Olivia Rodrigo is not like other (Disney) girls and her sophomore album Guts has solidified herself as the new relatable American sweetheart.
Rodrigo dictates her heartbreaks and her struggles without the candy saccharine tone of Kacey Musgraves or the flaunty sexiness of Lana Del Rey.
An artist who is establishing herself as the figurehead for all the teenage girls in their 20s, Rodrigo’s still reaching out for adulthood at the fresh age of 20 on Guts but, like us all, is coming to terms with the harsh reality of growing up. Successfully leaving behind the angst of Sour; Guts stands on stronger legs than its Bambi-like predecessor.
The rock element of the album shines bright throughout. Adding fantastic energy to the tracks, it highlights the vulnerability on the softer tracks such as ‘Lacy’ (‘Did I ever tell you I’m not doing so well?’ a real kicker of a lyric). ‘all-american bitch’ is a head banger for female frustration. Ending with affirmations really hits home in an era when women still need to tell themselves positive things when society doesn’t return the favour.
Gaining its TikTok virality for good reason, ‘vampire’ is a heartbreaking track about falling for an older person. It builds almost as if the realisations are happening in real time. Rodrigo’s vocals are powerful as she belts out the chorus, showing real potential for ballads in the future.
‘making the bed’ and ‘teenage dream’ carry the same weight that is found on Billie Eilish’s gentle tracks. Unbounding honesty, you can’t fault the inner conflict of seeing your expectations be nothing like your reality.
Guts delivers a package of emotion in all its different forms. A diary of Rodrigo’s life experiences, its relatability is off the charts. From humour on ‘get him back!’ to mental issues on ‘pretty isn’t pretty’, Rodrigo’s second album encapsulates the feminine experience of figuring life out. The guitar riffs and cinematic piano is carried on from Sour but has more depth to this time round. Like Rodrigo, her sound has matured without being too limited by the idea of perfection.