Olivia Rodrigo releases “GUTS,” the highly anticipated follow-up album to “SOUR”

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Olivia Rodrigo poses for TeenVogue ahead of the "GUTS" album release. Photo by Larissa Hofmann.

Following the release of the hit album, “SOUR,” alternative-pop star and actress Olivia Rodrigo released her highly anticipated sophomore album on Sept. 8, 2023. Leading up to the album release was the release of “vampire,” a ballad on an ex-lover draining Rodrigo’s energy, youth and fame, like a vampire drains blood. Rodrigo also released, “bad idea right?,” a song about revisiting and returning to relationships despite better judgment. 

In the first song released from “SOUR,” “drivers license,” Rodrigo sang about the pain and betrayal felt after seeing an ex-boyfriend (widely speculated to be Disney star Joshua Bassett) move on quickly after their breakup. Embroiled in the 2020 controversy, fans speculated that Sabrina Carpenter was the “blonde girl” that Bassett allegedly moved on with, leading to assumptions about Carpenter being the “other woman.”

Three years later, “GUTS” contains 12 songs, with songs taking inspiration from pop rock, musical theater, and slow piano melodies. Among the songs released is a piano melody, “making the bed,” a reflection on feeling out of control and lacking direction despite being the sole person in charge of your destiny. “logical,” the seventh song on the album, mentions how love is illogical; Rodrigo laments about how easily she was convinced that she was the love of her ex’s life. 

The final song of the album, “teenage dream,” discusses Rodrigo’s pondering on when she will no longer be defined by her youth and the things she has achieved at her young age. She sings about the fear that her best moments and work have already passed. Rodrigo sings, “got your whole life ahead of you, you’re only nineteen but I fear that they already got all the best parts of me.” Whether Rodrigo’s best moments have already passed is something that remains undetermined, but the authenticity and masterful metaphorical writing behind her lyrics have already won the hearts of fans around the world. “GUTS” is available on Apple Music and Spotify.

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