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Olivia Rodrigo’s sophomore album isn’t as relatable as her debut

MOORHEAD – As an avid Olivia Rodrigo fan, I was very excited for her sophomore album “GUTS” to come out on Sept. 8. I thoroughly enjoyed her first album “SOUR” when it came out and was excited to get some new music just two years later.  

It pains me to write this, but I’m not 100% a fan of “GUTS” just yet. I can already hear folks telling me to “just give it another listen,” but believe me I have. 

“GUTS” has become the soundtrack for all of my drives. I have been listening to nothing but this album recently. I just haven’t been connecting with it like I did with “SOUR.” 

I still vividly remember when the first single of “SOUR”came out. I danced by myself around my freshman year dorm room to “driver’s license”–it was just that good. The two other singles from that album “deja vu” and “good 4 u” got equal reactions from me (minus the dancing, that was a one-time thing).  

While I really enjoy the two singles off of “GUTS”, “vampire” and “bad idea right?”, something just feels like it’s missing. My excitement about these two songs felt forced.  

Obviously I have changed as a person in these past two years (and so has Rodrigo), but I have only grown in my love for her music; I still regularly listen to “SOUR” and have continued to follow her career these past few years.  

I think what is missing from “GUTS” for me is the drama. That has to be it. It’s the same style of music, pop/rock hits intermixed with ballads, and a similar sound. But this album isn’t a breakup/revenge album (or at least to my knowledge it isn’t). 

 The entirety of Rodrigo’s last album was about her breakup with Joshua Bassett. It was raw and messy, and as a self proclaimed drama enthusiast I loved it.  

For those unfamiliar, Rodrigo and Bassett both starred on the Disney+ show “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.”  

Rodrigo and Bassett were rumored to be romantically involved after co-starring on the show. Their relationship was speculated during a period of mid-2019 through Aug. of 2020. After their relationship ended, things seemed to be amicable between the two.  

Enter Sabrina Carpenter! It is rumored that after Rodrigo and Bassett split, Bassett began seeing Carpenter. This whole switcheroo inspired “SOUR,” and the release of “SOUR” ruined the public facing amicable breakup of these two stars.  

When each single of “SOUR” was released fans took to the internet dissecting the songs and picking out lines that sounded like digs at Bassett and Carpenter, my personal favorites “and you’re probably with that blonde girl” and “do you call her, almost say my name, cause let’s be honest, we kinda do sound the same” (there are many more where these came from).  

As if things couldn’t get messier, Bassett later came out as queer, throwing a whole new wrench into things.   

Anyways, enough with the old news and back to my main concern: “GUTS”.  

I really want to like this new album. I seriously do. Perhaps it’s that I haven’t taken the time to really listen to it. I mean really listen. I’ve had it on mostly as background noise. I haven’t gotten to the heart of the music yet. 

I’m hopeful that that is my problem, and not that I’m missing the drama. As enjoyable as it was for fans to speculate and feed into the drama of “SOUR” I imagine it was not so great of a time for Carpenter, Bassett, or even Rodrigo.  

Regardless, rest assured that I will continue on my mission of liking this new album. I already have tickets to Rodrigo’s St. Paul show on March 15, so it looks like I have until then to reach my final verdict.  

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