Olivia Rodrigo – ‘GUTS’ album review: a perfect collection of 21st century pop-rock rage


Perfect for releasing your 21st century girl rage.

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Gen Z pop sensation Olivia Rodrigo has delighted fans across the world with the release of her second studio album ‘Guts’. This September we are gifted with a fresh discography to sink our teeth into and spread across our various niche Spotify playlists; “For when ‘Red Flag’ texts again” we see you! 

After her rocket ship journey to success with ‘Sour’, we are more than intrigued to discover what Miss Rodrigo is bringing to the table 2 years later. Spoiler alert: we were not disappointed!

Credit: Nick Walker

Anyone can write honestly about how they’re feeling, but not everyone can turn this into a kick-ass album quite like Olivia Rodrigo can.

We’ve grown accustomed to Olivia’s voice and her signature purple- which will now forever be “Shade: Olivia”- but I don’t think the world was quite ready for how brilliant this new album would be. We already have the first hit “Vampire” which is all kinds of addictive and a personal favourite; what a way to introduce the new album and set the tone.  Second single “Bad Idea Right” is an honest depiction of life as a single gal, and “Get Him Back!” another very honest account of how it feels to hate the situation-ship that broke your heart and kind of want them back but mostly want revenge. Quite simply, Olivia is this generation’s voice for the heartbroken. She’s gifted with being able to articulate how she’s feeling which is oh-so useful in those post-breakup blues. So now gone are the days of cryptic messages meant for your ex on socials. Now we’re saying how we feel and getting comfort from those who feel the same too. 

Note how Olivia shares her feelings without pointing blame at specific people. She’s not building hate, she’s using her music as therapy. Spreading the message that it’s ok to feel hurt and deeply sad after having your heart broken but we’re channeling those feelings outwards in the hopes of attracting people that feel the same. No pointed bullying, no negativity thrown. 

The overarching narrative of “Guts” is love and heartbreak, how women are ‘meant’ to be (“all-american bitch”) and the pressure we feel (“lacy”), and revenge (“get him back”). Similar narratives to the first making this Olivia’s niche. 

Credit: Larissa Hofmann

There’s a half-and-half mix of up-tempo beats and slower melodies, unlike Sour where there are more ballads and we hear her floaty vocals. The first song (“all-american bitch”) foreshadows the album with its two layers of Olivia’s voice and raw guitar motif, starting off slow and gradually building in tempo towards the chorus where drums are introduced with faster beats. Because of this, the album emanates a lot of energy. There’s no way you’re listening and sitting still!

The pop-rock element of the album is reminiscent of 2000’s anthems. The phrase “they don’t make them like this anymore” comes to mind as I imagine movies like 1999’s “10 Things I Hate About You” and the female-led accompanying music that solidifies the tone. Think of just how perfect songs from this album would be to accompany a high-emotion break-up movie. 

This is yet another album of Olivia’s that you can bank for releasing some 21st-century girl rage. Listen to it the first time around with headphones and your eyes shut to absorb the lyrics and melodies, then ditch the headphones for round to and blare the songs as loud as you like. Trust me, you won’t regret savouring it! 

‘GUTS’ is out now via Geffen Records, check out the music video of “get him back!” here: 


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