Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

“GUTS” review: It’s a mesmerizing, paralyzing joy ride

Courtesy of Geffen Records

Olivia Rodrigo knocks the pop punk genre on its head with the highly anticipated release of her sophomore album,GUTS”.

Previously known for her acting work on Disney’s “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” 20-year-old Rodrigo most likely felt the pressure to transition out of acting into the critical world of music with her 2021 debut album SOUR.”

Whether or not you listened to “SOUR,” you have definitely heard of the album itself and the artist behind the work.

With “SOUR” dominating the music charts at its height, Rodrigo had a heavy weight on her shoulders to deliver yet another highly acclaimed album.

A satisfying mix of grunge and pop punk, “GUTS” captures the irritating sensation of being in your early twenties while having fun between the sad moments.

If “SOUR” was a look into a blossoming teenager’s view of society, “GUTS” is the transitory period between ages 19 and 20 that every teenager dreads yet cannot wait for.

Many artists release new music every year, with singles to supplement their absence in between album periods. Rodrigo, however, waited an entire two years after “SOUR” to introduce “GUTS” to the world, with no singles in between (outside of a song written for season 3 of “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series”).The first single of Rodrigo’s album, “vampire,” came as a surprise. Released around the thirteenth anniversary of “Twilight: Eclipse,” Rodrigo’s “vampire” speaks on her draining relationship with an older man.

Dealing with elements of toxicity, older relationships, and the need to grow up, Rodrigo’s “GUTS” seemingly delivers on everything that she expected from herself for a sophomore album to share with the world. The sophomore album’s first song “all-american b*tch” captures every essence of Rodrigo’s newest musical era. As the “perfect all-american b*tch,” Rodrigo describes the hardships of exiting one’s teenage years while trying to be perfect for their twenties.

Although through the perspective of Rodrigo between nineteen and twenty-years-old, the album draws on concepts of less than ideal exes, toxic relationships, and the pains of early adulthood.Rodrigo’s second single, “bad idea right?” illustrates seeing an old flame as a bad idea, and there is an assumption to be made about how many people can sadly relate.

The rest of the album shifts between sounds of early 2000’s pop rock and soothing, slow vocals for a diverse collection of songs within Rodrigo’s “GUTS.” The album feels like a gift transported from the 90’s and 2000’s towards the newest of generations, while also highlighting sounds that any age group could pick up on.

If there is any moment within “GUTS” to show Rodrigo’s maturity and transition into adulthood, the last track “teenage dream” encapsulates it all. Most people dream of being a teenager, and for Rodrigo, she’s scared to leave those years behind. Rodrigo narrates moments of drunken mishaps, tiring relationships, and fears of growing up too fast in between melodic transitions for all to enjoy.

Olivia Rodrigo does well with sharing her humor and personality through her gut-wrenching lyrics and well-planned melodies that people within various age groups can relate to in some form.

My opinion of Rodrigo’s “GUTS” is only one of many, but I would say that the album itself is an impressive piece of work for a second album, especially following the continuous success of “SOUR.”

Even if Olivia Rodrigo’s music is not your cup of tea, it’s definitely not a bad idea to give the album a listen, right?


“GUTS” is now available on Apple Music and Spotify.

Illustration by Ariel Landry


Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Dajah Saul
Dajah Saul, The Wolf Editor
Dajah Saul currently serves as The Maroon’s Wolf Editor. Dajah is a senior majoring in English with a concentration in Film and Digital Media, and she is interested in pursuing the publication or film industry in her future. In her free time, Dajah loves to read, listen to a variety of music with her headphones at all times, and absorb any form of pop culture in the media to rant about. Dajah can be reached at [email protected].

Comments (0)

All The Maroon Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *