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The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

Olivia Rodrigo’s “GUTS” is a gut-wrenching album

Geffen & Interscope Records
GUTS is Olivia Rodrigo’s sophomore album released on September 8, 2023

Olivia Rodrigo released her second full-length album, “GUTS,” on Sept. 8, 2023.  Fans held high expectations for her sophomore album because of how accomplished her first album, “SOUR”, was with over 3 million copies sold in the U.S. This album speaks a lot about the phases of life and relationships, and each song guides listeners through the emotions and experiences of those phases.


all-american b****

The album starts off on a high note with both a soft and punk song. This song describes the stage in relationships where on the outside someone acts differently than on the inside. She talks about dealing with people’s feelings and being the happy, optimistic person with these lyrics: “And I make light of the darkness/I’ve got sun in my motherf*****’ pocket, best believe,”

The chorus starts off loud, something that wasn’t expected from the quiet ending of verse one. It’s a perfect song to belt out to.


bad idea right?

“bad idea right?” wasn’t as appealing as the other songs on Rodrigo’s album. In the beginning of the pre-chorus, all that can be heard is guitar and Rodrigo’s voice. The way she presented the lyrics, and the way the lyrics mesh with the guitar in the background didn’t work together at all. The two verses of the song were also unappealing, because it felt like she was only speaking rather than singing. The tune is what makes or breaks a song, and there is no tune in these verses.

But there are a few redeemable qualities about ‘bad idea right?’. She sings “My brain goes, ‘Ah’/ can’t hear my thoughts,” and that was the most satisfying part to hear. Her harmonizing and the guitar blended together seamlessly. Secondly, the chorus was appealing because of how much it rhymes and how catchy it is, as shown in these lyrics: “Yes, I know that he’s my ex/ But can’t two people reconnect?/ ‘I only see him as a friend,’/ the biggest lie I ever said.”



There are many good parts of this song, one being the buildup of the chorus. It went slowly from quiet to loud, and the instruments and beats all complimented each other. It adds so much flavor to the song and makes it so much more interesting. 

A notable feature of the song were the beats. While it might be just a normal, mid-tempo beat, it brought a sense of nostalgia and transported listeners back to “drivers license” on “SOUR”. Another thing in the song was a unique sound effect between the chorus and the second verse. It was the sound of a car’s ignition and it’s an perfect transition to the song.


making the bed

The meaning behind this song stood out the most. The phrase “making the bed” generally means that someone made a decision and that they have to deal with the consequences that came with it. In this song, Rodrigo sings about having to make the bed and feeling out of control in her life, as shown in these lyrics: “Every good thing has turned into somethin’ I dread / And I’m playin’ the victim so well in my head / But it’s me who’s been making the bed.” She feels like her life isn’t the same as before, like her life isn’t hers anymore. 

get him back

Instantly, “get him back” was a hit. The drums and the way Rodrigo sang the vocals in the background all contributed to the popularity of the song. The chorus was both memorable and melodic.

The way Rodrigo sang in this song was also reminiscent of “brutal”, track one on “SOUR”. The tone of her voice, how each verse was spoken and the quietness along with the loudness of both songs all contributed to the connection between the two songs. 


the grudge

This song is a combination of the melancholic songs from “SOUR”. The buildup of the first line of the chorus seems similar to the build up of the chorus of “drivers license.”

The bridge is the most entertaining part of the song. It showcases Rodrigo’s ability to sing in a higher range.


teenage dream

“Teenage dream” is a song that anyone can fall in love with on the first listen.. The chorus had a parallel to “brutal,” stating: “Got your whole life ahead of you, you’re only nineteen” and in “brutal” stating “Where’s my f****** teenage dream? / If someone tells me one more time / ‘Enjoy your youth,’ I’m gonna cry.” 

The chorus was also melodic, but the most entertaining part of the song had to be the bridge. The slow build up from being quiet and simple to loud and chaotic just depicts the spiraling and overthinking occurring, especially with the line “It gets better, but what if I don’t?”


Overall, this album showcases the thoughts, questions and life of growing up and being in relationships. This album a 7.5/10. Some of these songs, while generic, are still good songs. If you’re interested in pop and pop punk music, you should definitely listen to this album.

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Visalakshi Arunachalam
Visalakshi Arunachalam, Staff Writer
Visala joined the Wildcat Tribune because her brother had taken this class and said she might like it too. Then she figured out she really liked it and wanted to continue. Her goal for this year is to get better at interviewing and to get a little more out of her comfort zone. An interesting fact about Visala is that she has been doing dance for almost 11 years. If she could be any other person on the tribune she would be Kayal because Visala wants to have her wavy hair.

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