Most of us spend an abnormal amount of time on the social media app TikTok.
At least I do, about 5 hours a week.
That’s 5 hours of dedicated scrolling and I, like many others, come across numerous trends and sounds. A particular artist is dominating the current ones. Olivia Rodrigo released her sophomore album, “GUTS.”
Rodrigo has been in the public eye long before her debut album “SOUR” was released in early 2021 and has only grown since then. Within those two years, anticipation among her target audience for a new album has grown expeditiously.
“GUTS” promotion started with the viral song, “vampire,” that quickly spread all over the internet. “vampire” is a beautifully produced song paired with an intense music video.
The single that followed is “bad idea right?” which contains a catchy pre-chorus that leads into a chorus that is easy to shout along to. It also has a music video that has a college feel to it, allowing Rodrigo to grow with her audience, as she is now nineteen and has left some of that high school feel behind her.
Another single for the album is “get him back,” also paired with a music video. These three songs have all gone viral on social media and are easily accessible for anyone outside of her dedicated fan base.
So, if you haven’t heard Rodrigo or have maybe been a bit apprehensive about her music, I am here to provide some recommendations from her sophomore album outside the already viral songs you’ve most likely heard snippets of. This is a list of my top five off the album, and my thoughts on why you should give each song a chance.
Going from least to most recommended, “ballad of a homeschooled girl,” feels like Rodrigo’s inner thoughts and really taps into how incredibly awkward it can be to be a young adult. My favorite lyric is “I laughed at the wrong time, sat with the wrong guy, searching how to start a conversation on a website”. These lyrics can give familiarity to the listener, as we have all had awkward moments before, right? This song is paired with this pop-punk feel to it just adding to the angsty vibe and is great walking music to and from class if you’re having a bit of a rough day and just want to have some reliability.
Most of us experienced school and life interruption due to COVID, and “teenage dream” navigates the feelings of growing up, especially in an awkward time. I find myself often wishing I could go back to high school just to be in that zone of knowing exactly what is coming next, and this song speaks to that feeling. It is a ballad that picks up with some heavy guitar about halfway through and can tap into the listener’s nostalgia and give you a moment of reminiscence. The track “love is embarrassing” is for anyone going through a bit of a rough patch relationship-wise. And even if not, the song is packed with easy to dance to beats and catchy lyrics. Give yourself two minutes and thirty-five seconds to sing along to Rodrigo and share her frustrations and I promise you, you’ll feel a bit better and your favorite playlist will be a bit longer.
I realize these songs are not so happy-go-lucky, but we all experience a wide range of emotions, right? I imagine Rodrigo released these songs with the intent of ‘what if someone needed to hear this/’
With that, I recommend “the grudge” – a strong ballad filled with heavy emotions, discussing forgiveness and loving someone who you shouldn’t. There are plenty of songs out there that tackle this feeling and experience, but Rodrigo approaches it like a battle with herself.
If you listen to only one song of the ones I have recommended, let this one be it. That is “all-american b*tch.” This song took me back to my childhood of Avril Lavinge angst, and I love it so much that I couldn’t even pick out a particular lyric or part to suggest for you., The title here is incredibly necessary and is Rodrigo’s take on the pressure of society to be perfect and always fit into a specific box. If you have felt that you haveto be anything except for who you truly are, this is the perfect song for you to listen to. It is the perfect balance of soft ballad and edgy guitar filled with lyrics that can be cathartic.
“GUTS” is packed with 12 songs, and while I only discussed eight, the missing four are equally fantastic. Enjoy listening, and even if it isn’t your thing, it is always fun to expand your horizons. Already a massive Olivia Rodrigo fan like myself? Well, I hope you got tickets to her show in Denver next June!