God, It’s Brutal Out Here | Daniel Yachi

She’s the Disney channel actor turned music super star everyone is raving about — Olivia Rodrigo has taken the music industry by storm with her recent release of SOUR, an eleven track album. With two of her songs — “good 4 u” and “deja vu” — in the top three on the Billboard Hot 100, and her song “driver’s license” tailing right behind at number eleven as of June 7th, there is no doubt that Olivia Rodrigo’s SOUR is one of the biggest hits of the summer of 2021.

Her quick fame didn’t come out of nowhere however; Olivia already had a relatively large following after her role in “High School Musical The Musical The Series.” On top of this, she actually had a hit song within the series called “All I Want,” which unsurprisingly was a hit among not only Disney fans, but also teens on TikTok, where the song quickly gained popularity. Then on January 8th 2021, Olivia released her long teased “drivers license” a song which would later be a part of her SOUR album. This track is currently her most popular song, afterall, it spread quickly among teens especially through TikTok where it was a trending “TikTok sound.” But what is all this rave about? Why is everyone so hypnotized by Olivia Rodrigo’s debut album? Let’s dive into the songs of SOUR.

brutal

“brutal” is Rodrigo’s first song in SOUR, kicking off her album with an aggressive and loud tone. In it, Rodrigo rants her struggles to manage her success and teenage life, at one point screaming “they say these are the golden years, but I wish I could disappear,” a sentiment that many teenagers often find themselves having at one point or another in their highschool career. This mix of ranting lyrics and almost piercing strums of the guitar combine to create a letting out of anger feel that’s therapeutic to the overworked teenager of the 21st century.

traitor

“traitor” is a much slower song in comparison to its predecessor. Unlike “brutal,” “traitor” follows the theme of Rodrigo’s sadness after her recent break up, which is a recurring narrative among many of the following songs in her track-list. The song explains the feeling of betrayal Rodrigo felt after her ex boyfriend moved on to another.

driver’s license

“driver’s license” is arguably the golden child of Rodrigo’s album, with the most streams among any other of her songs. It, much like “traitor” follows Rodrigo’s emotions after her heartbreak, reminiscing on the previous memories with her ex. Following the theme of a driver’s license, the song applies strongly to the memories associated among teenagers with getting a driver’s license.

1 step forward, 3 steps back

This one is once again a slower song, however unlike “traitor” and “driver’s license” this song dives back in time to the shortcomings and miscommunications of her previous relationship. This is a very relatable mood for many teenagers who have little understanding of feelings as well as a hindered ability to communicate as a result of quarantining for COVID-19.

deja vu.

“deja vu” is a repeat of the jealous mood set in her album as Rodrigo views her ex’s new girlfriend. This song was one of the three most popular songs in her album.

good 4 u

In “good 4 u,” Rodrigo returns to the more quick and upbeat songs after the four previous slow and sad songs. Despite the upbeat nature of the melody, the lyrics paint a much different picture of her jealousy and almost vengeful sounding sentiments. This mix of both upbeatness and jealousy are what make this complex work of art so sophisticated and popular, making it currently the most popular among her songs on the billboard charts.

enough for you

“enough for you” is another song about her previous relationship, in which she explains all of the struggles she went through to be as perfect as she could for her boyfriend. In the second half of the song she switches from how much she cared to blaming her ex and complaining about his little care over all the work she put in that ultimately wasn’t “enough for you.”

happier

“happier” takes a slightly different turn with the breakup concept, wishing for her ex to be happy, although not as happy as he was with her. Despite the continued sad nature of “happier” in this song, Rodrigo breaks away from the SOUR concept; instead wishing happiness to her ex rather than being jealous or sour.

jealousy, jealousy

In this song, Rodrigo once again takes a slightly different turn from the precedent made by the rest of her album by instead talking about her insecurities from comparing herself to others, something that is a very common theme among teenagers.

favorite crime

“favorite crime” is another song lamenting on what Rodrigo and her ex were, stating that Rodrigo was her ex’s favorite crime.

hope ur ok

To wrap up her album, Rodrigo has “hope ur ok.” In this song Rodrigo writes about a queer girl who is rejected by her family, showing support and hoping shes ok. This final song takes the very bitter album into a totally different direction, ending it on a somewhat sweet note where Rodrigo shows her support for the LGBTQ+ community.
All in all, Rodrigo’s hit SOUR album has given teenagers an album to cry over, literally. This album with its many, often relatable, songs will be a perfect go to listen for the summer season.

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