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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

REVIEW: Olivia Rodrigo ‘spills her guts’ with newly released sophomore album

Photo courtesy of Geffen Records

We all remember Olivia Rodrigo: she was best known for her acting role in “High School Musical: The Musical,” and then her 2021 debut album, “SOUR.”

Well, she’s back with her sophomore album, “GUTS,” and it’s just as good, maybe slightly better than her first album. 

Rodrigo is known to have both a relatable and deep as well as a fun and uplifting feel in her music. It’s bright and spunky, but there are times where it can hit you right in the feels — a little too close to home. 

That’s exactly how I felt about this album as well. She still tosses back and forth between the two sounds, but I feel that this album had more rock-sounding tracks than “SOUR.” 

Since listening to this album, I have grown to have some favorite tracks from it. These include “lacy,” “love is embarrassing,” and “pretty isn’t pretty.” 

These tracks stood out to me because these songs don’t solely focus on an ex-lover of Rodrigo’s, which is a subject that many female artists like Rodrigo and Taylor Swift get flack for. While the two singles released from the album, “vampire” and “bad idea right?” were good, these are the three that stood out to me. 

“lacy” is one of the slower songs on the album, but it fits well with the lyrics. I can’t imagine this song being a fast-paced song, as it simply wouldn’t fit. Since the album’s release, there has been a debate about whether “lacy” is about either Taylor Swift or Sabrina Carpenter, or if it’s about a girl that Rodrigo is possibly in love with. Whatever it is about, it’s a good song, and it deserves appreciation. 

“love is embarrassing” is relatable in a way that love (and finding it) has its ups and downs and, at times, can be embarrassing. This song is one of the more fast-paced, rock-sounding songs and it’s light-hearted in a way that she makes fun of how love can be embarrassing, which is why it stands out to me. 

“pretty isn’t pretty” is one of those songs that sound really upbeat, but when you listen to the lyrics, it’s actually dark and sad, shedding light on a real problem. The song talks about the societal standards for women and how those standards are problematic to the point that teenagers starve themselves, take medications, and contemplate plastic surgery just so they can look a certain way and fit into social expectations. These standards, in the end, don’t really matter.

Just as “SOUR” was relatable for those embarking on adulthood like Rodrigo at 18, this album is perfectly catered to people in their 20s like Rodrigo. The pop artist truly “spilled her guts,” and I am here for it.

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About the Contributor
Jacinda Hall
Jacinda Hall, Reporter
Jacinda Hall is a reporter for The Sunflower. Hall is a senior pursuing a journalism and media production degree with a minor in English. Hall hopes to pursue a career in writing, editing or teaching journalism at the high school level after graduation. Hall uses she/her pronouns.

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