Olivia Rodrigo Reaches New Heights with Sweet Debut Album “Sour”
By Sarah Gelinas
“It’s brutal out here.”
Unless you have been living under a rock since January, you’ve heard the name Olivia Rodrigo. In the (almost) six short months that have been 2021, Olivia has destroyed streaming records with the release of her first single Drivers License, posed for the cover of both Billboard and Elle Magazine, AND has become an incredibly viral sensation on Tik Tok. All while starring in the Disney+ series High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. Are you tired yet? Because Olivia isn’t. On May 21st Olivia released her first full-length album Sour and after just one week of being released, every song on the album resides on the Spotify Top 200 Charts, with the highest-ranking song good 4 u sitting at number one and the lowest ranking track 'hope ur ok' at number 24. This kind of ranking is unbelievable for any artist, let alone a female musician who recently turned 18 and only released her first single in January. Truly Olivia, GOOD 4 U!
If you’ve ever had your heart broken into hundreds of little pieces, you know what mindset Olivia was in when she created Sour. The album encompasses all of the tragic feelings you experience when you get completely crushed after a break-up with the person whom you thought could be the one. Even worse: when that person moves on so quickly you don't even get a chance to blink. As a whole, the album is a masterpiece for the heartbroken to heal to, and for the not-so-heartbroken to jam to anyway since every song is an instant classic. Sour has a very similar feel to Taylor Swift’s album “Fearless,” which was a huge inspiration to Olivia as she has stated that Taylor Swift was one of her biggest idols.
The album opens with 'brutal', a track that just about every 17-year-old (and adult tbh) can relate to. This track discusses the anxieties and insecurities most teenagers feel every day. Brutal uses distortion and heavy transitions to relay the emotional messages held within. The realness of this song is off the charts, making it very relatable and the perfect introduction of what is to come on the album.
Have you ever looked out the car window during a rainstorm and pretended that your life was a sad music video? If so, 'drivers license' is the song for you. Olivia’s vocals are the focal point of this track, and WOW did she deliver. 'Drivers license' is the song that, dare I say, drove Olivia’s music career to the ears of listeners worldwide. Since its release, this track has broken multiple streaming records, including the record for most Spotify streams in a week. It has been said that Gen Z listens to 'drivers license' the way that millennials listened to You Belong With Me by Taylor Swift, and I couldn't agree more. The meaning behind the lyrics is loving someone who will never love you back, and watching them move on to someone else. It is heartbreaking in a way that we can all relate to in our own way.
If you were to open your Tik Tok app on your phone right now, it’s very likely you will hear a blast of Olivia’s track 'good 4 u'. The track is currently number one on the Billboard Global 200 Chart and has listeners everywhere screaming along to the lyrics. The original release date of the track was May 14th, and the fact that it is already as popular as it is is actually incredible to think about. 'Good 4 u' is everything a break-up song needs to be: sad, angry, and something I want to scream along to despite my relationship status. It’s never a good feeling to see your ex doing better after the break-up than you are, and this song really dives into all of those emotions. The song is paired with an angsty music video where Olivia gradually declines mentally throughout the track, adding a cinematic visual element to the song.
“Like a damn sociopath”
If I had to describe Sour in one word, I would use iconic. Not only is it ridiculously record-breaking, but the impressively fast rise of Olivia Rodrigo is so fascinating to watch that I can’t wait to see where her career takes her next. Olivia’s use of social media to gain millions of streams on her songs is the future of the music industry, and truly is its own kind of cultural reset as we move into a new era of music exposure. Congratulations to Olivia Rodrigo for turning her worst heartbreak into a beautiful album to help millions mend their broken hearts. And to Olivia’s ex that inspired the album: “hope ur ok.”
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