Album Alcove: GUTS

Spilling Her GUTS: Exploring Olivia Rodrigo’s Authentic New Album

Olivia Rodrigo released her sophomore album, GUTS, on September 8th after two years in the music industry’s spotlight. With pressure to surpass the success of her very first and grammy-award winning album, Sour, Rodrigo’s new album showcases how her writing style has evolved and her overall sound has expanded. 

In an interview with Variety, she said the indie pop-rock album is “about growing pains and trying to figure out who I am at this point in my life.” Just 20 years old, Rodrigo has composed yet another vulnerable record, but with some new twists. 

GUTS consists of 12 songs, two of which were singles released before Rodrigo published the entire album. 

Fans speculate that “vampire” is about an ex-boyfriend and his manipulation of her, taking advantage of their age gap and her fame, while “bad idea right?” appears to be about Rodrigo deciding to go back to an ex-boyfriend. These concepts and others on the album are brought to life as Rodrigo utilizes her strong vocal ability and adds lots of percussion, electric guitar, and bass to build up the song and listeners’ anticipation. The singles were each accompanied by a music video.

Story continues below advertisement

While Rodrigo continues to write about former relationships in some tracks on the album, she also touches on ideas of jealousy, self-image, and making mistakes as an older teenager, laying all of her feelings on the table to do so. 

The track, “pretty isn’t pretty,” reflects on unhealthy idolized body image and its effects on self-esteem. Rodrigo sings, “When pretty isn’t pretty enough, what do you do? And everybody’s keepin’ it up, so you think it’s you,” emphasizing how exhausting thoughts of insecurity can impact a person’s view of their self-worth.

Two of the most popular tracks, “logical” and “get him back!” contrast in their sounds and messages. “logical” has melancholic sounds with softer piano, and is about Rodrigo partially blaming herself for how a relationship unfolded and the inner struggle to be rational during something as obscure and ambiguous as love, when so many deep feelings are involved. These ideas can be seen in the lyrics: “‘Cause if rain don’t pour and sun don’t shine, Then changing you is possible, No, love is never logical.” 

The transition to the next track, “get him back!” is harsh in its emotional whiplash, but equally rewarding as louder sounds of percussion and guitar return, providing a significant shift in mood. Instead of Rodrigo reflecting on how a relationship ended, she now yearns to go back to an ex-boyfriend and make him jealous.

GUTS is an emotional rollercoaster, but one thing is for sure: Olivia Rodrigo knows how to project her voice into the world through her music. Her growth in songwriting is evident between Sour and this album, displaying how much she has to offer to the music industry, and how successful one can be if they have the guts to push their limits.


Rating: 9/10


Favorite: “get him back!”


Recommendations: Listen to the album in order! There is one particularly cool transition between tracks one and two.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Hourglass Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *