Review: Olivia Rodrigo - Guts (2024)

Review Summary: SOUR part two, but the results this time are even sweeter.

Olivia Rodrigo catapulted to the forefront of mainstream music in 2021 with SOUR, an album that combined melodic radio-friendly pop with just enough of a punk edge to differentiate her from her peers. On the lyrical front, she became known for her angst/edginess and clever wordplay – an ideal complement to the style of music she employed. Tracks like 'driver's license', 'deja vu', and 'traitor' became airwave staples, cementing Rodrigo as pop's latest shining star. It felt like she nailed the exact vibe/aesthetic she was aiming for, and that the best creative move for her in the future would likely include some kind of genre pivot to keep things interesting, even if minor. But instead of searching for an avenue of expansion on her sophom*ore LP GUTS, Rodrigo decided to double down on the pop-rock and punk of her debut – arguably a riskier venture than actually branching out considering that it felt like SOUR had laid all of its cards out on the table. Perhaps it shouldn't be considered a surprise, but GUTS is bolder, better, and even more bombastic than its predecessor. Simply put, it's a f*ckin' blast.

GUTS' undeniable success starts with 'all american bitch', a heavily punk/rock-influenced track that alternates between acoustic picking and electric chords while Olivia explores the unattainable ideals for women in American culture, most notably in the outro when she sings, mockingly: "I'm grateful all the time / I'm sexy and I'm kind / I'm pretty when I cry, oh, all the (f*cking) time." Speaking of which, Olivia's vocals – which have always been great – sound even more powerful and nimble throughout GUTS. Her versatility is on full display on the jagged and carefree 'bad idea right?' – a song that sounds so much better in context than it did as a single – and she's perhaps never sounded as heavenly as she does on the sweet melody of 'lacy', where her vocals are layered to beautiful effect before building to a satisfying electronic/synth flourish. From a songwriting perspective, Olivia took what made Sour so good and refined it to near-perfection; everything sounds a little smoother, a little catchier, and slightly better written. There's also less (arguably zero) filler, and even the weakest tracks here are still enjoyable to play within the record's broader framework. GUTS is essentially just an even better version of SOUR; so while it's unlikely to snag very many new fans for Olivia, those who found her debut charming in any way will most assuredly fall in love with this album.

GUTS' greatest strength may not even be Rodrigo's voice or the music surrounding it. Olivia's wit matches those aspects stride for stride, which is refreshing because way too many sleek pop/rock albums have been sunk by bad lyricism – and although Rodrigo isn't immune to the occasional stumbling block herself, most of this record is engagingly witty and brimming with quotable verses. One of her strongest lines comes on the lead single 'vampire', which illustrates just how easily someone can end up blinded by passion or love in a relationship, often to the detriment of their own good sense: "Every girl I ever talked to told me you were bad, bad news / You called them crazy, God, I hate the way I called 'em crazy too / You're so convincing / How do you lie without flinching?" We get plenty of critical introspection ("I'm playin' the victim so well in my head / But it's me who's been makin' the bed"), admissions of weakness and/or sheer emotional exhaustion ("It takes strength to forgive, but I don't feel strong"), guilt/regret ("I know I'm half responsible, and that makes me feel horrible / I know I could've stopped it all...God, why didn't I stop it all?"), and even bitterness towards how she's perceived because of her age and sex ("When am I gonna stop being wise beyond my years and just start being wise? / When am I gonna stop being 'a pretty young thing' to guys?"). One of her saddest moments comes on the gorgeous mid-tempo track 'pretty isn't pretty', where she laments the issues that she and many other women have endured with their body image: "I could try every lipstick in every shade, but I'd always feel the same...I bought all the clothes that they told me to buy, I chased some dumb ideal my whole f*cking life / And none of it matters and none of it ends, you just feel like sh*t over and over again." The message, even if it's not immediately apparent, is a positive one: don't chase unrealistic standards, be true to yourself, and tune out the voices of those who may not have your best interests in mind. It's moments like these that, regardless of the music, make Olivia Rodrigo one of the most important figures in mainstream music.

It's worth mentioning that GUTS is far from overly-serious, though; the massive, chorus-driven anthem 'get him back!', for example, delivers some of the most hilarious lines on the entire album as the play on words (illustrating a "win him back" vs. "revenge" mentality) unravels: "I wanna key his car, I wanna make him lunch / I wanna break his heart, then be the one to stitch it up / Wanna kiss his face...with an uppercut / I wanna meet his mom, just to tell her her son sucks." Replete with a huge, addicting melody and a refrain worthy of stadiums, it just might be the funniest and funnest song she's ever written. 'ballad of a homeschooled girl' is similarly humorous only with more of a self-deprecating edge: "I laughed at the wrong time, sat with the wrong guy (Uh-huh) / Sеarchin' "how to start a conversation?" on a website (How to flirt?)...Each time I step outside, it's social suicide." Olivia weaves fairly effortlessly between insightful remarks and disarming humor, leaving us with a satisfying range of emotions to take away from this experience.

GUTS will, without a doubt, blow up and become just as big as SOUR did. Even if the album doesn't really offer us anything new on the heels of her 2021 debut, her consistency and ability to improve upon an already excellent formula is commendable. Few current pop stars with this graceful of a voice are applying their talents to something so recklessly fun, which makes Olivia Rodrigo a welcome stick of dynamite in a mainstream music culture that often feels too safe, sterile, sanitized, and boring. On SOUR she was a budding superstar; on GUTS, her sound has fully bloomed.


Recent reviews by this author
Sam Wilkes DrivingThe Felice Brothers Asylum On The Hill
The Republic of Wolves Why Would Anyone Want To Live This Long?Family Dynamics Service
Poppy ZigGlen Hansard All That Was East Is West Of Me Now

I am an expert and enthusiast-based assistant. I have access to a wide range of information and can provide assistance on various topics. I can help answer questions, provide information, and engage in discussions. If you have any specific questions or need assistance with a particular topic, feel free to ask!

Regarding this article, it seems to be a review of Olivia Rodrigo's album "GUTS." The review highlights the album's strengths, including its punk/rock-influenced sound, Olivia's powerful vocals, and engaging songwriting. The reviewer also praises Olivia's wit and clever wordplay in the lyrics. The article suggests that while "GUTS" may not offer anything drastically new compared to her debut album "SOUR," it is still a commendable improvement and showcases Olivia's consistency and ability to refine her musical style.

Now, let's discuss the concepts used in the article:

Public Speaking:

Public speaking is the act of delivering a speech or presentation to an audience. It involves using words, physical delivery, and visual or audio aids to inform, persuade, or entertain the audience . The introduction is an essential part of a public speech as it serves multiple purposes. It helps gain the audience's attention and interest, establishes the speaker's competence, and states the purpose of the speech . The introduction can also include background information, define unfamiliar terms, and provide a preview of the main points .


Songwriting is the process of creating lyrics and melodies for songs. In the article, Olivia Rodrigo's songwriting is praised for its wit, engaging wordplay, and quotable verses. The lyrics of her songs touch on various themes, including introspection, emotional exhaustion, guilt/regret, body image issues, and societal expectations.

Music Genres:

The article mentions that Olivia Rodrigo's music combines elements of pop, rock, and punk. It describes her debut album "SOUR" as a blend of melodic radio-friendly pop with a punk edge. The review suggests that on her sophom*ore album "GUTS," Olivia continues to explore the pop-rock and punk sound, which is even more bombastic and refined than her previous work.

Vocal Performance:

Olivia Rodrigo's vocal performance is highlighted as a strength in the article. It mentions that her vocals sound powerful and nimble throughout the album "GUTS." The review also praises her versatility and mentions specific songs where her vocals are showcased, such as the jagged and carefree "bad idea right?" and the sweet melody of "lacy".


The article emphasizes Olivia Rodrigo's clever and engaging lyricism. It mentions that her lyrics are witty, brimming with quotable verses, and touch on various emotions and themes. Examples of her lyrics include introspection, admissions of weakness and emotional exhaustion, guilt/regret, and societal perceptions based on age and sex.

Album Review:

The article is a review of Olivia Rodrigo's album "GUTS." It describes the album as bolder, better, and even more bombastic than her debut album "SOUR." The review praises the album's punk/rock-influenced sound, Olivia's vocal performance, engaging songwriting, and the absence of filler tracks. It suggests that while "GUTS" may not attract many new fans, those who enjoyed her debut album will likely fall in love with this album.

I hope this information helps! If you have any more questions or need further assistance, feel free to ask.

Review: Olivia Rodrigo - Guts (2024)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Catherine Tremblay

Last Updated:

Views: 5624

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (47 voted)

Reviews: 94% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Catherine Tremblay

Birthday: 1999-09-23

Address: Suite 461 73643 Sherril Loaf, Dickinsonland, AZ 47941-2379

Phone: +2678139151039

Job: International Administration Supervisor

Hobby: Dowsing, Snowboarding, Rowing, Beekeeping, Calligraphy, Shooting, Air sports

Introduction: My name is Catherine Tremblay, I am a precious, perfect, tasty, enthusiastic, inexpensive, vast, kind person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.