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“Why Olivia Rodrigo is so Popular; and How Her New Album ‘GUTS’ Solidifies Her Position in Music”

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

Olivia Rodrigo’s sophomore album, ‘GUTS,’ was released in early September and has quickly risen to prominence. Rodrigo’s music has acted to fill gaps in music where pop music used to reign. It seems that in the 2000s and 2010s, a plethora of pop music was being released. R&B and rap have taken over this mainstream position. Her new release has diversified the pool of popular music in the last few years.

Rodrigo’s new album ‘GUTS’ combines teenage-coming-of-age angst with inspiration from rock. Plainly said, her music is relatable, enjoyable, and catchy to listen to. Her sound combines soft pop with 90s rock, reaching the teenage and twenty-somethings demographic by discussing heartbreak, self-doubt, body image, and self-awareness. Her music doesn’t necessarily follow the pop music formula; there’s a complexity to her lyrics and sound that reflects how complicated life is. The reception to this album shows how modern audiences crave more organic music. 

Olivia’s music comes at a time when 90s and 2000s style has seen a resurgence in mainstream media. However, the portrayal of being a teenager isn’t as glamorous as it was then. TV shows and movies released during that time would have teens driving around in their parents’ nice car, doing whatever they wanted, having boys constantly falling for them when this simply isn’t what life is like 90% of the time. Olivia’s usage of 90s trends in sound and style is ironic; the teenage and early 20-something experience can be stressful and is nothing like the movies from that era. Rodrigo’s second album further solidifies the prevalence of her discography. She doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon– her upcoming tour is hard to get tickets to.  

Elizabeth Cordill is a graduate of Michigan State University having studied Neuroscience with a concentration in Behavior and Systems. Upon graduation, she hopes to work during gap year(s) prior to pursuing medical school. A wide variety of specialties interest her: from OB/GYN, neurology, and pediatrics, just to name a few. Elizabeth is passionate about improving patient care, an interest she has furthered with research involvement on campus. On campus she has been most recently involved with epidemiology research in gynecological health. Outside of being a writer and member of the design team for Her Campus MSU, she enjoys spending time with friends, cooking, scrolling on Pinterest, spending time outside, working out, working with kids, and traveling. She has loved writing since taking Writing as Inquiry (WRA101) here at MSU. She has loved her experience in Her Campus!