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TRACK BY TRACK: Olivia Rodrigo’s 'GUTS'

Written by Daria Hodies. Published: September 11 2023
(Photo: Olivia Rodrigo/YouTube)


The wait is finally over! Olivia Rodrigo’s sophomore albumGUTS is finally here! After releasing her critically-acclaimed debut album Sour in 2021, fans have been tingling with anticipation over what Rodrigo has had in store for us next. Released on September 8, GUTS has already received praise from fans and critics alike, highlighting her songwriting ability, the album’s great sound mixing, and instrumental accompaniment to her singing. Her songs are angst-filled, which makes them all the more relatable, and easy to sing along to with an unparalleled passion. GUTS is definitely a time capsule into Rodrigo’s life and shows that, even though some things aren’t always figured out, she is a powerhouse of stardom that is here to stay. We love this album so much, we broke it down just for you guys. So, without further ado, here is Olivia Rodrigo’s GUTS, track-by-track!


1. "all-american b*tch"

This song opens the album perfectly with nice and flowy acoustic guitar chords during the verses. The chorus changes the course of the song with a hardcore rock & roll feel, complete with stellar electric guitar-playing and drums. Rodrigo sings all about her life, even incorporating a couple of angst-filled high notes to really show the audience how she’s feeling! We couldn’t think of a better song to begin an album with!


Favorite Lyrics: “I’m pretty when I cry...”




2. "bad idea right?"

With cool beats and a perfect collection of harmonies, this song is one we can all relate to! Rodrigo sings about how easy it is to end up back with an old flame, regardless if it's a bad idea! It happens so fast, just like the chorus of this song. The lyrics take us on a journey and so does the wicked guitar solo as the song finishes up. Putting this song on her album was definitely not a bad idea!


Favorite Lyrics: “I only see him as a friend / The biggest lie I ever said...”




3. "vampire"

The first single off her album, "vampire" is a song we already all know and love. The song starts off slow but builds up into an insanely amazing vocal performance by Rodrigo. "Vampire" is a song all about how love can be draining and heartbreaking, with a beat and musical backup to match. Including harmonies and well-done high notes, "vampire" is arguably one Rodrigo’s best songs right now. This song is as cool as it is relatable, and one we will always be singing along to! 


Favorite Lyrics: “How's the castle built off people you pretend to care about?”




4. "lacy"

The poetic aspects in this song are downright beautiful. Rodrigo sings about a woman named Lacy, accompanied only by an acoustic guitar. As the song progresses, Rodrigo gives us insight into who Lacy is and how she feels about her. While wrestling with the idea of Lacy, Rodrigo brings in a background arrangement of angelic harmonies that sound equally in love and in pain. A metaphor for being stuck in a place between jealousy and admiration, the song finishes swiftly and leaves us stunned by the hauntingly perfect lyrics Rodrigo shares with us.


Favorite Lyrics: “I despise my rotten mind and how much it worships you...”




5. "ballad of a homeschooled girl"

This song immediately starts off feeling groovy and psychedelic, with a bassline and guitar playing notes that compliment each other in the most perfect way. The chorus brings in a good tempo of drums, as Rodrigo sings with a need in her voice that not many can do, but she does effortlessly. The song also gives us a glimpse into Rodrigo’s life and the insides of her mind, offering insight and a true relatability others do not always have with their music. Rodrigo, however, never fails to hit out of the park!


Favorite Lyrics: “I broke a glass / I tripped and fell / I told secrets I shouldn’t tell...”




6. "making the bed"

In this song, Rodrigo meditates on her rise to fame and how quickly her life has changed through the last few years of her career. From just being a simple girl that’s getting her driver’s license to becoming a person being watched like a hawk in the public eye, we get to see the toll this can have on a person through this song. Rodrigo has a pain in her voice that many can relate to, fearing change and feeling nostalgic for the past. The lyrics of this song are melancholic but still offer a bit of hope. The song is incredibly well-written and is definitely one that will be sticking with us even after we finish listening. 


Favorite Lyrics: “It’s been me who's been making the bed...”




7. "logical"

Love doesn’t always make sense, and Rodrigo sings about how painful that can be in this track. Rogrigo’s lyrics surround a universal idea -- that we can love someone so much that we see past every fault and issue cultivated throughout the relationship. We become blind and let our realities shift, throwing logic out the window. Accompanied by the piano, this song feels like a love letter to those everywhere who are always loving wholeheartedly, and that they aren’t alone in the journey to make sense of something that has no rationality to it.  


Favorite Lyrics: “I know I could’ve stopped it all / God, why didn’t I stop it all?”




8. "get him back!"

"Get him back!" is super fun, with a perfect pop feel and great tempo that keeps the listener entertained and excited to hear where the song is going. The lyrics are all about getting revenge on someone your brain just can’t seem to shake, and how fun it could be! Rodrigo sings about all the ways she wants to get the guy she’s singing about back and treat him exactly how he’s treated her. The entirety of this song is refreshing and makes us want to sing along, dance, and maybe get a little revenge…


Favorite Lyric: “Oh I want sweet revenge and I want him again...”




9. "love is embarrassing"

The drums start off this song, joined later by guitar chords that have this vintage '80s kind of feel to them. We feel like this song could be straight out of a rom-com, while Rodrigo sings about how easy it is to fall in and out of love. Her voice is nothing less than extraordinary, hitting the perfect notes and matching the vibe of the song in the best way possible. This is another song we can all relate to and makes us want to dance while singing along with our whole heart!


Favorite Lyrics: “I'm planning out my wedding with some guy I'm never marrying...”




10. "the grudge"

Sadly not an ode to the classic 2004 Sarah Michelle Gellarhorror movie, "the grudge" starts off slow, building up as it reaches the chorus. It’s an overall evocative and touching song, as Rodrigo sings about how hard forgiveness can be and that, even though she’s tried to be tough and let things go, the person she’s singing about still means everything to her. The piano in this song is simple but effective, accompanying her voice and giving it all the power and credit it deserves, emphasizing the lyrics and making the song what it is.


Favorite Lyrics: “My undying love, now I hold it like a grudge...”




11. "pretty isn’t pretty"

This song is something we know all too well. Rodrigo shows us throughout the song that even she struggles with insecurities about her looks and how she presents herself. The lyrics of this song are universal and can touch anyone who's listening that's also dealing with the same issue. With the pressure of being in the public eye, Rodrigo presents a more vulnerable side of herself in this song, which we absolutely love and know fans everywhere will too!


Favorite Lyrics: “You can win the battle, but you'll never win the war / You fix thе things you hated and you'd still feel so insecure...”




12. "teenage dream"

"Teenage dream" ends the album on a note that makes the listener ponder who Rodrigo is and where she’s at in her life. Rodrigo starts the song off slowly but leads us into a bridge that crescendos into a powerful ending of melodies and musical accompaniment that left us speechless. "Teenage dream" is a beautiful song about youth, being scared for the future, and wondering if the people around you have taken all the good pieces of your life already. Rodrigo wonders where her life is going and if it will get better. While asking a question like that can sound scary, we all know that it’s true, and that being this honest with yourself and others takes... well...guts.


Favorite Lyrics: “And I’m sorry that I couldn’t always be your teenage dream...”




Olivia Rodrigo’s GUTS is now available on all music streaming platforms. We hope you love these songs as much as we do. Happy listening!