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

After teasing her fans with ominous Instagram posts and captions, American pop singer Olivia Rodrigo announced the release of her second studio album, GUTS, on June 13, 2023. Livies around the world laughed, sang and cried together after Rodrigo officially released the entire album on September 8, 2023. As an avid fan of Rodrigo, here is my breakdown of each song on her latest album, GUTS.

“all-american bitch” 

“all american bitch” is a great start to Rodrigo’s sophomore album. It perfectly introduces the expectations and vibes for the entire album. The song starts off as a light, lullaby-like song but later transitions into a hardcore, rock song. The song continues to switch between these two perspectives. It is a great representation of the album as it encapsulates the drastic emotion changes Rodrigo captures throughout the album. Overall, I would give this song an 8/10 rating as it is the perfect introduction to the new album and flawlessly encapsulates the album’s 2000s rock ambiance. 

“bad idea, right?”

The album’s second track,“bad idea, right?”, is the perfect representation of a teenager’s mind post breakup, especially if they aren’t fully over their ex. Rodrigo sings about the impulse to visit an ex and the shame of hiding it from your friends. The theme of the song, coupled with the upbeat tone and fast paced lyrics, makes it the ultimate song to scream-sing in your car with the windows down. In my opinion, this song is one of the album’s best; therefore, I rate it a solid 9.5/10.


“vampire,” the single that launched Rodrigo’s GUTS era, is what some people (aka me) might call a lyrical masterpiece. Rodrigo uses symbolism and word play to display the serious themes of the song. The song touches upon the topics of abusive relationships and the drawbacks to fame. As a sucker for good writing, the symbolism, metaphors and hidden meanings in “vampire” made it one of my favorite songs on the album, landing it a score of 9.2/10.

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“lacy,” the album’s fourth track, is a breathy ballad centered around feelings of inferiority when compared to a girl, Lacy. I relate this song to Harry Styles’ cover of the song “Girl Crush” which is a beautiful, soft spoken song about comparing yourself to and wishing to be more like the woman your crush is coupled with. “lacy,” however, can also be interpreted as Rodrigo’s thoughts of bi-panic. Whether the song is about one’s insecurities or is a “coming out” announcement, I think it is a beautiful song and I rate it as a 7.5/10 as I often find myself humming the tune.

“ballad of a homeschooled girl”

The fifth track of GUTS, “ballad of a homeschooled girl,” roars with the angst of social anxiety. The pop rock song explores Rodrigo’s difficulties making friends after her unconventional upbringing. Rodrigo did a magnificent job of putting feelings into words and encapsulating insecurities often felt by teenagers of this generation. The sheer thought and emotion put into the song pushes me to rate it as a 9/10.

“making the bed”

The next track on the album, “making the bed,” is a telltale sign that Rodrigo has matured, both musically and emotionally, since her last album. Rodrigo’s debut album SOUR is primarily about the downfall of her relationship with singer and actor Joshua Bassett. Since it was her first album, Rodrigo was still exploring her style of music and adjusting to translating her thoughts into lyrics. “making the bed” shows how Rodrigo has matured and grown as a songwriter and singer through its passionate chorus and the emotion that is conveyed throughout the song. The relatability, emotion and growth shown in this song earn it an 9.8/10.


“logical” is one of this album’s most mesmerizing songs. Rodrigo’s beautiful imagery, smooth melody and emotional lyrics make it an easy listen and makes it almost guaranteed to be stuck in your head; however, it is not the best song on the album. Because of that, I rate this song as a 7.3/10.

“get him back!”

As an avid listener of “brutal” and “good 4 u” from SOUR, I was very pleased to hear this album’s eighth track, “get him back!”. It is the ultimate ode to 1990s-2000s pop-punk music and flawlessly represents the old school grunge that Rodrigo has recently embraced. Not only does the song match Rodrigo’s chosen aesthetic, but it also follows a common theme seen throughout her music: post breakup angst. The pop rock song switches between a fascination with an ex and the need to get revenge. The clever lyrics and catchy tune incline me to rate this song as an 8.5/10.

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“love is embarrassing”

“love is embarrassing” is a candid exploration of the emotional ups and downs and self-discovery that come with an unstable romantic relationship. Rodrigo masterfully imitates a teenager’s embarrassment after reflecting on a failed relationship. Because the song is so relatable and catchy, I would rate it as an 8/10.

“the grudge”

Rodrigo paints a vivid picture of a toxic relationship and emotional manipulation in the song “the grudge.” “the grudge” is an emotional representation of the turmoil one goes through in a toxic relationship. Rodrigo repeats the phrase “I tried” as a way to invoke emotion and convey the message of the song. In my opinion, this may be the best song on the album, earning it a perfect 10/10. 

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“pretty isn’t pretty”

Straying from the theme of relationships and breakups, “pretty isn’t pretty” explores the topics of insecurities, mental disorders and overall not feeling like you’re enough. It is a heartfelt reflection on self-positivity and society’s expectations of the female body. The emotion conveyed in this song prompts me to rate it as a 9.1/10.

“teenage dream”

Rodrigo ended her album on a heartfelt and sad note with the song “teenage dream.” Rodrigo reflects on the belief that life gets harder as you grow and the worry that life will always stay the same. As a sucker for songs that will inevitably make me cry, I rate this a 7.9/10.

After individually rating each song on GUTS on a scale of 1-10, the whole album averages to about an 8.7/10. Overall, the album lived up to the expectations and hype that was set around it. It is clear that Rodrigo has grown, both musically and emotionally, since the release of SOUR. Lucky for all us Rodrigo fans, she has announced a GUTS World Tour beginning in February of 2024. Click here for more information.

Gianna is a first-year student at Hofstra University studying journalism. She enjoys writing, reading, listening to music and playing with her dogs.