Olivia Rodrigo’s sophomore album, GUTS, is officially here. Following suit with her debut album SOUR, Rodrigo’s second go-around doesn’t disappoint. At first listen all 12 songs on the standard edition of the album seem to be stellar, and we aren’t the only ones who think so.
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Discussing the superstar’s latest release on Into It: A Vulture Podcast, Sam Sanders, joined by Pop music critic at The New York Times Lindsay Zoladz, talk about the dualities of Olivia Rodrigo and trace her inspirations from Alanis Morissette to Taylor Swift, exploring why we can't get enough of Olivia's music.
From the initial surprise of “drivers license,” to the best surprise that “it wasn’t a fluke, she has jams for days,” Lindsay maintained that Olivia’s success has thus far been well-deserved, going through all the hits from her first album with Sam. and asking whether she's in for a sophomore slump.
Then, on All Songs Considered, Robin Hilton along with his guests, shut down any thoughts in regards to any slumps, expressing how GUTS “totally rips” and only further doubles down on the everybody's justifiable obsession with all things Olivia Rodrigo.
While SOUR was made by a relatively unknown 17-year old girl, dealing with relationship drama and teenage problems, GUTS shows a more evolved side of the artist.
“She is this Disney channel actor turned Pop/Rock sensation, and I think the thing that really struck me about GUTS is that she’s leaning pretty hard into the Rock," critic and reporter Cyrena Touros said. “She’s grappling a whole lot with what the external pressures of fame and external perceptions as she’s ascended have done to her self-image and her attempts to stay normal under it all."
Breaking down some of the album’s songs — like “All American B****,” with its “sweet and finger-pricked delicate” verses that is juxtaposed by its “fuzzy garage rock chorus.” What really struck it for WBEZ and Vocalo Radio’s Ayana Contreras, is that GUTS doesn’t feel like it's for any particular age. “Its kinda like every generation of young coming of age… folks need albums like this.” Recalling “Avril Lavigne had a moment where she was the one people were belting out in there Honda Accords at night… like I feel like this fills that role.”
Calling it a “Gen-Z soundtrack,” Radio Milwaukee’s Tarik Moody explained it as a nice “Pop shine on top of the Rock” sound, pointing out “ballad of a homeschooled girl,” in particular.
"There’s not a second on this album where I thought it didn’t have it claws in you," Robin added. "And sometimes its because it rocks so hard like on ‘get him back!’ Or the song ‘bad idea right?’ And sometimes the claws sink in very slowly" like on the song “the grudge,” which Hilton called “beautiful and effecting,” as well as “sad.”
Listen to everything the experts had to say about Olivia Rodrigo GUTS above.