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Guts Album Review: Olivia Rodrigo Returns

Check out Olivia Rodrigo’s second album Guts to find a song that fits any teenage rollercoaster emotion.
Olivia Rodrigo
Check out Olivia Rodrigo’s second album “Guts” to find a song that fits any teenage rollercoaster emotion.

Olivia Rodrigo fans were growing restless waiting for Rodrigo to drop another album that would change the music industry and blow other songs off the charts. Well 2 years, 3 months, and 18 days after the release of her hit album Sour, Rodrigo has dropped her long-awaited, second album titled Guts


With the release of Sour, 18-year-old Olivia Rodrigo caught the public off guard with her young yet undeniable talent for singing and songwriting, breaking records left and right and winning three Grammys. Her near-instant rise to the top left her fans not only wanting more but expecting more. Having such a well-regarded and successful debut album results in immense pressure for each following album to be even better. 


By just looking at the album cover and song titles, it is apparent that Rodrigo is aiming to illustrate a whole different vibe with Guts. Like her previous album, listeners are still able to bawl their eyes out to her heart-wrenching ballads right before screaming at the top of their lungs to her edgy angst songs. However, when listening to the musical differences, there are more prevalent grunge and alternative rock influences in Guts, causing it to have a tougher sound in general. 


What cannot be ignored are the risks that Rodrigo is taking with this second album. Staying within her comfort zone and writing songs similar to those in Sour would have been the safe option that guaranteed to appeal to the same audience. Clearly, Rodrigo did not want to play it safe and decided to test the boundaries with this more mature version of her music. Her music has aged with her, consisting of more mature lyrics and music style.


Sophia Mou (10), a fan of Rodrigo who was eager for the release of her second album “was curious about its overall vibe after listening to the two singles that were released first (“Vampire” and “Bad Idea Right’).” She believes that Guts “portrays Olivia’s transition from her teenage years to adulthood” through “fun, carefree, and touching” songs. Out of the entire album, “[her] favorite song is “Pretty Isn’t Pretty” because of the nostalgic tune.”


[The album] portrays Olivia’s transition from her teenage years to adulthood

— Sophia Mou


Unlike Sophia, there are fans who were disappointed after listening to the new album: some only liking a few select songs, and others not liking any at all. A potential possibility for this divide is how every one of her songs has such a different vibe (but still is a cohesive album overall), which opens the possibility to more people relating to a song. But with that song diversity, there is a higher chance that not everyone will like and relate to every song.


Regardless of personal opinion, Guts has already scored Rodrigo her second Number 1 set on the Billboard 200 chart as of September 23, 2023. Having had both Sour and Guts at Number 1 on the Billboard 200, Rodrigo has set a record as the “first female artist to start atop the chart with two first chart entries in nine years” ( Rodrigo has proved once again that she has the talent to change the music industry and impact the souls of her listeners. Her music continues to keep fans on their toes while they wait for more on the edge of their seats.

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About the Contributor
Jeanelle Wu, Editor-In-Chief
Jeanelle Wu is a senior at YLHS and is excited to serve as one of the editors-in-chief for The Wrangler this year. As she continues writing for The Wrangler, she is thrilled to be able to help other students find their writing voice, express herself through her writing, and put her leadership skills to the test. Jeanelle is a part of the YLHS business program, CSF, and chess club and is the President of YLFBLA. In her free time, she enjoys playing the piano, singing her heart out, and spending time with her family and friends. Furthermore, Jeanelle values giving back to the community; specifically, she volunteers for storytime at the Yorba Linda Public Library and Kaiser Hospital. If she cannot be reached, she is likely on her way to explore a new country, seeking adventure, or listening to Taylor Swift on repeat. Jeanelle believes journalism is a creative expression for sharing her perspective and conveying information. Her passion for journalism and curiosity are looking forward to an excellent year for The Wrangler.

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    Isabelle GreggNov 30, 2023 at 7:37 AM

    Loved this article and your view on Guts!