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The Student News Site of Granada High School

The Pomegranate

The Student News Site of Granada High School

The Pomegranate

Grabbing Life by the Horns

Olivia Rodrigo Transitions From Teen Sensation to Pop Star on “GUTS”

Olivia Rodrigo Transitions From Teen Sensation to Pop Star on GUTS

Pomegranate Seeds: 8/10

Olivia Rodrigo has finally released her sophomore album, GUTS. Leading with two fantastic singles, (“bad idea right?” and “vampire”), many were excited to hear the pop star’s newest album. Here are my opinions on the highly-anticipated record and whether it was worth the wait.

Track one, “all-american bitch,” started off slower and was not the high-energy intro I was expecting, given the title, but I was far from disappointed. The song starts with a slight country vibe and feels similar to Taylor Swift’s older records. The lyrics are creative and definitely well-written, and Rodrigo sounds great singing them. While the song doesn’t start with a lot of energy, once we get into the first chorus the instrumentation really speeds up. The chorus is the most energetic part of the song while the slower parts held that country vibe. The lyrics are fun and satirical and the instrumentation is good. But, I wish the song was a bit longer and that we had gotten more rock vibes and less country vibes.

Track two is “bad idea right?” which is immediately bursting with energy. The lyrics are amusing but also relatable; the instrumentation is superb and I love the guitars throughout the entire song. This song has a ton of energy, a great beat and rhythm, and is very bouncy and dynamic. It’s one of the best songs on the album and has the energy that I was hoping for from the album. Track three, “vampire,” is the best song on the album. The slow, piano-solo intro makes me think I’m in for a piano ballad, but the exciting, energetic track that emerged is amazing. It contained good songwriting and plenty of chances for Rodrigo to show off her amazing vocals. The instrumentation becomes very dramatic but isn’t complicated which allows Rodrigo’s singing to shine. The lyrics are absorbing and the chorus is something that you can’t wait to scream out at a concert. Good lyrics, fun instrumentation, good pace, and amazing vocals make “vampire” the best track on the album.

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Next is “lacy,” which brings down the energy from the last two tracks. One of the slower songs on the album, the instrumentation is very calm and perfectly matches Rodrigo’s lyrics and singing. The best element of this song is the contrast between the sweet and angelic instrumentation and the intense, bitter lyrics. It’s a topic plenty of teenagers can relate to: wanting to be like somebody else so much that you can’t stand them. The song has good instrumentation and production and stands out the most for its great concept-execution. Track five, “ballad of a homeschooled girl,” has a similar intro to “bad idea right?” and, as I got further into the track, sounds very similar to the rest of “bad idea right?”. The lyrics are interesting and angsty and Rodrigo brought a lot of energy into her singing. The rhythm and speed of the song are very fast and fun, and the entire track gave a lot of early-2000s pop-rock vibes.

Track six, “making the bed,” is a very emotional track where Rodrigo truly is spilling her guts. The lyrics feel very personal and are well-written. The chorus is very good, the instrumentation was more understated but done well, and the emotion that Rodrigo is able to express is what stands out the most. Track seven, “logical,” leaves the spotlight mainly on Rodrigo’s vocals and her lyrics. This song is very Olivia Rodrigo and could easily have been on SOUR. There’s a lot of emotion and power in Rodrigo’s singing, but the chorus blends into the rest of the song and the instrumentation and lyrics don’t change much over the course of the track.

At the beginning of “get him back!” I was ready for a fun pop-rock track similar to “brutal.” It started out with a lot of great energy; Rodrigo brought a lot of attitude to her singing and the instrumentation is very fun and bombastic. I love the bridge into the chorus, but the chorus itself was a let down. I was hoping as the song continued it would lean more into the rock vibes it started with, but it felt more like normal pop. After the chorus the song was a bit lackluster as the intro made me think I was getting a song with more rock elements. Rodrigo does so well with pop-rock, but by the end I was disappointed with how poppy the track was.

Track nine, “love is embarrassing,” had a fun intro that, again, gave me pop-rock vibes. The drums sound fantastic and the instrumentation is very energetic, but the track did turn towards more pop as it progressed. The track had a good rhythm and beat, but overall felt like something I had already heard from Rodrigo. Track ten, “the grudge,” started with very bare-bones instrumentation but turned into a very spirited track. Rodrigo set a good pace and rhythm with her singing while also bringing a lot of emotion to the song. The instrumentation isn’t very energetic but it is dramatic and sounds fantastic. I love how dramatic the entire song is, from its instrumentation to the lyrics.

Track eleven, “pretty isn’t pretty,” is one of the best tracks on the album. The instrumentation gives the track very summery, beachy vibes. The lyrics are personal while also very relatable; the instrumentation makes the track feel fun and summery while its lyrical content makes it very emotional. The bridge is great and the song had one of the best choruses of any track on the album. The album ended with “teenage dream,” an emotional ballad that sounds fantastic. The instrumentation is good without being overbearing and allows Rodrigo’s singing and lyrics to stand out. It’s another song that feels very relatable and would be enjoyable for plenty of teenagers and adults alike. Rodrigo sounds wonderful and once the song gains some energy it becomes amazingly intense. “teenage dream” is a great ending to an album that shows how Rodrigo has truly graduated from teen sensation to pop-star.

Thankfully, Olivia Rodrigo did not fall victim to the sophomore slump and delivered a fantastic album. GUTS had good instrumentation and production and the lyrics of every song were well-written, personal, and relatable for teenagers and adults alike. But, GUTS felt very similar to SOUR and it didn’t feel like the former expanded on the sound on the latter; instead, it replicated a similar sound. While it did feel very similar to SOUR, and a majority of the songs were still about heartbreak, GUTS did deliver 12 tracks that were well-made and entertaining, giving GUTS 8/10 pomegranate seeds. Any Olivia Rodrigo or pop fan should give the record a try.

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About the Contributor
Tyler Hayley
Tyler Hayley, Reporter and Editor
Tyler Hayley is part of the Granada High School class of 2025 and has been writing for The Pomegranate since 2021. He is a member of Model United Nations and the Workers' Rights Club at Granada. He enjoys writing short stories and reading in his spare time.

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