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A Glittery, Shimmering, Bloody Sequel

Olivia Rodrigo Releases Sophomore Album, ‘Guts’
Brianna Capozzi
Olivia Rodrigo poses for Interview Magazine in promotion of new album, GUTS

Exciting and thoughtful, Olivia Rodrigo takes the premise of SOUR and polishes it, leaving us with a shiny new album deserving of the praise it’s been receiving since its release. The teenage angst and confusion are still present, but this time they carry a different tone than SOUR’s. The acoustic intro to “all-American b—-” is an all-timer and serves as a wonderful introduction to the album; the notes provide feelings of familiarity and intimacy that play on our own feelings of nostalgia, however, the simple and light acoustic guitar parts also add a paradoxical element to the song, which is then juxtaposed with the use of foul language and punk-like instrumentals. These themes add depth to the title of the song, which plays with the duality of the American, an idea that has seen much exploration in the arts going back decades. Rodrigo plays with the concepts of duality and contradiction throughout the album, most of which end up in disillusionment. While Rodrigo may never provide the answers, she does offer a path forward. 

Rodrigo has a talent for capturing the teenage experience within her music, and this quality is amplified when listening to the album as a whole. Much like the teenage years of our lives, this album is many things without being any one thing. It is both confused and wise, exciting and thoughtful, content and discontent, beautiful and bloody, brilliant yet simple. You’ll find yourself at parties then the next moment you’re alone and listening to a young girl convey her deepest thoughts with just six strings and her voice. 

Perhaps a reflection and contemplation on her teen years before saying goodbye to them as she enters her twenties, Rodrigo plays all the hits, and boy, do they hit hard. Combining elements of punk, alt-rock and even indie artists like Snail Mail with the folk qualities of artists like Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and Joni Mitchell (there’s also plenty of Taylor Swift mixed in there, too), Olivia Rodrigo crafts something completely her own, GUTS is the follow-up album fans have been waiting for. Rodrigo has improved as an artist since her debut, her refined vocal talents and clever songwriting have only gotten better with time. With stories worth hearing, warnings worth heeding, and parties worth attending, GUTS is one of the best releases this year has seen. Rodrigo’s ability to write songs that so accurately capture the feelings and aesthetics of today’s youth has garnered her a massive following of fans that will likely rival (in terms of numbers) that of the Swifties (Olivia Rodrigo’s fans refer to themselves as “Livies”). 

At only 20 years old, Rodrigo has made quite an impact in the world of popular music, and she will likely continue to do so. As of writing this article, Spotify lists her as the 22nd most popular artist in the world, she has sold more than 17 million albums in less than three years, and all 12 tracks off her latest album, GUTS, debuted in the U.S. Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100. All this, and she’s just getting started. Take the time to appreciate GUTS by adding it to your queues and playlists, and if given the opportunity, pick up a physical copy from your local music store.

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About the Contributor
Joseph Palos
Joseph Palos, Photographer/Writer
Hello, my name is Joseph Palos. I am majoring in journalism, with hopes to one day become a photojournalist. I am passionate about the arts and anything related to them. I consider myself something of a cinephile, and will never turn down a good film! I love photography because I believe that it has the power to expose the world to new things, both wonderful and terrifying. The very idea of photography is capturing life for a moment using light, and then holding that piece of life in your own hands, and that amazes me. I also love traveling and seeing new places, and I can't wait to see what the future holds for me! "It's not enough to have talent, you also have to be Hungarian." - Robert Capa
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