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An Olivia Rodrigo Album Review
GUTS Album Cover – Larissa Hoffman edited to fit by R.K.O. Pablo

Olivia Rodrigo has truly spilled her guts.

From conducting a world tour to winning three Grammys at 17, Olivia Rodrigo has taken the music industry by storm. Her debut album, Sour, has been recognized by millions of listeners and is a staple in pop history. Topping the charts in multiple countries and becoming one of the best-selling albums in 2021 skyrocketed Rodrigo’s career and separated her from her ties with acting in popular Disney shows such as Bizaardvark and High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.

Nearly two years after her last music release, Olivia Rodrigo released her debut single, ‘Vampire’ from her new album, GUTS, scheduled for release in early September. 

The world went wild.

With GUTS released earlier this month, Rodrigo’s second world tour has already been announced alongside the booming success of an album. But how does it compare to Sour? Can it compare? 

After listening to GUTS numerous times, I have come to the conclusion that this album has blown Sour completely out of the water.

All-American B****

Rodrigo’s sophomore album opens with a pop-rock banger romanticizing American girls and American culture titled “All-American B****”. The song’s verses describe American girls using soft visual lyrics such as “I am as light as a feather and as fresh as the air” and “I pay attention to things that most people ignore”. The hard rock choruses jump straight into how the ideal American girl is pictured, with lyrics like “I know my age and I act like it” and “I’m the eternal optimist”. 

For an album’s opening, ‘All-American B****’ is a confident and strong beginning to an era. This song reminds me of a 2000s coming-of-age movie starring Lindsay Lohan (specifically Freaky Friday) in the best way.

Bad Idea Right?

A smooth transition from ‘All-American B****’ leads into the second single released from GUTS, ‘Bad Idea Right?’. This song, along with its music video, vividly pictures an on-and-off toxic relationship Rodrigo has experienced through booming party beats and witty/sarcastic lyrics. She describes constantly being led astray from logic and reason, with lyrics like “Seeing you tonight, it’s a bad idea, right?” and “I know I should stop-, but I can’t”.

‘Bad Idea Right?’ is very reminiscent of a flashy 2000s party song and overall an enjoyable song to listen to. I’m certain fans of ‘brutal’ from Rodrigo’s last album, Sour, are the biggest listeners of ‘Bad Idea Right?’.


Being the first single released from GUTS, “Vampire” was tasked with building up an astronomical amount of excitement and hype for the album’s release. I would say that the track exceeded its expectations.

“Vampire” compares a former lover/friend to the mythical creature describing them as selling her for parts and “bleedin’ me dry, like a goddamn vampire”. Lyrically, Rodrigo’s powerful emotions pour beautifully through her words and portray her raw vulnerability connected to this person who has destroyed her. Her vocals are mature and breathtaking, and genuinely surprised me during my first listen.

Overall, Rodrigo’s artistry in this song is stunning and conveys her maturity both as an artist and a person. “Vampire” is a must-listen and one of my favorites on Guts.


Like the perfume that you wear, my attention has been lingering on the lyrical style and hidden meaning Rodrigo illustrates in “Lacy”. Rodrigo expresses her feelings of inferiority as well as admiration through ethereal metaphors towards Lacy. She describes Lacy as an angel, a “Bardot reincarnate”, and “the sweetest thing on this side of hell”. As the song progresses, Rodrigo’s lyrics twist into jealous and angry thoughts. Lacy now begins to “poison every little thing that I do” in Rodrigo’s mind.

I believe this song reveals Rodrigo’s feelings for Lacy while she is oblivious to them. Distinguishing between wanting to be someone and being with someone is a hard call but Rodrigo portrays this situation perfectly through this song. Lacy is a song I hold close to my heart and overall my favorite on the album.

Ballad of a Homeschooled Girl

‘Ballad of a Homeschooled Girl’, the wildest and one of the most popular songs on Guts, is a huge look into Rodrgio’s childhood experience excluding her over-discussed relationships. Rodrigo, who was homeschooled her whole life due to her presence in popular Disney television shows describes her insufficient social skills through pop-punk style beats. The strong suit of this song is the lyrics, which include  “I stumbled all over my words/I made it weird, I made it worse” and “Each time I step outside/It’s social suicide” and create a detailed picture of social anxiety and stunted social intelligence growth.

‘Ballad of a Homeschooled Girl’ brings awareness to Rodrigo’s and millions of others’ social issues that aren’t commonly discussed in the media. This song is very inspiring and a breath of fresh air due to the unique topics it addresses.

Making the Bed

‘Making the Bed’ is an alluring power-ballad that compares the pressure of experiencing ‘perfect’ moments as a teenager to folding sheets and fluffing pillows. “Gettin’ drunk at a club with my fair-weather friends”, “I’m so tired of bein’ the girl that I am”, and “Every good thing has turned into somethin’ I dread” are merely a glimpse into the vivid lyric style that Rodrigo displays in this song.

This track is one of the most underrated Rodrigo songs overall and a personal favorite of mine. For the foreseeable future, I will be ‘pulling the sheets over my head’ and replaying this song over and over.


The seventh track on Guts, ‘Logical’, unravels the toxic, irrational, and emotional  behaviors Rodrigo experienced in a past relationship. These behaviors began to convince Rodrigo that “two plus two equals five, and/I’m the love of your life” and “changing you is possible” because of the manipulation and confusion her past lover put her through.

When the bridge of this track rolls around, Rodrigo pours her feelings out through powerful vocals and lyrics using her age and naive nature against her. Listening to this song for the first time was genuinely magical. Rodrigo’s growth as an artist shines through this song lyrically and vocally. ‘Logical’ is a well crafted ballad and similar, yet beautifully different from other ballads on the album such as ‘Making the Bed’ and ‘Vampire’.

Get Him Back!

Groovy, hilarious, and enthusiastic are the most accurate adjectives to describe  ‘Get Him Back!’. This song is the best pop-rock track on Guts and exhibits witty lyrics aimed at a past fling Rodrigo had that she both misses and wants to get revenge on. The clever title shows these feelings as ‘get him back’ has a double meaning: wanting to recover a lost relationship as well as wanting to destroy the person who hurt you.

‘Get Him Back!’ never fails to amuse me lyrically with lines like “And when he said ‘Something wrong?’ he’d just fly me to France”, “I wanna kiss his face with an uppercut”, and my personal favorite: “He said he’s six foot two and I’m like, ‘Dude, nice try’”.

Rodrigo clearly has leaned into the 2000s pop-punk theme throughout Guts and exhibits it the most in this song. ‘Get Him Back!’ is a must listen and a top track on this album.

Love is Embarrassing

Peppy and hard-hitting, ‘Love is Embarrassing’ perfectly describes the stupid and unexplainable things we do for love. Stalking social media, “planning out my wedding/with some guy I’m never marrying”, and “keep coming back for more” are merely a handful of situations Rodrigo describes in this track.

Lyrics aside, the beat of this song is very fun to listen to and brings back personal memories from past relationships. However, ‘Love is Embarrassing’ is overall the weakest song on Guts and my least favorite. Something about this song doesn’t do it for me like ‘Get Him Back!’ or ‘Lacy’ do.

The Grudge

Rodrigo has created emotional and powerful ballads again and again throughout this album. ‘The Grudge’ is no exception. This song describes the ordeal of attempting to forgive while also feeling unable to be cruel and mean no matter how hard a situation becomes. 

“I try to be tough, but I wanna scream”, “How could anybody do the things you did so easily?”, and “I know you don’t care, I guess that that’s fine” are beautifully sung and place the listener at the receiving end of Rodrigo’s lyrics and pain. When first listening to this song, I was overwhelmed and felt as if I was the one that had hurt Rodrigo horribly. ‘The Grudge’ is the best ballad ever written by Rodrigo and an incredibly underrated song on Guts.

Pretty Isn’t Pretty

With social media constantly pressuring unrealistic beauty standards and picture perfect experiences, ‘Pretty Isn’t Pretty’ visualizes the gut-wrenching feelings and thoughts that arise when one’s self esteem is nowhere near high enough. Urges to “change up my body, and change up my face” and become a completely different person to feel pretty are thoroughly described by Rodrigo and create a connection between the listener and the artist. 

As much as I’ve enjoyed this album, ‘Pretty Isn’t Pretty’ is extremely similar in overall message as well as lyrically to a song on Rodrigo’s debut album, ‘jealousy, jealousy’. After hearing the title of this song, I immediately knew what this song was going to be about and I wasn’t super hyped. There are almost too many songs about social media’s beauty standards, and since Rodrigo already wrote one on her last album, ‘Pretty Isn’t Pretty’ was a let down for me.

Teenage Dream

As a closer to an album, ‘Teenage Dream’ is a mystical piano-heavy comeback to a handful of Rodrigo’s past lyrics referring to teenage dreams in songs like ‘brutal’ in her debut album Sour. Rodrigo previously describes in ‘brutal’ being “so sick of 17” and “over this teenage dream” which she evolves from in ‘Teenage Dream’ and instead worries her best years have passed by. 

Lyrics like “I fear that they already got all the best parts of me”, “I’m sorry that I couldn’t always be your teenage dream”, and “They all say that it gets better/It gets better, but what if I don’t?” address the consequences of ‘peaking’ in high school and feeling scared for the future both as an artist and as an adolescent. Rodrigo shares her fear that she has been drained of her worth since Sour and will soon become irrelevant to the public through these lyrics.

“Teenage Dream” is an incredible closer to an album and perfectly encapsulates the triumphs and downfalls of being a teenage girl and learning to grow and discover yourself throughout college and early adulthood.

Final Thoughts and Rankings


  1. Lacy
  2. Get Him Back!
  3. Making the Bed
  4. Vampire
  5. The Grudge
  6. Ballad of a Homeschooled Girl
  7. All American B****
  8. Logical
  9. Bad Idea Right?
  10. Teenage Dream
  11. Pretty Isn’t Pretty
  12. Love is Embarrassing

The variety and quality of music that Rodrigo has created on this album is exceptional. Rodrigo’s era of somber bedroom-pop has ended and transformed into messy pop-punk tracks that are irresistibly enjoyable to listen to.

Songs aside, Olivia Rodrigo is an incredible role model and overall person. She has brought light to issues and situations that are scarcely spoken about in the media, and for that reason I admire her.

Olivia Rodrigo is a lyrical genius and genuinely admirable person. GUTS  is a must-listen album and definitely a future Grammy winner.


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About the Contributor
Fia Knipp
Fia Knipp, Staff Reporter
Fia Knipp is a sophomore at Carroll High School. She is a huge fan of Hello Kitty, Melanie Martinez, and Beabadoobee. In her free time, she enjoys reading, drawing, and staring at pictures of Hello Kitty.

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