi-faceted rollercoaster of emotions faced in the aftermath of a breakup and the journey one undergoes to regain control, a theme that is relatably pervasive in pop.

17 so american

With the refrain “And he says I’m so American, Oh, God, I’m gonna marry him, If he keeps this shit up, I might just be in love,” she crafts a narrative of a whirlwind romance that tugs at the heartstrings. The lyrics touch on the euphoria induced by an intoxicating connection, shrouded in a distinctly American context—driving on right-side roads, his clothing draped over her frame, the palpable frisson of budding affection. Yet, amid the infatuation, Rodrigo never veers too far from her trademark self-awareness—”God, I’m so boring and I’m so rude, Can’t have a conversation if it’s not all about you”. It’s this delicate balance of vulnerability and critique that gives “so american” its pulse, making it a standout track on Olivia’s ‘GUTS (spilled)’

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