Music Review: Olivia Rodrigo captivates audience with new album “GUTS”

Gen Z star yells her “GUTS” out
Music Review: Olivia Rodrigo captivates audience with new album GUTS

Olivia Rodrigo spews her “GUTS” in the release of her new sophomore album. The 20-year-old singer of No. 1 hit song “Driver’s License” and the star of “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” just came out with yet another jaw-dropping album on Sept. 8.

She first rose to fame as an actress on “Bizaardvark” and “High School: The Musical: The Series.” Her first single, “All I Want” became famous all over the internet, with people making videos with that audio. When she made her “SOUR” album, it demolished multiple music records. Her intent with her next album is to deliver more iconic songs that stir emotions in people. 

Rodrigo won the No. 1 album award for GUTS, has sold more than a million albums already, and has earned more than 150 million listens on Spotify. She launched GUTS by singing “Vampire” at the VMA Awards, which had a “planned” malfunction of sparks flying. 

The long awaited arrival of this album by fans and the rising tension all paid off in the end as her sophomore album, GUTS delivers a message of heartbreak, love and social anxiety. She first released two songs, “Vampire” and “Bad idea, right?” as a taste to fans of the new album. Rodrigo felt much pressure after her previous album “SOUR” had gone above and beyond in beating a plethora of music records, and she deeply wanted to deliver another masterpiece.

Rodrigo, in her song “Ballad of a Homeschooled Girl,” explained how she struggles with self-loathing, anxiety, finding the right guy, and fitting in all together. Rodrigo mentions these things in her lyrics: “I’m on the outside of the greatest inside joke,” “and I hate all my clothes” and “I laughed at the wrong time, sat with the wrong guy.” Through her rock star-esque vocals resounds a relatable message to people, especially teenagers and young adults. Rodrigo’s “Ballad of a Homeschooled Girl” is about her struggles to fit in. 

Although, “Make the Bed” is about her struggles in the drastic changes. She goes from being a normal teenager in high school, to being one of the most well known singers of her generation and attending events like the Met Gala. This huge change makes her feel very insecure about herself. In this song, Rodrigo explains how she wishes for her problems to just go away and she blames herself for how her life is spinning out of control. 

Rodrigo brings out so many emotions throughout her album. She continues this stirring of listeners’ emotions until the very last song with the soft yet powerful “Teenage Dream.” In this beautiful ballad, she describes how she says “goodbye” to the years between the release of the “SOUR” album and now. She grew and matured, and uses it as a reflection between those years as well. “Teenage Dream” explains how she realizes she must leave behind the comfort of being a young teenager and grow up.  

In the GUTS album, songs have either a very melancholy rock star attitude or a despairing ballad spirit. Each of these songs is unique to itself while still following the same downcast tone throughout the album as a whole. She made these songs with specific lyrics to reflect a time in her life full of growth, awkwardness, and all the emotions a young adult feels. Rodrigo focuses on a rock star musicality, full of loud and intense moments with a bitter message to go with it. 

She has also announced the dates and locations for her 2024 world tour. To buy tickets, go to The tour will start Feb. 23 in Palm Springs, CA, and will end in Los Angeles on Aug. 14. 

Interested in more music reviews? Visit The Feather A&E page for all your fan interests. 

To read more from The Feather, visit Music Review: Elevation Worship’s ‘LION’ album will not disappoint or New teachers welcomed for 2023-24 school year.


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About the Contributor
Gabriel DeSimone, Photojournalist
Gabriel DeSimone, ‘26 serves as a journalist for The Feather at Fresno Christian Schools. DeSimone joined The Feather because he felt a desire to write about the important and exciting events going on around campus, while deepening his skills as a writer and newer photographer. DeSimone’s hobbies include reading fantasy novels, going for walks in nature, swimming in the pool and baking. He is also passionate about raising awareness and funds for the homeless.
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