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Matilda Szymanski is currently studying as a freshman at Palatine High School.  One thing about Szymanski is that she is a very creative person and values expressing that creativity through her art. Just...

It’s a “good idea” to listen to Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘Guts’

Larissa Hoffmann via Chuff Media
Olivia Rodrigo poses in a purple filled room that emulates her sophomore album ‘Guts’

In her thrilling sophomore album Guts, Olivia Rodrigo incorporates rock elements into a pop album with themes of love, breakups and dealing with the social norms of society. The 12 track album was released on September 8, 2023, following her debut album Sour, and is supported by three standout singles – “Vampire,” its lead single, “Bad Idea Right?” and “Get Him Back!”

“Vampire,” the lead single for Guts and the third track overall, is a pop rock track about an ex-lover who used the narrator. 

In the beginning, Rodrigo sings, “How’s the castle built off people you pretend to care about?” to show that this ex has social power over others and pretends to care about other people in order to gain that power.

The song is well known for its chorus, using metaphors to compare the former lover to a vampire who “fed” off the narrator.

“The way you sold me for parts / As you sunk your teeth into me / Bloodsucker, dream crusher” 

In these lyrics, Rodrigo explains how her ex used her like a vampire for blood and calls them a “dream crusher.”

“I mean, I never want to say who any of my songs are about,” Rodrigo said in an interview with the Guardian when asked about the meaning of the song. “I was very surprised when people thought that.”

Its accompanying music video is set at a fake award show where Rodrigo sings the song before a mishap happens.

I love “Vampire,” but there are other tracks from Guts that should receive the same love and attention, such as “Ballad of a Homeschooled Girl,” which talks about social anxiety and the fear of saying wrong things. 

“And I don’t think I get along with anyone / Blood runnin’ cold / I’m on the outside of the greatest inside joke”

I thoroughly enjoyed this song because the song has rock influences while its lyrics have deep meaning especially to those with social anxiety.

For a track like Rodrigo’s debut single “Driver’s License,” “The Grudge” is the sequel to the 2021 song. With piano accompaniment and the progressive volume in its chorus before becoming silent, it bears similarity to the chorus of “Driver’s License.” Lyrically, the song seems to be about an ex who manipulated the narrator, and not being ready to forgive. Fans of “Driver’s License” should give “The Grudge” a listen.

“Teenage Dream” is the last track from the album, which is about a 19-year-old Rodrigo worrying about difficult situations. The phrase “it gets better” is used to ask “what if I don’t [get better]?” in the songs’ chorus. Throughout the song, Rodrigo apologizes that she couldn’t be a “teenage dream.” 

As a casual Olivia Rodrigo fan, Guts is a fantastic album. In music charts, Rodrigo’s album has reached position one in 14 global charts including the US Billboard 200. She will soon embark on her second world tour ‘Guts’ in 2024 and will stop by Chicago on March 19 and 20 at the United Center. I am excited to see her future endeavors and releases.

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About the Contributor
Didrik Caleja
Didrik Caleja, A&E Editor
Didrik Caleja is a freshman at Palatine High School. When he was younger, he was interested in journalism and pursuing it as a career. In his free time, he plays video games on his PlayStation, listens & sings to music and learns song choreography. 

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  • B

    Bryce WukovitsOct 18, 2023 at 7:56 am

    she is my queen! my goat!