Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

Since 1907
Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

Olivia Rodrigo spills her “GUTS” in sophomore album

On Sept. 8 2023, after a two-year break, 20-year-old Olivia Rodrigo released her sophomore album, “GUTS.” Since its release, “GUTS” has become Rodrigo’s second No.1 album, having sold over 302,000 albums in the United States and almost 100 million streams. Now that the album has marinated, let’s break down Spotify’s current top five streamed songs from the 12-track album.

1. vampire”

Vampire” was the first single released from the album and did not disappoint. In the song, Rodrigo describes a past lover as a vampire who “bled [her] dry.” Rodrigo describes him as someone who used her and left her broken when she sings, “I should have known it was strange, you only come out at night…the way you sold me for parts, as you sunk your teeth into me.” Rodrigo also talks about the age gap between her and her former lover with the lyrics: “went for me and not her, cause girls your age know better.” She delivers the final blow in the bridge: “I tried to help you out, now, I know that I can’t ‘cause how you think’s the kind of thing I’ll never understand.” 

2. “bad idea right?” 

“Bad idea right?” — the second single released — got mixed reviews. The song seemed out of character as a single, but it blended perfectly with the punk pop album. The song is about Rodrigo rekindling with an ex. She sings, “I know we’re done, I know we’re through, but God when I look at you, my brain goes ‘ah’ can’t hear my thoughts.” Rodrigo even alludes to the fact that her friends do not approve of her choices. “Yes I know that he’s my ex, but can’t two people reconnect? I only see him as a friend. Biggest lie I’ve ever said.”

3. “get him back”

This song is one of my personal favorites from the album. The entire song is one big double entendre. Rodrigo uses the phrase “get him back” with a revenge connotation and also with the idea that she wants to get back together with her ex. She starts the song describing the boy that she wants to get back together with: “he had an ego and a temper and a wandering eye, he said he’s six-foot-two, and I’m like ‘dude nice try.’” Even though this boy is flawed, and Rodrigo recognizes his flaws, she still wants to get him back. “Oh, I want sweet revenge and I want him again.” My favorite line in the song is “I want to kiss his face, with an uppercut.”

4. “all american b–”

In this song, Rodrigo is speaking about the experience of being an American teenage girl. She opens with the lyric “I am light as a feather, I’m as stiff as a board,” a reference to a game played by young girls at sleepovers. “I got class and integrity, Just like a god**** Kennedy I swear” is a reference to the most timeless American Family. In the bridge of the song, Rodrigo gets raw and relatable. She describes a well-behaved, ideal woman by shouting the lyrics “I don’t get angry when I’m pissed, I’m the eternal optimist.” She then softly and sweetly sings the lyrics “I’m grateful all the time, I’m sexy and I’m kind, I’m pretty when I cry.”  

5. “the grudge” 

This is one of the saddest songs on the album. With the iconic line,“My undying love, now I hold it like a grudge,” “the grudge” is about being betrayed by someone you look up to. Rodrigo’s fan base speculates that this song is about another very well-known touring pop artist, but the world may never know for sure. Rodrigo further describes the inequality in the dynamic between her and the other person when she says, “And we both drew blood, but, man those cuts were never equal…you built me up to watch me fall, you have everything and you still want more.” Rodrigo ends the song by admitting that even though this individual betrayed her, she still has so much respect for them: “I try to be tough, I try to be mean, but even after all this, you’re still everything to me.” 

Rodrigo’s pop-punk album is a reflection of every teenage girl’s experience. She captures the feeling of being misunderstood and betrayed in songs like “all american b–” and “the grudge.” Rodrigo also speaks to the fun and thrilling parts of being a teenage girl in the songs like “get him back” and “bad idea right”. Rodrigo’s “GUTS” is a no-skip album and is number one for a reason.

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