Olivia Rodrigo released her sophomore album “GUTS” on Sept. 8. The album features 12 songs coming in at 39 minutes 18 seconds for the entire album.
"For me, this album is about growing pains and about trying to figure out who I am at this point in my life and exactly what I want to say in my songs,” Rodrigo said.
The lyricism throughout the album is emotionally intense. Coming out of the gate with the first “all american bitch,” the lyrics allude to being the perfect female for the eyes of the beholder, not for yourself.
"I'm a perfect all-American bitch, with perfect all-American lips, and perfect all-American hips, I know my place, I know my place and this is it.”
While in the song "teenage dream,” it brings forward these emotions to a different degree of when will I start being enough for people. Throughout these lyrics, listeners can see the battle between self and worthiness, especially in the eyes of the world and thinking about it from the male gaze.
"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? When am I gonna stop being great for my age and just start being good?"
Even through the titles you can see the connection with the album title being capitalized, while all the song titles are lowercase, putting the emphasis on the idea of her spilling her guts to the listener.
All of these songs are filled with so much emotion that it genuinely feels like you can see the emotions play out in your head, due to the fact that the lyrics are so heavy with the idea of growing pains.
One of the things that stand out in this album is the variety of her vocals and the songs mixing. “Bad idea right?” “ballad of a homeschool girl,” "get him back!" and “all american bitch,” feature this almost pop-rock sound that features a lot of speak-signing. These songs all sound like a coming-of-age soundtrack, while the song “lacy” takes a completely different route and barely sounds like Rodrigo. She offers a wide variety of vocal ranges throughout the album that you’ll either love or hate.
The album composition fails to create a cohesive sound. While all the songs individually are emotionally charged, each song sounds different from all the rest. From the track “vampire” to “lacy,” the works sound like two different artists on the same album. The transitions are rough and can give the listener musical whiplash.
Thinking about the album as simply put as its title, “GUTS” is the definition of spilling them. The album provides a bird's eye view of a girl growing up and all the difficulties that come with that. But if someone just put the album on and expects to hear the same composition throughout, they would be severely underwhelmed.
Rodrigo fully spills her guts in this work. The work evokes mutual experiences that are emotionally validating for the listener. As a straight album of sound engineering, I wouldn't rate it high on being cohesive, but each song individually is fantastic, and makes the listener feel emotionally driven.
Rating: 8 out of 10.
Marie White is the editor in chief of The Eastern Echo. She has been a reporter and writer for The Echo for three years.