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The first group of adults runs into the cold water during the seventh annual ice plunge for Elodie Kubik. Some wore swim caps in pink, which is Elodies favorite color. Some also wore caps that said Plunge for Elodie.
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Album review: “GUTS”

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Credit: Aimee Smith
WSPN’s Aimee Smith discusses Olivia Rodrigo’s newest album, “GUTS.”

“love is embarrassing,” “pretty isn’t pretty,” “the grudge.” With titles like these, singer-songwriter Olivia Rodrigo’s sophomore album is a gutsy take on life as a teenage girl. Released on Sept. 8, “GUTS” unapologetically explores the emotional turmoil of adolescence.

Originally known for her acting in Disney series like “Bizaardvark,” Rodrigo’s career as a singer took off after her debut album, “Sour,” launched her into the spotlight in 2021. After the wild success of “Sour,” I was excited to listen to Rodrigo’s newest creative exploration in “GUTS.”

Rodrigo kicks off her album with a real gut punch, “all-american bitch.” This song is the perfect introduction to Rodrigo’s album, as every song covers a different facet of what it means to be a teenage girl. The whiplash of the rough introduction with lyrics like “I know my age, and I act like it” to the high pitched, angelic outro with lyrics like “I’m pretty when I cry” perfectly portray the anger of adolescent girls as they learn about societal expectations of women.

Although “vampire” was Rodrigo’s lead single for “GUTS,” it ended up as one of my least favorite songs on the album. I’m not a big fan of singing that sounds more like speaking, so this song isn’t something I would ever add to my playlist. I thought this was a strange pick for a single considering there are much better songs in the album to reel her listeners in with.

Some of my favorite songs on Rodrigo’s album are “lacy” and “the grudge.” The softer tone and deeply relatable lyrics of these songs make them a must-listen for any teenager when they are feeling down. While “lacy” is about being envious of another girl, “the grudge” captures just how hard it is to forgive someone who has hurt you. Both songs take a deeply relatable twist on very complex emotions.

In “lacy,” Rodrigo sings, “But it takes over my life, I see you everywhere / The sweetest torture one could bear,” about being envious of another person. Rodrigo’s honesty in this song is refreshing, since I’m sure that many people have experienced admiration that twists into jealousy once they realize that they will never be like the other person.

On the other hand, “the grudge” reaches out to a different emotion festering in many of us. Rodrigo writes, “I hear your voice every time I think that I’m not enough,” referring to a person who hurt Rodrigo, but is no longer a part of her life. Whether it be a family member, friend or ex-lover, I think many people can point to one relationship that still hurts to think about long after it has ended. Rodrigo took this incredibly complex emotion and wrote “the grudge” in a way that makes people say, ‘yes, this is exactly what I was feeling.’

However, Rodrigo’s album also has songs for when all you want to do is scream. “get him back!” is the perfect song to yell along to. This rock song is a sassier take on getting back together with your ex. Full of snarkiness with lines like, “He said he’s six-foot-two, and I’m like, ‘Dude, nice try,’” this song makes me grin. Even though I know that getting back with your ex isn’t a good idea, Rodrigo makes it fun to imagine.

While this might seem strange, my favorite song on “GUTS” is not actually a part of the tracklist. On TikTok, several fans discovered a hidden song, “obsessed,” at the end of their “GUTS (Target Exclusive)” vinyls. “obsessed” has the same high energy as “get him back!”, except it’s about Rodrigo’s obsession with her current lover’s ex-girlfriend. Both songs are bass heavy and really draw the listener in.

All of Rodrigo’s vinyls in her online store have different hidden bonus tracks at the end. Sold in four colors, red, blue, purple and white, the differently colored vinyls are one of the only ways for fans to hear “obsessed,” “stranger,” “girl i’ve always been” and “scared of my guitar” respectively.

In “GUTS,” Rodrigo perfectly captures all the emotions of a teenage girl. Although some of the songs on the album are definitely skips for me, the lyrics of every song still manage to be relatable. Overall, I would rate this album a 8/10, and I’d definitely recommend “GUTS” to anyone who wants to scream out their feelings.

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About the Contributor
Aimee Smith, Business Managing Editor
Aimee Smith, Class of 2024, is a third year reporter and the Business Managing Editor for WSPN. In her free time, she enjoys reading, baking and spending time with friends. Contact: [email protected]
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