Uplifting the Voices of Princeton Day School

The Spokesman

Uplifting the Voices of Princeton Day School

The Spokesman

Uplifting the Voices of Princeton Day School

The Spokesman

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“GUTS” Is Olivia Rodrigo’s Most Heartfelt Album Yet (Review)

Official Album Artwork, “GUTS”

Finding an artist whose music is relatable to my life experiences has been a challenge. Olivia Rodrigo is one of the few artists who have made substantial headway in understanding teenage lives, as she often speaks from incredibly personal experience. Her songs capture the lives of teenagers in a uniquely lyrical way. In her 2021 debut album, SOUR, Rodrigo shared the ups and downs of break-ups via soft, innocent, and melodic verses. Therefore, her switch to pop-rock with her latest, fiercest album, GUTS, was surprising. Released in June of 2023, the album delves deeply into a teenager’s complex emotions and mindset while also highlighting our generation’s shared experiences. 

As demonstrated in the lyrics of her songs, GUTS reveals Rodrigo’s inner fears and secrets. It discusses her past and present experiences with carefully selected words and backing tracks. When I first listened to the album, I was in awe at the diversity of emotions Rodrigo expressed in each song. The range truly reflected how much soul Rodrigo put into the album. The opening track, “all american b*tch,” reflects on the pressure associated with being perfect all the time. “lacy” discusses the insecurity and jealousy one can feel towards a person they wish to be. “lacy” was a favorite song of mine, as she cleverly closes the track with “I despise my jealous eyes and how much they worship you,” emphasizing the contrast between hating and loving someone at the time. On a more regretful note, however, Rodrigo admits to her mistakes in “vampire” and “love is embarrassing,” acknowledging it can be hard to move on from those mistakes, but doing so is a necessary step in life. 

Besides tapping into the emotional aspects of teenage life, Rodrigo zeroes in on specific experiences a teenager tends to deal with. “bad idea right” recounts Olivia’s first-hand experience with falling down the rabbit hole of bad decisions, which I have also experienced before. Such an approach ties the album to a teenage audience, allowing listeners to connect their experiences with hers. Another personal track, “teenage dream”, details how scary it can be to grow beyond being a teen and how the perception of oneself can change from being a kid to an adult in an instant. So, through all of her songs, Rodrigo has created an album that represents her own challenging experiences in life while also showing teens that they are not the only ones going through such. 

Although I thoroughly enjoyed the album, the PDS community has mixed opinions on the singer’s album. Sophomore April Kopaz noted, “The style and theme of this album was something I didn’t like. It was just not for me. However, I think she is still a good artist.” Kopaz’s perspective on the album shares how some may not have the same viewpoint on the album’s style but still appreciate Rodrigo’s artistry. Overall, Rodrigo has showcased how versatile she can be with her music and is ready to take on the world as she enters her second upcoming concert tour, the Guts World Tour.

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