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Spilling her Guts

Pop singer Olivia Rodrigo released her sophomore album on September 8th
Spilling+her+Guts
Geffen Records

Whether you know her as Paige Olvera from Disney Channel’s 2016 comedy Bizaardvark or as Nini from Disney’s High School Musical: the Musical: The Series, Olivia Rodrigo is taking the stage with her new album Guts.

Rodrigo is a 20-year-old pop singer who rose to fame in 2021 after releasing her first album, Sour.  Her acting career took off in 2015 when she starred as Grace Thomas in An American Girl: Grace Stirs Up Success. Since then, she went on to Disney’s High School Musical: The Musical: The Series which allowed her singing career to fully take off. 

Rodrigo is widely known for her dramatic, yet relatable songs that appeal to a wide audience largely of teenage girls.Just a few of the problems she writes about consist of jealousy, insecurity, drifting from old friends, and getting cheated on. In 2022, her writing and singing skills on her first album brought three Grammys: New Artist, Pop Solo Performance, and Pop Vocal Album.

Now she’s ready to fully spill her guts with her sophomore album, Guts. 

“All American B****” 

Rodrigo kicks off her album with a rather attention-grabbing title. This song revolves around her being a classic teenage girl in America. She describes herself as “the perfect American b**** with perfect American lips and perfect American hips.” As lighthearted as it sounds, this song has a deeper and sadder meaning. Rodrigo seems to be describing herself as a facade for people to be bewitched by her seemingly perfect personality. An overall engrossing and riveting way to start off her album.

“Bad Idea, Right?”

This song is possibly one of, if not the, most relatable song for teenage girls. It’s about her brain being bombarded with strange thoughts, mainly entailing her desire to see her ex-boyfriend. The song includes the singer spiraling back and forth over whether this would be a bad idea, hence the title. However, like most teenagers, she lets her heart take control of her mind and goes through with her “bad idea.” If there were a Grammy for songs that appeal to teenage girls, this song would undoubtedly be a shoo-in for the win.

“Vampire”

After introducing her album with two intensely energetic songs, Rodrigo brings it back down a few notches with her rage ballad “Vampire.” This song is in regard to her ex-boyfriend, who never treated her the way she wanted. She never fully specifies what he did to her, but she heavily implies that he used her when she sings, “You only come out at night.”

“Lacy”

Rodrigo reintroduces her “jealousy, jealousy,” a theme from her earlier release, with this melody that revolves entirely around one girl, Lacy. In this song, she conveys all of Lacy’s redeeming qualities, such as her “skin like puff pastry” and “eyes white like daisies.” Rodrigo then goes on to describe how her jealousy for Lacy is eating away at her. By the end, Rodrigo reveals that she is starting to dislike Lacy due to her undeniable beauty. Rodrigo seems to have a recurring theme of envying things other girls have that she does not.

“Ballad of a Homeschooled Girl”

This tune is a bit of a twist from what Rodrigo normally performs. Returning to the kind of songs you could blast through speakers, this song describes how growing up homeschooled had a rather severe effect on her social skills. She explains how she makes social situations “weird and worse” simply by saying the wrong things. 

“Making the Bed”

Returning back to her emotional ballads, this song reiterates the problems Rodrigo must go through. She then explains how she is the one bringing said problems amongst herself. In using the metaphor “making the bed” as a way to say she is walking right into her own problems, she allows listeners to really enjoy the lyrical quality behind the song.

“Logical”

This song is another example of the metaphorical meaning behind her songs. The meaning behind Rodrigo’s references in this song is that “love is never logical.” Instead of simply coming right out and saying “love isn’t easy,” she refers to statements that are somewhat dense and illogical, such as “2 + 2 = 5,” and then proceeds to make claims such as “I’m the love of your life” to prove that her thoughts were dull-minded and didn’t make any sense. This is yet another great way to illustrate the thoughtfulness of Rodrigo’s lyrical writing.

“Get Him Back!”

In this pop-rock tune, Rodrigo describes her mixed feelings regarding her ex-boyfriend. She is conflicted, unsure whether she wants to get him back out of revenge or affection. The whole point of the title of the song is that the phrase “get him back” takes on multiple meanings. She is able to convey her frustration and confusion through this song.

“Love Is Embarrassing”

The title of this song pretty much speaks for itself. Rodrigo conveys her anger and embarrassment over being so kind and true to a man who was not worth her time and effort. She provides examples of times she was there for him and goes on to explain how he was a “weird second-string loser who’s not worth mentioning.” 

“The Grudge” 

Transitioning back into slow, sad songs, “The Grudge” is a number about attempting to get over strong feelings regarding something that happened ages ago. She describes how hard it is to simply let go of something or someone that once meant so much to her while trying so hard to let her feelings go unsaid. 

“Pretty Isn’t Pretty”

This song refers to a theme that practically every female pop artist has sung about: the lengths girls go to just to be considered beautiful. Rodrigo explains that being the perfect girl isn’t all it seems to be. The constant body dysmorphia she goes through is a very touching subject. If this song could be summed up in only a few lyrics, they would most likely be “fix the things you hated and you’d still feel insecure.” 

“Teenage Dream”

To end her second album, Rodrigo titles this ballad “Teenage Dream.” No, not Katy Perry’s 2010 hit. If anything, this song is the exact opposite. While Perry’s “Teenage Dream” is a happy, upbeat song you could play at a party, Rodrigo’s is a sad representation of how she felt like she couldn’t be enough. She implies that she grew up too fast for her age and wishes she was able to act like any normal teenage girl. 

Rodrigo is undoubtedly a very talented songwriter. The abundant metaphorical connections she makes to modern, teenage girl issues are impeccable. Her songs inspire and remind others that they are not alone in any problem they may be facing.

Though Rodrigo’s songs are mainly targeted towards teenage girls, I would highly recommend that anyone of any age take time to listen to her new album. A 10 isn’t high enough to rate this album — I confidently give it a 20/20. 

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About the Contributor
Gracie Durzo
Gracie Durzo, Staff Writer
Gracie Durzo is a junior at NASH. This is her first year partaking in Journalism and she is very excited to begin a new chapter in her high school journey. She decided to take journalism because she wanted to put her writing skills into greater use beyond English essays. Gracie also participates in the NA musicals and is a past actress of the NAI plays. Outside of Journalism and extracurricular activities, she enjoys going out with her friends and spending time with her family. 

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