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GUTS: An Album Review

My personal opinion on Olivia Rodrigo’s newest album
Olivia Rodrigos album, GUTS, came out Sept. 8 and Im ranking all of the songs.
Wikipedia Commons
Olivia Rodrigo’s album, “GUTS,” came out Sept. 8 and I’m ranking all of the songs.

Olivia Rodrigo took the world by storm when she released her debut album, “SOUR,” in 2021. This June, she teased at a new album and June 30, Rodrigo came out with Vampire, the leading single in “GUTS.” She then announced that her new album was being released in September. On Sept. 8, Rodrigo came through with a 12-track album. Now I’ll be ranking these songs based on the songs themselves and my personal preference. 

Number 12: pretty isn’t pretty

The song is upbeat and catchy but there’s something about it that I don’t particularly like. Parts of the song are repetitive and whenever it comes on, there are sometimes where I skip the song. The story “pretty isn’t pretty” tells though is very moving and relatable. The very first line is, “Bought a bunch of makeup, tryna cover up my face.” The song is telling a story about teen girls, trying to cover up their flaws and imperfections. The first lyric of the chorus says, “When pretty isn’t pretty, what do you do/and everybody’s keeping up, so you think it’s you.” I can relate to this song but it’s still not my favorite.

Number 11: all-american b***h

This is the first track on “GUTS,” and honestly it was kind of a let down. It’s an okay song but it could be way better. Like “pretty isn’t pretty,” it’s upbeat but it’s more pop and rock. Listening to this song a couple times and I realized that the message of the song, for me at least, wasn’t super clear. I understood what Rodrigo was getting at, but for me I kind of shrugged it off.

Number 10: teenage dream

“teenage dream” is almost too slow for me. It’s a song about growing up and changing. One of my favorite lines from this song is at the beginning of the chorus. “Got your whole life ahead of you, you’re only 19/But I fear that they already got all the best parts of me.” This lyric is so emotional and it’s vulnerable. It makes me think how fast life goes and soon it’s over. Towards the end, the tempo picks up and Rodrigo repeats, “They all say that it gets better, it gets better the more you grow/Yeah, they all say that it gets better, it gets better, but what if I don’t?” Overall, this song is towards the top because I can’t really listen to slow songs because they get to the point where I get bored. 

Number 9: love is embarrassing

This song reminds me of “good 4 u” off of Rodrigo’s first album, “SOUR.” They both have a pop feel to them, and both are talking about guys leaving Rodrigo. I like the beat of this song, it’s super catchy, but it’s not a song where I feel the need to put it on. “love is embarrassing” almost feels rushed to me, like she’s singing fast and I can’t keep up.

Number 8: vampire

Ok, I have my reasons for putting the album’s lead single at No. 8. When Rodrigo first released it, I immediately loved the song. Then it’s all over the radio and everywhere you go, “it’s playing.” It got to the point where it was being too overplayed and I got sick of it. I still listen to it every now and then, but it’s not a song I go back to.

Number 7: bad idea right?

Just like “vampire,” “bad idea right?” got overplayed. It didn’t get overplayed as much as “vampire” but I still heard it often. The song is about Rodrigo getting in contact with her ex and how it’s a bad idea. The drums in the song are my favorite part, so are the background vocals that Rodrigo included. The production of the song is good, it’s just a little bit overrated.

Number 6: lacy

In the middle, I have “lacy.” I had a hard time deciding where it should go, it doesn’t deserve to go near the top with the worse songs, but it doesn’t belong with the best. The middle seemed like the most appropriate place for “lacy.” The song describes an anger towards someone named Lacy. A line near the end says, “Lacy, oh, Lacy, I just loathe you lately/And I despise my jealous eyes and how hard they fell for you.” Rodrigo told the TODAY show that her song is about her and how Rodrigo feels. Like I said, it belongs in the middle for me. Not awful but not perfect either.

Number 5: ballad of a homeschooled girl

Getting into the top five, the picks started to get harder. I put “ballad of a homeschooled girl” at five because I really relate to the message, even though I was never homeschooled. Rodrigo sings about how it feels to be excluded and social awkwardness. “I’m on the outside of the biggest inside joke” she sings in the beginning of the song.  What I love about this song is the similarities between this song and “brutal” from “SOUR,” one of my favorite songs on that album.

Number 4: get him back!

When I first heard this song, I was like, “Oh, this is interesting.” I was really into drums and the bass in the background. Then the chorus comes and it’s loud and bold. I love the story too because it can be seen as two different points of view. A girl who just wants to get back together with her ex, or a girl who wants to get back at her ex. This song was close to being number three but not quite there.

Number 3: logical

I know I said I couldn’t really listen to slower songs but there’s something about this song that I love. The piano is so good, and I love the lyrics. Right towards the end, the piano cuts out and you can hear Rodrigo singing with almost no instrumentals. I go back and listen to that verse every time because it’s amazing. The last couple lines are, “Love is never logical/I know I could’ve stopped it all, God why didn’t I stop it all?” I love that line because it’s powerful.

Number 2: making the bed

These last two songs, I kept going back and forth because I love them both. But “making the bed” is going here because I love the last song too much. I relate so much to this song, especially when Rodrigo sings, “Push away all the people who know me the best/But it’s me who’s making the bed.” When she says making the bed, it’s referring to the saying, “You’ve made your bed, now lie in it.” The saying is a response to people who complain about problems they brought upon themselves. I tend to do this a lot to myself and also push people away when I get depressed. The song is slow in the beginning but faster in the chorus.

Number 1: the grudge

The number one song on “GUTS” for me is “the grudge.” This is one of my favorite songs at the moment because I love the story and the lyrics are amazing. The story the song tells is about Rodrigo visiting her past relationships and how one affected her deeply. My favorite line of the whole album is when she sings, “And I know in my heart hurt people hurt people/And we both drew blood, but, man, those cuts were never equal.” The song flows together perfectly and I can listen to this song on repeat forever, it’s that good.

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About the Contributor
Bryden Bell, Reporter
Bryden Bell is a sophomore and this is her second year in publications. She enjoys listening to Taylor Swift, hanging out with her friends, and does archery in St. Charles. Her favorite thing to do outside of school is reading, she read over 15 books this summer! When she graduates, she hopes to go to Texas A&M to become a veterinarian. She hopes to get a job sometime this year and earn some money for a car.

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    paige | Dec 3, 2023 at 7:46 pm

    i agree with almost all of your pick, my fav song is logical. olivia is my fav artists and im happy you reviewed her album