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A Deep Dive into Olivia Rodrigo’s Album ‘GUTS’

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Ball State chapter.

Now that we’ve had some time to sit with Guts, we’re here to share some thoughts….

Her Rise to Fame

Taylor: We can’t talk about how Olivia Rodrigo produced “Guts” without going back to where she began! Olivia first started on screen in an Old Navy commercial and a direct-to-video film from 2015 called, “An American Girl: Grace Stirs Up Success.” However, most people first saw Olivia Rodrigo’s claim to fame when she was on Disney Channel filming a show about a webshow called “Bizaardvark.” As a person with an avid dislike for Jake Paul and grew up with iCarly as their introduction to web shows, I just generally had no interest in the show. I did see her in High School Musical The Musical: The Series though, and honestly, I loved the first season. I thought her voice was great and the characters had pretty great chemistry, but I digress. Olivia then made her transition from TV to music through her song, “Drivers License.” Man….it is a huge understatement to say that I wish I could relive hearing that song for the first time. My jaw was on the FLOOR at “blonde girl” and at her f-bomb. I had no relationship that made me feel this way EVER, and yet I felt like I couldn’t relate to the lyrics more. I felt every bit of pain, every sense of nostalgia, just by the mere idea of a relationship I may or may not ever have. I was sobbing, I had goosebumps all over, and I’m sure Meghan would say the same. The world just knew that at that moment, she was going to be a star. Next came her album Sour, which broke record after record (as it should) and her career blew up. Goodbye Ricky Bowen and hello Adam Faze and Zack Bia (ew). This all led her down the road to her sophomore album, Guts! It’s amazing that she’s achieved all this at just 20 years old.

Guts Songwriting Deep Dive

Meghan: Personally, I think the lyricism in Guts out blows Sour, but both albums are still masterpieces. Sour will always be THAT album that turned all of us into Olivia Rodrigo stans, but I think Guts shows her growth personally and musically. It is a deep dive into Olivia “spilling her guts” in a transformative and vulnerable way we haven’t seen from her before. Let’s dive deep into some of the best lyrics from the album! 

“All American B*tch”

What a great opening to the album! Olivia enters the album with a banger about the double standards of being a woman. The best lyrics from this song, in my opinion: 

“All the time, I’m grateful all the time I’m sexy and I’m kind. I’m pretty when I cry”

-Olivia Rodrigo, “All American B*itch”

Her sarcasm in these lyrics show what it truly feels like to be a woman in society and how there is an expectation to always be “grateful” even when we are faced with challenges. 

“Bad idea right?”

This was the second single released by Olivia and showed the fun and playful side of the album. This song gave us that early 2000s punk rock sound with relatable lyrics about seeing an ex and hiding it from all your friends. I know we’ve all been there. The best lyrics from this song, in my opinion:

“And I told my friends I was asleep But I never said where or in whose sheets”

-Olivia Rodrigo, “Bad Idea Right?”

I think this line is honestly funny and just relatable. It shows how we’ve all been in a situation of not being 100% truthful to our friends because we know they wouldn’t approve of our bad idea. 


This was the lead single of the album, and can I say a great pick for the first single! This song was a classic Olivia pop ballad, but showed her musical and vocal improvement from Sour. The best lyrics in this song, in my opinion are: 

“The way you sold me for parts, As you sunk your teeth into me, oh. Bloodsucker, dream crusher, Bleedin’ me dry like a goddamn vampire”

-Olivia Rodrigo, “Vampire”

I think these few lines perfectly represent what it feels like to have someone “suck” the life out of you and how exhausting that can be. 


This song perfectly captures what it’s like to constantly compare yourself to other women and how it can start to become an obsession. The first time I heard this song, I wanted to cry because it felt like Olivia was in my head and described that habit of being intimidated by others. The best lyrics from this song, in my opinion:

“And I despise my jealous eyes and how hard they fell for you

Yeah, I despise my rotten mind and how much it worships you”

-Olivia Rodrigo, “Lacy”

Pure poetry. 

“Ballad of a homeschooled girl”

I love a good punk Olivia song, and this one has to be one of my favorites. She talks about the struggles of social anxiety which is something I can for sure relate to. I just think this song is amusing and playful! The best lyrics from this song, in my opinion:

I talkеd to this hot guy, swore I was his type

Guess that he was makin’ out with boys, like, the whole night 

Everythin’ I do is tragic Every guy I like is gay 

-Olivia Rodrigo, “Ballad Of A Homeschool Girl”

Olivia had me rolling at this! I think she’s so clever and funny. 

“Making the bed”

Olivia hit me right in the gut with this one, but I guess that was her point when writing Guts. This self-deprecating ballad is definitely for all us girls who constantly seem to mess up, and it continues to haunt us, but we have nobody to blame but ourselves. The best lyrics from this song in my opinion: 

“I’m so tired of bein’ the girl that I am Every good thing has turned into somethin’ I dread And I’m playing the victim so well in my head but it’s me he’s been making the bed”

-Olivia Rodrigo, “Making The Bed”

It’s just so good! 


I personally cannot relate to the song as I am in a long committed relationship with my first boyfriend ever, but you can feel her emotion through her singing with this track. This song is all about the turmoil of love and regret in a relationship when you are so caught up in intense feelings. The best lyrics from this song, in my opinion are: 

“Arguments you held over my head brought up the girls you could have instead said I was too young I was too soft can’t take a joke can’t get you off”

-Olivia Rodrigo, “Logical”

When I tell you I audibly gasped at the bridge the first time I listened, I am not kidding. The pain in her voice mixed with such vulnerable lyrics really makes you feel connected to Olivia. 

“Get him back!” 

This is one of my favorite tracks on the album! I love the double meaning of this song, and I think it is so relatable to have someone you despise but at the same time want to win them back. I love the (yet again) nostalgic feeling in the production of this song. The best lyrics from this song, in my opinion are: 

“And when I told him how he hurt me, he’d tell me I was trippin’

But I am my father’s daughter, so maybe I could fix him”

-Olivia Rodrigo, “Get Him Back”

What a bar! I think this line is so funny. This is a reference to Olivia’s father who is a therapist, but also acting in denial about how you think you can change someone. 

“Love is embarrassing” 

This song initially wasn’t one of my favorites, but has grown on me over the past few weeks. This song captures that feeling of being embarrassed for putting in so much effort into a relationship that just is not worth it. It goes through the stressful emotions of trying to navigate a relationship. The best lyrics from this song, in my opinion: 

“You found a new version of me

And I damn near startеd World War III

Jesus, what was I even doin’?”

-Olivia Rodrigo, “Love Is Embarrassing”

As someone who closely followed the drama when Sour released, I can’t help but think this was a reference to it and comparing it to “World War III”. 

“The grudge”

This is my top track of the album. This song can be relatable for so many people. Though Olivia is talking about a relationship in this song, it can be interpreted in so many ways; whether that’s a romantic relationship, friendship, or parental relationship, this song perfectly describes what it feels like to be manipulated by someone you thought the world of and the emotions that come with it. The best lyrics from this song, in my opinion: 

“And I know, in my heart, hurt people hurt people

And we both drew blood, but, man, those cuts were never equal”

-Olivia Rodrigo, “The Grudge”

This one cut deep. This line discusses how both people in the relationship did some sort of damage, but only one person comes out so incredibly hurt. 

“Pretty isn’t pretty”

I think every woman on the planet can relate to this track. This heartfelt song describes what it feels like to constantly feel as though you aren’t pretty enough and always trying to fit this unrealistic expectations for women’s body standards. The best lyrics from this song, in my opinion: 

“’Cause there’s always somethin’ missin’

There’s always somethin’ in the mirror that I think looks wrong”

-Olivia Rodrigo, “Pretty Isn’t Pretty”

Yeah, I think this is the most relatable line ever. 

“Teenage dream”

I think this is the perfect closing track for the album. It is a reflection on the albums “Guts” and “Sour” and her teen years, as she now is 20. She talks about the fears of losing the best parts of herself as well as the challenges of rising to fame so quickly at such a young age. The best lyrics from this song, in my opinion are: 

“But I fear that they already got all the best parts of me

And I’m sorry that I couldn’t always be your teenage dream”

-Olivia Rodrigo, “Teenage Dream”

Olivia is saying that maybe this is the peak, that we have already seen the best parts of her. I think it gives us listeners an intimate look into what she is feeling right now and has for the past two years, and is finally sharing that with us. 

Overall, I think this album shows so much growth in Olivia, and she truly spilled her guts with us. 

Why Olivia is the queen that Gen-Z needs right now

Taylor: Olivia has achieved three Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles, two Billboard 200 number-one albums, and a ton of awards, but the most memorable part of her legacy is the impact she’s leaving on this generation of teens and young adults. Olivia has a way of making you feel like you’ve been in her situation before through her storytelling and songwriting. So many of her songs have double meanings too (I.e. “Get Him Back!”) which I think is a big contributor on why it resonates with such a wide variety of people who may or may have not experienced what she’s singing about. You can feel the emotion, heartbreak, revenge, happiness, and everything with every word she writes and sings. I know people of all ages that love Olivia’s music, heck, even my mom loves Olivia Rodrigo’s music! I mean, look at the age range of people that go to her concerts! I see tons of kids go to her concerts, and I love that she still doesn’t hide who she is or censors herself because of that. To me, that makes a real idol.

She also was just super active on social media when she was first rising to fame. Specifically on Tik Tok and Instagram. She would post unreleased songs, just her and her ukelele, and people ate it up! (People being me.) I remember thinking to myself, “She’s so cute!” and “Her lyrics are so unique!” It was just the idea of young love, and there’s something so innocent and adorable in it. That’s why people went crazy when they thought her and her coworker, Joshua Bassett, were a thing! 

Lastly, unlike other pop stars that came from Disney, Olivia had one of the smoothest transitions from TV to music that I’ve ever seen. She seemed to have 100% control over her image and her music. I think a big reason for this is because of her watching Taylor Swift struggle to own her masters over the years. She also isn’t afraid to take risks in her music. She switches between genres, is a clever lyricist, and emits levels of confidence in herself and her career that I still don’t have at 21 years old! I hope she continues to inspire women of all ages to take those risks and have that confidence that she has.All in all, Olivia is that girl and will continue to be as long as she keeps continuing to be herself. Consider this article our mutual love-letter to miss Olivia Rodrigo.

Taylor Staples is currently studying Journalism and Media News with a minor in Screenwriting and Film. Taylor was involved in the WCRD 91.3 radio as an anchor/writer, the Digital Corps, and the Cardinal Catholic media team. In her free time, Taylor loves to chill out with a good cartoon and some cocoa.
Meghan Dale

Ball State '24

Fashion Merchandising Major and Ball State University