A Review of “Deja Vu”

Olivia Rodrigo’s second released single is as assured as her first.


photo courtesy of Headline Planet

Olivia Rodrigo shocks the world for the second time in 2021, releasing her second single from her upcoming album.

Maddie Harris, Staff Writer

After her hit single “Driver’s License” took the world by storm in January, Olivia Rodrigo stepped up to the plate and delivered us her second single, entitled “Deja Vu.Released mere months after “Driver’s License” left us all speechless, Rodrigo continues her storyline and further describes her emotions through her lyrical abilities.

“Deja Vu, released on April 1st, 2021, is the newest single from Rodrigo’s upcoming untitled album, set to release on May 21st, 2021. Her first debut album will have 11 tracks, with”Driver’s License” to be included along with “Deja Vu.

Driver’s License,”  Rodrigo’s first single, was a melancholy, breakup anthem that was accompanied by a slow beat and emotional lyrics that had a deep meaning to Rodrigo. The lyrics to “Deja Vuinclude a deep meaning as well. However, the tone and mood of her second single is a significant change from her first. 

“Deja Vu is all about Rodrigo’s past memories with a lover, all the things they used to do together as a couple. Now that the relationship is over, this old lover introduces his new girl to all the things Rodrigo and he used to do, hence the feeling of deja vu when the same events occur over and over again.

This single by Rodrigo is a much stronger emotional release put into music, expressing her anger lyrically for all to hear. In this three-and-a half-minute single, Rodrigo shades a past lover, proving her superiority and tells a story of past times through her music.

The song starts out with Rodrigo remembering small details of things she and her past lover used to do, activities and events they shared. 

Car rides to Malibu / Strawberry ice cream, one spoon for two /  And tradin’ jackets / Laughin’ ’bout how small it looks on you

The beginning of the song is slow and sweet, gazing upon the fun memories and reliving moments in the past. Shortly into the song, however, Rodrigo’s tone changes into a more menacing one as she takes the memories into a negative connotation, associating them with her ex’s new girlfriend.

So when you gonna tell her that we did that, too? / She thinks it’s special, but it’s all reused

That was our place, I found it first /I made the jokes you tell to her when she’s with you

Rodrigo is taking the credit for all of the things she and her ex used to do that he is now doing with someone new. She throws in a little bit of shade, saying “she thinks she’s special, but it’s all reused.” Where “Driver’s License” is more of a sad, heartbroken piece, Rodrigo is holding back no longer and expressing everything she feels.

This leads us to her chorus, where the idea for the title of the song originates from.

Do you get déjà vu when she’s with you? / Do you get déjà vu? Ah, hmm / Do you get déjà vu, huh?

Calling out to her ex directly, Rodrigo questions if he experiences the feeling of déjà vu, doing all the things he and Olivia used to do.

As previously stated, Rodrigo is no longer holding back her feelings in this piece, becoming more confrontational and throwing even more shade towards her ex and his new girlfriend as the song progresses on. 

Do you call her, almost say my name? /’Cause let’s be honest, we kinda do sound the same

Another actress / I hate to think that I was just your type / And I bet that she knows Billy Joel / ‘Cause you played her “Uptown Girl”

Rodrigo’s confidence is in full force with this piece; she fully expresses herself and allows every emotion to roll off the tongue into her lyrics, feeling all of her anger and pain in one.

To end the piece, she restates the chorus, which is a similar ending to that of “Driver’s License,” where the chorus is the last line of the song. The chords are slowed, and her voice grows softer as the lines progress. However, the chorus is slightly altered in this ending, which is fitting for the overall tone of the piece.

I know you get déjà vu / I know you get déjà vu / I know you get déjà vu

In her chorus, Rodrigo asks if her ex gets déjà vu, and she ends the piece by answering her own question for him. This shows her confidence and the power she holds in the situation, knowing all the things his ex does now was because of her. 

Following the song’s release on April 1st, on April 2nd it had already climbed to third on the US Spotify Chart and eighth on the Global Spotify Chart.”Deja Vuis currently seated at spot 36 on the US Mainstream Billboard Top 40 list. 

“Deja Vu by Olivia Rodrigo is sure to be a hit, just as “Driver’s License” was and still is today. Rodrigo never seems to disappoint, singing from the heart and telling stories of her life lyrically and poetically through her song. Vastly different in tone and mood from “Driver’s License,” the more upbeat “Deja Vu” showcases a young performer already in fine form.