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“GUTS” is the Epitome of Girlhood & Growing Up

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UGA chapter.

In 2021, Olivia Rodrigo released “drivers license,” showing the world a side of herself that was vastly different from the Disney Channel good girl we saw her as during her stints on Bizaardvark and High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. The song blew up immediately, hitting a billion streams and breaking numerous records. She eventually released her debut album SOUR a few months later, leading to her breaking even more records, getting Grammy nominations and wins, and going on a sold-out world tour.

Fast forward two years later and she’s just released her sophomore album GUTS, named after the phrase “spill your guts,” which means to overshare or reveal secrets, and that’s exactly what Olivia did with this album. I stayed up until midnight the day she released it so I could hear everything right away and she did not disappoint. Here’s what I thought about each song:

“all-American bitch”

At first listen, I wasn’t vibing with this song, and I was a little scared for how the rest of the album would go since it’s the first track. After listening a few more times it started to grow on me a tad. I don’t hate it, but I also don’t love it. I’m kind of neutral as a whole, but I think it does a really good job of setting up the pop-rock aesthetic of the album.

“bad idea right?”

I was hooked after the second or third listen (my first time listening was when the music video dropped and I was too busy having fun watching to really get the song); the pre-chorus and the chorus are extremely catchy and the verses feel like a conversation between friends. It stayed on repeat after it dropped and it made me excited to see what GUTS had to offer since it was so different from “vampire”, the first single she released for the album. It feels like she’s having a full-on gossip session with you which adds another layer of enjoyment.


This was the lead single for GUTS, and I’m so glad she picked this one as her first song to release after coming back from SOUR’s success. The slow buildup into heavy drums, booming bass, and a fast tempo was such a smart production move. That paired with the more mature lyrics and the mature theme of the song was really good at showing how Olivia has grown since releasing her debut album. It felt a lot more vulnerable and it also demonstrated how she’s grown vocally as well.


“lacy” is so dreamy and I love how it can be interpreted as Olivia singing about being jealous of another girl or as Olivia being so obsessed with a girl that she develops a crush or even a mix of both. The duality of the song makes it even better. I love the buildup throughout the song and it feels like Olivia’s feelings towards whoever Lacy is are growing stronger and stronger. Overall, this song falls somewhere in the middle of my ranking, but I’m still obsessed nonetheless.

“ballad of a homeschooled girl”

Unfortunately, this is also a song that I’m still trying to get into, and I hate to say that because I feel like everyone else loves this song except for me. This song is actually the best on the album at portraying the early 2000s teen, coming-of-age feeling. However, something about it just isn’t sticking with me right now, and I can’t pinpoint what it might be; but I may just need to keep it on repeat to get the full picture.

“making the bed”

I honestly think this is one of the most relatable songs Olivia has ever written and one of the most relatable songs I’ve ever heard in general. As someone who is always anxious and a chronic people pleaser, every lyric hits home. This song is about the high Olivia got from when she first became a star and how she’s dealing with the repercussions of it now. She also talks about friendships, blaming herself for things that go wrong, and feeling as if she has to pretend to be something she’s not. And even though we can’t all relate to what it’s like to be uplifted and berated by the media, listeners can definitely apply the meaning in whatever way best fits their situation, which is something I love about Olivia’s writing.


I love a good ballad, especially Olivia’s. The song I liked most from SOUR was “favorite crime” and “logical” feels exactly like an extension of that song. In both tracks, she talks about how she was so in love that she didn’t realize she was being manipulated and did whatever the other person asked of her, but “logical” feels like it goes deeper into how she feels rather than just telling the story like in “favorite crime”. I love how the chorus is built together with different phrases that don’t make sense (“two plus two equals five”, “the sky is green, the grass is red”, etc.) to further emphasize the lies she’s been told in her relationship. This track is my #1 on GUTS and I can definitely see it sneaking its way into my Spotify Wrapped already.

“get him back!”

Olivia really switches up her sound with this one, singing the verses in such a way that it almost feels like she’s rapping with a fun garage beat in the background. Then you get to the chorus and it feels very Avril Lavigne-esque, and it makes you want to scream along with her with the windows down in your car or jumping around your room. You could tell she had a lot of fun making this song, and I love how she’s not afraid to experiment to see what styles of music she wants to work with.

“Love is embarrassing”

Everyone can relate to embarrassing themselves over a stupid crush, and instead of making a sad song about what’s usually a sensitive subject, she made a cool, upbeat track that almost has a bit of an 80s feel to it. This one surprised me the most because I thought it would be a ballad when she released the tracklist, but I absolutely love what she did with it and it’s one of my favorites on the album.

“The grudge”

Yet another sad song that I’ll have on loop — I love songs that tell a good story, and Olivia sings about being broken up with and how she still feels like she can’t forgive the guy for hurting her throughout the entire relationship. This is another track that has a great buildup, and I’m obsessed with the parallels and references it has to SOUR.

If you want to see a list of all the SOUR easter eggs, here’s a really amazing Twitter thread that sums it all up.

“pretty isn’t pretty”

This is another relatable song from her, but this time she touches on insecurities and how even though we may get told we’re “pretty”, we don’t always feel it, and how it’s hard to escape these unrealistic expectations because they’re everywhere. She sings about doing all of these things to try to change herself and fit in but still feels like she can’t measure up. I really like this one not just because of the message but also because the juxtaposition of the sad lyrics and the upbeat tempo was such a good choice. It kind of reminds me of what Mitski did with her song “Nobody.”

“Teenage Dream”

An amazing album closer, and a brilliant reference to SOUR’s opening track “brutal” where she sings “where’s my fucking teenage dream?”. This song is the perfect antithesis to “brutal”; back then she wished to be older and seen as more mature and experienced. However, this time she just wants to be treated as the young girl she is, and she hates that she lost her youth to fame, insecurities, bad relationships, and more. My favorite part is the ending where she repeats the same thing over and over because you can tell she put all of her feelings into it, and how these past few years of being in the spotlight have affected her mentally, physically, and emotionally (and it reminds me of Phoebe Bridgers’ repetitive ending in “Waiting Room”).

Overall, I’m obsessed with this album. I love seeing how much Olivia grew from her time during SOUR until now; she seems so much more unapologetic and vulnerable, which made for intricate storytelling and heartfelt songwriting. Olivia has a way of writing that’s so personal and specific that it makes you feel like she snuck into your room, ripped pages straight out of your top secret diary, and turned the entries into songs. It also feels like she’s your best friend and you guys are experiencing all of these different things together — breakups, parties, mistakes, and everything in between.

I’m so excited for the GUTS tour, and to see what awards and record breaking achievements Olivia gets this time around. In the meantime, listen to her full discography above if you’re not already a fan!

Gabby Floyd is a fourth year Special Education major at UGA. She loves social justice, Olive Garden breadsticks, and Spider-Man movies. In her free time, she's usually reading, binge watching Glee, or making niche Spotify playlists.